Eco-Friendly Home – 25 Useful Tips
Increasingly the eco-friendliness of your home is a great choice. After all, we all want to support sustainability efforts, and be good to our world. Unfortunately, many of the “green” products on the market do come at a more expensive cost, which can put your budget in a pinch and dampen your enthusiasm for adopting new, environmentally friendly habits. There is good news, though: there are many different, inexpensive ways you can make your home better for the environment.
Here are 25 way to increase your sustainability efforts at home:
- Eliminate incandescent light bulbs. New alternatives, like LED lights, burn for longer at cooler temperatures while still producing beautiful light.
- Stop buying bottled water. If your tap water isn’t exactly tasty, choose to use a water filter that attaches to your faucet, or that can be stored in your fridge as a pitcher.
- Take advantage of your garbage company’s recycling program.
- Don’t throw batteries in the trash. They contain toxic chemicals that can leak into the water supply. Check online to find a battery recycling center near you.
- Use fewer paper towels. Instead, buy a stack of cheap bar towels from a restaurant supply store and use them to mop up messes.
- Don’t heat or cool your house when you’re away during the day. A programmable thermostat is a wondrous investment that will quickly pay for itself in savings and reduced hassle. It will even warm up your rooms before you get out of bed in the morning.
- Don’t leave the lights on when you aren’t home, either.
- Use a reusable thermal coffee cup instead of disposable single-use varieties.
- Take the time to winterize your home with caulk, window and door seal-strips, all of which will help keep your home warmer without relying on the heater.
- Switch to organic cleaning products – or make your own non-toxic products such as white vinegar.
- Take tote bags to the grocery store rather than relying on plastic bags every time. Keep your reusable bags in your car so they’re never forgotten.
- Shorten your showers to five minutes.
- Switch to artificial turf for your lawn areas. It looks and feels better than natural grass, and requires little maintenance. You save time, money and water, and avoid polluting waterways with fertilizers. Artificial turf is even recyclable, when the time comes to replace it.
- Use all that you buy for longer lengths of time. Just because a new version is sold doesn’t mean you need it.
- Help someone else recycle by purchasing used items at garage sales, on Craigslist, or in thrift shops.
- Help others by donating clothes and unused items, or hold a garage sale rather than tossing your unwanted goods in the trash.
- Unplug your electronic gear once it’s charged, or when you aren’t using it.
- Go paperless with online banking and bill-paying.
- Don’t buy foods packaged in individual wrappers, such as yogurt, cheeses, and snacks.
- Install an adjustable low-flow shower head, or low-flow faucet aerators.
- Share tools and equipment, such as lawnmowers, with neighbors.
- Plant a veggie garden – in pots, if you’re short on outdoor space.
- Water your garden with “gray” water you’ve used to rinse dishes or laundry.
- Collect rain water to use on your garden rather than turning on the hose.
- Create a low-flow toilet by filling a plastic bottle with water and setting it in your toilet tank to displace some of the flush water.