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We could very easily have titled this blog post, 1001 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly - because there are so many things you can do! It might feel like making these changes are overwhelming and involve a big investment of both time and money you don’t have.
These changes won’t require expensive equipment and expertise to set up - we’ve got ones that anyone can do with ease! Pick one and then add on each month until you don’t even think about them anymore.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu
Use natural cleaning products - instead of buying one cleaner for your floors, one cleaner for your stainless steel appliances, one cleaner for your windows….go back to basics with baking soda, vinegar and lemon. These three items are multipurpose cleaners and also have some excellent non cleaning uses too (lemon meringue pie, anyone?) ...and they’re cheaper than buying many different products.
Fix and maintain plumbing fixtures - if you have a leaky faucet or toilet get them repaired right away. A leaky toilet or a dripping tap adds up to gallons of wasted water. And when you’re ready replace them, ensure you look for EPA-certified WaterSense model toilets and water-saving faucets.
Start a compost - divert up to 30% of your household waste away from the garbage. Collect your kitchen scraps and left over food (except meat and fish scraps), store it in a container under your sink and then regularly add it to your compost pile. Research the best kind of container for you and all the various types of composting techniques that fit with your lifestyle.
Unplug - All of our TV’s, computers, DVD players - sit idle for hours during the day when we’re not home. Keeping them plugged in and on standby uses electricity. Unplug them (once you’ve finished reading this blog post!) and reduce the draw of power to your home.
Buy recycled or second hand items - when you need to replace an item of furniture or add something to your home, search out a pre-loved option. You’ll divert it from the landfill and it’s less expensive than buying new.
Wash your clothes in cold water - to heat the water for a wash cycle accounts for nearly 90% of the energy use in a load of laundry. Using cold water for a year can save 1600 pounds of CO2 emissions. For your laundry detergent, look for non-petroleum based products like these:
Don’t use the dishwasher to dry your dishes - dry them by hand and save up to 50% of your dishwashers energy use (or enlist your kids to do them!).
Hang your clothes out to dry - give your dryer a rest and skip the energy use. Install a clothes line and hang up socks and sheets in the sun. Plus, they smell ah-may-zing afterwards!
Invest in a Smart Thermostat - these handy things will learn your schedule and adjust the temperature of your home and drop it down when you’re away. They integrate with your digital assistant and have several other features - research which one works best for your family and start saving energy and money!
10. Switch to LED bulbs - swap out your existing bulbs as they burn out with LED’s instead. The cost is slightly more initially, but have a significantly longer life span and end up costing less in the long run as
you’ll be replacing them less often. Check your local government as there may be some rebate programs in effect when you make the switch.
There you have it! Ten starter-steps you can take towards making your home more eco-friendly. Take one at a time and incorporate it into your life and let us know how it goes.