Reducing your home’s negative impact on the environment requires a bit of work and research on your part. But making your home more sustainable is a great way to save money as well as the planet. To help you get started, here are a few clever ideas.
Start With the Living Room
If you haven’t done so already, replace the incandescent light bulbs in your living room with CFL light bulbs. According to Energy Star, CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs) use 75% less energy compared to traditional light bulbs. If you replace just one traditional light bulb with one CFL bulb, it will save 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.
You can also reduce your home’s energy consumption by using multi-socket extension leads. When they are not in use, simply turn them off.
In fact, one of the easiest ways to save electricity is to unplug devices. If you are like most of us, chances are your TV is on standby mode for the bigger part of the day. But as long as it is plugged in, it will consume energy. Over time, that wasted electricity adds up to a lot.
If you want to install environmentally friendly flooring, bamboo may be the best choice. It is the fastest-growing plant you can find. Since it has a much quicker rate of replenishment than hardwood, it makes for much more sustainable flooring.
Be Smart in The Kitchen
You can do so much for mother nature and your wallet by changing the ways you store, prepare, eat, and obtain your food.
Your refrigerator is a good place to start. If your fridge is in the sunlight, move it into the shade. It won’t have to work so hard to keep your food cool if you keep it away from the sun.
It’s also a good idea to replace very old kitchen appliances with Energy Star-rated models. According to energy.gov, an Energy Star-rated fridge uses 15% less energy than a model that’s not Energy Star-qualified.
Buying a new kitchen appliance is a big investment, but it is cost-efficient. You can rest assured it will pay off over time.
Ovens use a lot of energy, so try to use yours less often. For instance, using the oven to toast two slices of bread isn’t very efficient. A toaster will get the job done faster without wasting so much energy.
When you have to use the oven, always make sure the door is properly closed. Avoid opening the door just to check on your cake.
This can lead to a huge amount of heat loss, so it’s best to simply trust the instructions in your recipe. You can also replace your old oven with a halogen oven. It doesn’t need preheating.
There is a lot you can do to minimize food waste in the kitchen—from freezing meals and creating broths to turning an old loaf into breadcrumbs. You can repurpose food the same way our ancestors used to.
On top of having a recycling bin, it’s a good idea to get a compost bin. By composting kitchen scraps and food waste, you can ease costs associated with rubbish collection and reduce the amount of household waste in landfills.
It is easy to find a tidy, neat, and odor-free compost bin. You can plant your own herb garden if you are not sure what to do with the fertilizer. This is a great way to introduce spices and other healthy staples to your diet.
Take on Environmentally-Friendly DIY Projects
If you have enthusiasm for DIY projects, planting your own herbs can be just the start. Your garden and yard are the perfect places to learn new skills and build something with your own hands.
You can significantly reduce your carbon footprint by building the stuff you need using natural materials. For instance, you can learn how to lay a driveway or garden patio if you want to add curb appeal to your home.
As long as you get your materials from the right place, you can rest assured your new patio will be sustainable. You can gather old bricks for the project or salvaged and recycled stone.
Don’t order stone or stone veneer from questionable third-world manufacturers. It comes with a high environmental cost—greenhouse gas emissions resulting from transportation, illegal dumping, and polluted groundwater.
Natural stone is recyclable, durable, and very easy to maintain. You don’t need any other resources or materials to create the stone, and there’s no shortage of it, so it is an inherently sustainable material.
Permeable pavers are also an incredibly eco-friendly paving solution. Permeable pavers provide excellent drainage control. They reduce costs by eliminating the need for piping.
On top of being great for stormwater management, they can withstand heavy traffic and last for a very long time.
According to EPA’s blog, many local and state governments will allow you to take advantage of financial incentives if you opt for permeable pavement. Permeable pavement helps create green jobs, so you will be doing a favor to your local economy as well.