We all try to do our part to recycle and reuse but creating a more eco-friendly home may not only contribute to a sustainable environment, you might also find it contributes to your bank account as well. How’s that for being green?
Here are some simple tips and easy fixes to make your home more eco-friendly.
- Turn out the lights
Turns out on average 5 percent of a household budget goes to pay for lighting. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, replacing 15 traditional incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs can save you $50 a year. Better yet, open the curtains and let natural light flood your room during the day. Decorating with light colors and fabrics can help to allow light to bounce into the room and delay flipping that light switch!
- Consider using low VOC products in your next home renovation project
Volatile organic compounds found in paints, mattress and carpets aren’t good for you or the environment. They can irritate your eyes and respiratory system and cause other illnesses. Reduce indoor pollution in your home by choosing low or no-VOC products. The Environmental Protection Agency has easy ways to dispose of your VOC products and reduce your exposure to products that emit VOC.
- Reduce clutter and paper
This one’s not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your mental health. Clutter can create a sense of anxiety and nothing creates more clutter than junk mail. When possible sign up for paperless billing and online statements. Cut down on the amount of unsolicited mail too by unsubscribing to magazines you don’t read or mailers that you automatically toss. The Federal Trade Commission has some great tips on how to stop unsolicited mail, phone calls and email!
- Clean with natural products
Harsh chemicals aren’t healthy for you or the environment. And conventional cleaning products can be expensive. Green America says there are ten basic products you need to clean your entire house:
- white vinegar
- baking soda
- hydrogen peroxide
- club soda
- lemon juice
- liquid castile soap
- corn meal
- olive oil
- pure essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint
- Fix plumbing leaks
Drips aren’t just a drop in your economic bucket. They are a waste of water too and that’s not eco-friendly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average household leaks can account for nearly 100,000 gallons of water wasted yearly. Check for leaking toilets, dripping faucets and outdoor hose bibs. They are often easy to fix and can net you up to 10 percent savings on your water bill. Another way to save water is by installing aerators on your faucets and change to low-flow shower heads.
- Repair or replace broken windows or ill-fitting doors
Both can allow heat and air conditioning to escape, causing your heating or cooling system to work overtime. Your Thompson Creek professional can help replace your windows and doors with energy efficient long-lasting products made locally. That’s good for the environment in itself!
- Compost instead of dispose
You can cut down on the amount of garbage your household send to the landfill by using a garbage disposal, recycling what you can and composting food scraps in a composting bin. And the resulting compost material is good for the soil. The University of Maryland Extension can help you get started.
Being Eco-Friendly At Home
Doing your part to be eco-friendly at home helps in the overall health of the environment. Being environmentally conscious at home is good for your health, the plants and your wallet. In this case, it really is easy being green!