Henry David Thoreau once said, “What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” It is easy in the everyday hustle of life, to choose convenience over taking the time to make more eco-friendly choices. In honor of Earth Day, we are sharing 10 easy and inexpensive tips for a more eco-friendly lifestyle in your home.
Choose Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs
Swap out your light bulbs for Energy Star-rated CFL bulbs. Not only do they use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs, but this upgrade could knock up to $30 off your electric bill for each bulb over the course of its lifetime.
Consider starting a compost heap! Not only will this save money on fertilizer for your garden, but it will also help maintain soil health and keep food scraps from rotting in a dump, which helps reduce greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
Stop Microwaving Plastic
Plastic dishware that is labeled “microwave-safe” can still leach into foods when microwaved and some contain hormone-disrupting compounds. The “microwave-safe” label simply means that the dishware can withstand a higher heat without losing its shape. So before you pop anything into the microwave, make sure that you are reaching for glass or microwave-safe ceramic dishes instead of anything plastic.
Avoid Heating an Empty House
When you are out of town during the colder months, turn down your thermostat to cut back on unnecessary heating. Most programmable thermostats have a setting for when the house is empty. Just remember if you live in a state that experiences a lot of snow or freezing temperatures in the winter months, you may need to leave your heater on a minimal setting to ensure that your pipes don’t freeze.
Use Your Dishwasher
It is a common misconception that hand washing your dishes conserves more water than running a dishwasher. However, it is actually the opposite. Running a full dishwasher uses half, or less, of the water and energy of washing the same dishes by hand.
Repair Leaky Faucets
This is especially important if you live in a drought-prone area! You can also cut back on unnecessary water use by installing water-saving toilets and shower heads, and only running the clothes and dishwasher with full loads.
Turn Off Your Computer
Your computer may go to sleep when it becomes inactive, but it still is using energy. Be sure to turn your computer and monitor off at the end of each day. While you’re at it, unplug any phone or laptop chargers when they aren’t being used.
Use Cloth Napkins
Cloth napkins are far more durable than paper ones and can save you money over the years. Opting for cloth napkins helps reduce your trash output, which means less energy is used transporting and processing your waste.
Switch to Chemical-Free Cleaning Supplies
Replace your heavy-duty cleaning supplies with plant-based products. Switching to green cleaners reduces air pollution, and minimizes exposure to chemicals that can be harmful to your health.
Plant More Trees
Planting trees in your backyard is not only great for the environment and aesthetically pleasing, but can also save you money if done strategically. Consider planting your trees on the south and west sides of your house, perhaps even shading your air-conditioning unit. This trick can help save money on your electric bill.
Did we miss your go-to green living tip? Please share your tips in the comments below!