We are more aware today than ever how important it is to reduce our carbon footprint, conserve energy, and reduce waste to keep our planet clean. There are many ways we can do that, from reducing the number of plastic straws we use to driving electric vehicles. Whether you’re up for an expensive project or just want to make small changes, you have the ability to change the course of history for the better in your daily life. The best way to start is to make changes around your home. Here are a few of the best and simplest ways to make your home eco-friendly.
The obvious way that many think about to make their homes eco-friendly is to install solar panels. This is a completely clean way to produce electricity for your home. Many homes are popping up already outfitted with solar panels due to their growing popularity during this “green” movement. You can see them everywhere from rural farmhouses for sale in the Midwest, all the way to modern homes in large cities, such as in the New York City, San Francisco, and Baltimore real estate markets. Because they can be costly, solar panels require a lot of cash upfront, but the investment starts paying for itself after about two decades and can increase the value of your home, should you ever decide to put it on the market. While this may seem like a long time to wait, you’ll be thanking yourself in twenty years, and your grandchildren will be thanking you too.
Ditch non-reusable products
It is important to recycle your paper and plastic products, but removing them entirely from your home is even better. While it may seem like a big leap to use things such as reusable diapers, it is a lot easier to start small and implement changes such as banning water bottles in your home. Purchase a six-pack of reusable glass or metal water bottles (or plastic, if you must – it’s better than throwing away water bottles!) and keep them filled in the fridge instead of buying a case of water every week. Stop buying paper plates, even though it seems convenient for when you want to do the dishes. The little bit of water you’ll use to clean them will be much less wasteful than the piles of waste you’d be creating.
Cut out coffee pods
Keurig owners might be disappointed in how much waste their coffee pods create daily, but for those who love the convenience of their single-cup brewer, you can purchase reusable coffee pods for just a few dollars that can be filled with your favorite coffee and last for quite a long time. The coffee will be fresher, and the only inconvenience will be rinsing out the cup for your next use.
Be smart with appliances
There are many ways to reduce energy usage in your home by changing the way you use your appliances. Use the microwave to cook whenever possible, as opposed to the oven, which uses twice as much energy. Only run the dishwasher with a full load to decrease water usage. The next time you need to purchase a new appliance, such as a washing machine, invest in one that is eco-friendly and uses less water, energy, or other resources to run.
It may not be something many people consider, but small leaks can be a source of wasted water. Check your faucets, shower, and especially toilets for leaks to conserve as much water as possible. Shower whenever possible (unless you take hour-long showers) instead of bathing to conserve water, and, in the words of Barney, “never let the water run” when brushing your teeth.
Green beauty products
We all know how bad aerosol is for the environment, so why are you still using that Aqua Net? Toss your aerosol products and replace with more eco-friendly options to keep the o-zone intact. You should also purchase organic products that are sustainably sourced and use eco-friendly packaging, such as Lush.