Why should you bother with ways to have a greener home? Doing your bit for the environment doesn’t stop at recycling or buying organic, and it doesn’t just mean choosing toiletries free from chemicals. Being eco-friendly means adopting the principles in all aspects of your life. Whatever effort, no matter how small, you put into being environmentally friendly pays back into helping preserve our world. If we all do a little, that little magnifies by more than we can imagine. If you want to start doing your bit, or increasing your efforts, here are some ways to have a greener home.
1. Seal up Draught
Many of the ways to have a greener home are all about saving energy. One such way is to find places where draughts are coming from and seal them up. Draughts usually come from around doors and windows, and weather stripping and caulk is an easy DIY project to seal them up. You wouldn’t have to use as much heating in winter and air conditioning in summer and don’t forget, if you save energy then you also save money.
2. Change from Light Bulbs to Compact Fluorescent Bulbs
Your electricity bills will reduce by replacing incandescent bulbs with energy saving fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). It may surprise you but all you have to do is change five of the most used incandescent bulbs to save money on your bills.
3. Maintain Your HVAC System
It’s a good idea to have your HVAC (heating and cooling) system checked every two years and the filters should be cleaned every month and especially during a period of high usage. A heating and cooling system that isn’t maintained doesn’t work properly and uses more power.
4. Use Certified Energy Efficient Appliances
Certified appliances, like those that sport the Energy Star label, make your home greener because they are recognized as being more energy-efficient. The most energy efficient appliances do cost a little more than regular appliances but over time there is pay back with money saved on utilities bills.
5. Use Native Plants
Understanding and making the right choices in your garden is another of the ways to have a greener home. Using native plants that have perfectly adapted to local soil and weather means they don’t need special care e.g. fertiliser, pesticide and more water.
6. Plant Trees
And on the subject of gardens, by planting trees, you provide your home with shade so you don’t have to use air conditioning all the time. Trees are nature’s windbreakers and make your garden very pretty while protecting it.
7. Opt for Wood Alternatives or FSC-certified Wood
Environmentally friendly products are available for every room of your home. If you use renewable products in your home it’s so much better for the environment and your health. Examples are non-VOC carpeting, linoleum, recycled content tiles and bamboo. These products look so good they are used for key accents like flooring and cabinetry. Natural forests don’t have to be chopped down but if you really want to use wood then make sure it’s from sustainably managed forests with certification from an authority like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). You should also use locally sourced products to cut down on carbon emissions from transportation. Here’s a guide to some of the labels to look out for: lifestyle.allwomenstalk.com.
8. Healthy Paint
Conventional paint contains toxic metals, solvents and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that could cause poor air quality, smog and ozone pollution. Instead, opt for zero or low VOC paint that is becoming more widely available and easier to get.
9. Water is a Valuable Resource
Try to not to waste water by using only what is necessary both indoors and out. Using aerators at sink faucets and low flow showerheads would go a long way in saving water inside. You already know native plants in the garden save water and so would turf grass. A pool cover would prevent water evaporation and keep your water bill down. There’s lots of tips on how to save water here: lifestyle.allwomenstalk.com.
10. Change to Green Power
Changing over to green power is your choice. If you are prepared to pay a small premium on your utilities bill, you can opt for energy that comes from clean, sustainable sources. You might need to change your energy provider if your current one doesn’t offer the option.
11. Turn It down
The last of my ways to make your home greener is so, so simple. Everyone can do it, and even if you don’t care about the environment, I’m sure you care about saving money. So you may not be motivated to do your bit to save the planet but you’ll be helping anyway. This so simple way is to turn down your thermostat. Even just a few degrees will make such a difference. And on the same principle, turn down the thermostat on your water heater/boiler. Do you really need your tap water to be so hot you can’t put your hand in it? How many times and for how many applications do you use hot water straight from the tap without mixing it with cold to reduce the temperature? It makes sense to have hot water just a few degrees cooler – don’t you think?
So! Are you going to try some of these ways to have a greener home or are you already as green as green can be?