When you think of an eco-friendly home, you may not be picturing a house with state of the art technology and finishes, but a lot of the time, that’s what an eco-friendly home looks like. If you’re looking for some upgrades to your home that will help not only the environment but also your wallet, below are some ideas to get you started.
Check On Your HVAC System
One component of your home that you may not consider when thinking of eco-friendliness is your HVAC system. However, issues with your system can mean that you’re using significantly more energy than you need to. For example, if one part of your AC system isn’t working correctly, that means the rest of the system has to overwork to make that your home is at the right temperature setting. This means a lower energy efficiency as well as subpar performance, so make sure to get your HVAC checked out after the first sign that something isn’t working correctly.
You should also make sure that the systems you have installed are the right ones for your home’s size. For example, a 500 CFM fan system can use a normal household’s power supply, but the same isn’t necessarily true for every system. Make sure you’re not using too large or too small of a unit — too large of a unit can waste energy since it is meant for a larger space, and too small of a unit will need to overwork to meet your temperature needs.
Install LED Lightbulbs
Probably the easiest eco-friendly upgrades you can make to your home is to switch the lightbulbs from fluorescent to LED. Not only do LED lightbulbs use less energy on a daily basis, but they also last significantly longer than traditional bulbs. This means that you are both saving energy and reducing the amount of waste you create.
There are LED lightbulbs out there that can fit any bulb size or shape and the lights come in different warmth tones and colors. There are even color-changing LED lightbulbs that you can use to have fun in your space for special occasions.
Composting sounds inconvenient at first — who would want to have a smelly pile of decomposing garbage in their backyard — but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the room in your backyard to have a compost pile where it won’t disturb you or your neighbors, that’s always a great option. On the other hand, there are other options out there for composting, such as using a composting tumbler. A composting tumbler has a door that you can open to deposit in your compostable scraps and it makes it much easier to mix and turn your compost since they usually have a lever to help tumble the contents.
Use Cloth Napkins
Using cloth napkins instead of paper ones can help you create significantly less waste over time. Cloth napkins can be washed and reused, which presents many advantages, such as the fact that they are better decor than paper napkins. This switch not only looks better in your home, but it also creates less waste, making it a great swap.
Go Second Hand
Whenever it’s possible, go second hand for any home goods or furniture that you want to buy. Thrift stores and vintage stores will often have beautiful, if slightly damaged or outdated, furniture for lower prices than new furniture. Many pieces can be updated or upgraded in small ways to make them perfect for your home, such as getting a new coat of paint or a new fabric. This not only lowers the price of buying new (to you) furniture, it also makes it so that
Use Power Strips (and Turn Them Off)
Power strips are a great way to reduce your energy consumption. All you have to do is use them for all of your plugs and then switch the power strips off when you are done using whatever it is that is plugged into the strip. This can help for things like TVs and computers, which passively use energy when they’re plugged in, even if they aren’t turned on and being used.
Go Low Flow
If your toilet and showerhead aren’t currently low flow, you’re likely using much more water than is actually necessary. Toilets waste a lot of water per flush, and going low flow helps reduce the amount of wasted water. If you’re worried about clogging your toilet because it is low flow, know that there are options that have two buttons for the amount of water used in a flush to help prevent that from happening.
A low flow showerhead can significantly reduce the amount of water that you use during your shower. This means that if you feel guilty about the twenty-minute showers that you just can’t give up, there’s no need.
Plant Your Own Vegetable Garden
One way to live a greener life is to make sure that you’re eating local produce, and there is nothing more local than your backyard. When large agricultural farms are producing crops, they have to worry about 30,000 species of weeds as well as 3,000 species of nematodes and 10,000 species of insects that eat plants. This means that they have to use certain fertilizers and chemical compounds that may not be good for the environment. However, when you grow on your own land, you can keep things organic and not use those potentially environmentally harmful compounds.
Making your home more eco-friendly can mean small switches to things you use every day, like LED lightbulbs or turning off power strips. These small changes equate to a lot of energy saved over time, which means that you’re helping the environment without having to put in too much effort. Adding these changes to your home can also inspire change in others around you, which will mean even more eco-friendly practices that come with time.
How do you make your home more eco-friendly? What are your favorite sustainable practices? Are you planning on making your home more sustainable in the future? Let us know in the comments below!