If you are thinking of making your home more eco-friendly, you’re not alone. Going green and taking responsibility for your carbon footprint on the planet has become a hot trend for modern families.
The average family uses a lot of energy in their day-to-day lives. It’s not difficult to make a few simple lifestyle changes that will save you money and conserve energy.
Living a less wasteful lifestyle is good for your family, and it’s easier than you might think. Here are 7 tips for going green and making your home eco-friendly.
1. Use Less Paper
Think about all the paper we use on a day-to-day basis. We use paper in our homes, schools, and businesses daily.
And much of this paper ends up as trash and tossed into landfills. Certainly, we need paper for many situations, but just consider how much is wasted.
In today’s digital age, we should try to avoid using paper when it’s not necessary. And the paper we do use shouldn’t end up in landfills.
It should be recycled instead. It’s amazing to consider that 40% of solid waste in landfills is comprised of paper products.
Making simple changes like using fewer paper towels can make a difference. Teaching our children to use less paper is an easy way to show them they can help protect the planet too.
2. Using Canvas Bags
How many plastic bags do you use on a weekly basis? If you’re like most people, the answer is too many.
Many stores now offer canvas or cloth bags as an alternative to plastic bags. They may cost a little bit, but they can be reused.
Canvas bags are sturdier than plastic and they’re great for carrying groceries, but they can be useful in other ways too. They can be used to store items or as a tote bag on a trip.
Consider gifting them as well. You might inspire others to use fewer plastic bags too.
When you do use plastic bags, consider using them more than once rather than just tossing them in the trash.
Using canvas bags rather than plastic is a simple change you can make when you’re going green.
3. Buy Energy Saving Light Bulbs
It’s not necessary to replace all your light bulbs at the same time. But as your light bulbs go out, consider replacing them with eco-friendly bulbs.
Bulbs with compact fluorescent light or CFL last five times longer and use less electricity than ordinary incandescent light bulbs.
CFL bulbs do cost more than standard bulbs, but you actually save money because they last so much longer and will help lower your electric bills.
These energy saving bulbs now come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are options beyond the curly shape you may have seen.
Incandescent bulbs will soon be obsolete. Be sure to teach your kids about CFLs and remind them to turn off the lights when they leave a room.
4. Conserve Water
For most families, water is a major energy consumer. Think about all the loads of laundry and showers taking place in your home.
Anything that requires heated water consumes energy. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can save water.
Encouraging family members to take shorter showers can save water and energy dollars. Consider installing a water-saving nozzle on your faucets and showerheads.
You can turn the water off when you brush your teeth. This is an easy way to teach children about the importance of saving water.
Using cold water for washing clothes and hanging clothes or drying them on a rack will reduce your energy use as well.
Going green isn’t difficult. It’s the little changes that make a big difference.
5. Add Plants to your Home
Adding a variety of plants to your home will improve the indoor air quality. Houseplants help filter the air and remove toxins.
This is a way to add a little decor while improving the quality of the air your family breathes. Common plants like Chinese evergreen, English ivy, and bamboo are good choices for enhancing the air quality of your home.
If you have a small home or apartment, consider decorative hanging baskets or a tiered plant stand that will hold a few plants. Adding a few plants is an easy and beautiful way to go green.
6. Borrow Don’t Buy
When you just have to have something, think twice before running off to the store or mall for a new purchase. Most of us have a tendency to spend too much and buy products we don’t really need.
If possible, consider borrowing or renting items instead of buying something new. Many times, we buy new books or movie that we read or watch only once.
Instead, consider renting or borrowing them. Or buy pre-owned items and help keep those things out of the landfill.
Of course, this isn’t always possible. But whenever you can, consider these options. Shopping at consignment or thrift shops can save you a lot of money, and you might be surprised at the quality of items and clothing available.
7. Buy Local
Consider buying local goods whenever you can. Believe it or not, your eating and grocery buying habits affect energy consumption too.
For many stores, especially larger chain grocery stores, food is transported long distances before it ends up on the shelves. More and more, stores are beginning to see the value of local products and produce from local farms.
Take a minute and look at the labels of the food you purchase. Buy local products whenever possible.
Buying in bulk is also a good idea too. It can save you money, and there’s less packaging involved. So there’s less to throw away.
Try your local farmer’s market or co-op for fresh produce. And don’t forget your cloth shopping bag for bringing home your items.
Going Green Is the Way to Go!
Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult, or time-consuming. It’s the little things you do each day that add up to a greener lifestyle for you and your family.
These tips are only a few of the many ways you can do your part to take care of the planet. And you can feel good knowing the choices you make really make a difference.
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