While we all want to do our part to save the planet, some changes require more expense and effort than the average homeowner is willing to commit. Contrary to what you may think, you don’t have to make major changes in your home in order to green-up. Every little change you make will add up over time. Start with the mantra we’ve all heard: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Beyond that, here are a few more ideas that won’t cost you much. Some will even save you money.
Update your old appliances. Recent technological advancements have made today’s appliances (particularly refrigerators) more energy efficient than those made just ten years ago. Replacing your old dinosaur appliances may require an initial investment, but you will save energy as well as money on your electric bill.
Control the temperature. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. Help your heating and cooling system by using the windows in your house that get direct sunlight. Close shades or blinds in the summer to keep your cool, or let the light in during the winter to warm up. Another helpful tip for summertime is to avoid using appliances that generate heat (such as dishwashers and clothes dryers) until cooler, evening hours.
Stop air leaks. Drafty windows and doors can drain energy. You can conduct your own energy audit to find places in your home where air can leak through. Just check online to find a how-to guide. You can fix leaks by sealing windows, replacing weather stripping around doors, and insulating your garage door. Do-it-yourself insulation kit can be found at major home improvement stores, complete with instructions.
Reduce water use. A leaky faucet can waste an extra 100 gallons of water per day. Check all of your faucets and toilets for leaks and get them fixed. Better yet, replace your regular toilet with a low flow toilet. Low flow toilets get the job done just as well as your old toilet, and save approximately two gallons of water per flush.
Use natural cleaning products. Some common, commercially sold cleaning products are not only toxic to our environment, but also to our health. Some cleaners contain chemicals that are known to cause a wide range of health problems. The good news is that you can get your home squeaky clean without any of these harmful chemicals. It’s cheap, easy and simple to make your own cleaners at home. All you need are ordinary household items such as soap, baking soda, sodium carbonate, vinegar, and lemon juice. A little elbow grease won’t hurt either.
You don’t have to make a huge investment in order to preserve the planet for our future and the future of our children. Every step we take toward energy and water conservation is a step toward saving our planet. Get started today and make a difference in the world by trying a few of these tips.
Image Source: CNBC