It’s important to take care of our planet, and one of the best ways to do that is to start practicing sustainable living at home. Today’s household devices and appliances can be some of the biggest energy hogs in your home, but they don’t have to be.
By making your home more eco-friendly, you’ll reduce your impact on the environment, save money on energy bills, and be better prepared for climate change down the road. If you want to make your home more eco-friendly but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading for five tips to get you started.
Go Meatless Once a Week
Meat production can be incredibly energy-intensive and inefficient on a global scale. Try going meatless one day per week. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll also save some cash. Plus, research shows that eating lower on the food chain has benefits, such as lowering the risk of heart disease and other health problems.
If that doesn’t motivate you, maybe guilt will—because while it may not seem like much at first glance, even small dietary changes can have significant impacts. According to studies, if everyone reduced their meat intake, we would prevent 82 million greenhouse gas emissions annually. And eating a burger once a week for a year is equivalent to not using your car for 320 miles.
Use Solar Lights
Solar lights are a cost-effective way to light up your home at night. They’re also eco-friendly, and they’ll save you money on your energy bill. If you have any trouble installing them yourself, there are plenty of companies that will take care of it for you—and since you can buy them pretty much anywhere, you won’t need to order anything from specialty websites or stores. Some homeowners even customize their solar lights by painting them bright colors.
If you’re worried about any extra costs, don’t be. Solar lights are low maintenance; all you need to do is put them in a sunny spot, and they’ll work for years without any hassle. They’re also easy to install: all you need is a screwdriver and 20 minutes. If you run into problems during installation, there are plenty of resources online that can help—and if anything breaks, your warranty can cover it.
Be Smart About Plugged Electronics
If you’re going to be using your electronics for an extended period, it’s better if you don’t plug them in. These appliances still use energy when plugged in even when turned off, but they use less than if they are unplugged. In addition, leaving items plugged in can cause a fire hazard or overuse of electricity which will rack up your electric bill and cause more pollution.
Unplugging appliances can save you money since many items draw electricity even when not turned on. It is especially true for cell phones and chargers—turn off your phone or put it on airplane mode before bed so that all its components get a chance to cool down before starting up again.
Buy Reusable Bags
Instead of using plastic grocery bags, invest in reusable shopping bags. You’ll find them in so many fun colors and patterns that you’ll have a hard time convincing yourself that buying one won’t add just a bit of happiness to your life. And when you bring them into stores, they will help keep thousands of bags out of landfills every year.
The more we use these bags instead of disposables, the more big companies will realize there is less money in throwaway products; eventually, it’s possible to have no more plastic bag options at all. If you have kids who are old enough to carry their stuff from store to car and home again, try replacing their plastic baggies with mesh lunchboxes that can also double as toy storage. The same goes for older siblings or relatives who carry their belongings everywhere.
Replace Appliances That Don’t Use Renewable Energy
A big step in making your home more eco-friendly is ensuring all of your appliances are up to par. For example, replace any old dishwashers with new models that use less water and operate at a lower temperature. Also, look into switching any large appliances that don’t run on renewable energy, such as using natural gas or solar power, for small energy-saving devices that can help you lower your carbon footprint.
If you have heating systems like a furnace, check into newer models that are highly efficient and save money on your energy bill and lower your carbon footprint. Consider paying for the services of furnace replacement experts and licensed technicians to be more eco-friendly and save money, too. Also, look into installing insulation in all areas of your home and replacing doors or windows with those that are more energy efficient.
The first step in creating a greener home is understanding your impact on our planet. By starting with one small change, you’ll begin to reduce your carbon footprint. From there, take it one step at a time, and you’ll be living in an eco-friendly environment before you know it.