by Zoe Hawkins
So you bring your own shopping bags to go grocery shopping and you've ditched the plastic straws. Now it's time to look at things you can do at home. From big changes to small, there are plenty of ways to make your house environmentally friendly. These are our top five strategies for going green at home.
Get Serious About Water Usage
There are plenty of reasons to get serious about your water wastage. In fact, wasting water is even worse for the environment than you might imagine. Not only is water a limited resource but all the work towards cleaning and filtering it so that it's safe to drink means that wasting it can increase your carbon footprint.
- One of the first ways you can start cutting down your water wastage is by eliminating all leaks. A dripping tap or toilet that always runs can waste a ton of water. In fact, a toilet that's running wastes 4320 gallons per day, with a dripping faucet resulting in 5 gallons per day of wasted water. As a result, fixing your leaks could also end up saving you money on your water bill!
- Already eradicated all leaks in your home? Make sure to follow water saving habits. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth to save up to 200 gallons of water per month. Switch from baths to showers where possible, and keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of running the tap to get cold water in your glass.
- Want to take your water saving to the next level? Look at investing in a gray water solution. Not only will you save on your water bill, you'll stop using fresh water to flush your toilet, making each flush more eco-minded.
One of the best ways to make your house environmentally friendly is to ensure you use as little energy as possible heating or cooling your home. That's why investing in insulation is vital. Depending on where you live and the type of home you're in, there are plenty of places that can and should be insulated, including your walls and roof.
If you don't already have double glazing on your windows, that can be an excellent option. Simply feel around your windows. If it's hotter or colder than the rest of your home, your windows might need some extra insulation to cut down on temperature control costs. You may also want to consider your flooring solutions. Area rugs are cost-effective way to insulate your home while still looking stylish. Similarly, reducing carpeting and opting for tiles or hard-wood could save you in warmer climates.
Saving energy isn't just good for the environment, it's also good for your budget. Lowering your electricity demand means that your monthly bill can come down, while you also drastically cut your carbon footprint. Here are a range of tips for how to make your house green friendly with lower energy usage:
- Change your light bulbs. Not only do newer, energy-efficient bulbs reduce your electricity usage they also last up to 10 times longer! Simply changing your bulbs can have a noticeable impact on your electrical bill. Just pay attention to the light hue so that your home still looks the way you'd like; energy-efficient bulbs come in a range of cool to warm tones.
- Be aware of the outside. Open blinds or curtains to let in light and warmth. Alternatively, keep curtains closed to keep the heat out during the hotter months.
- Turn off the lights! You probably remember your mom yelling this instruction at you, and with good reason. Simply turning off the lights when you're not in the room can vastly reduce your electricity usage.
- Use a power strip. When not in use, you should strive to totally turn off appliances. Just being in standby can use 106kWh per for a TV – that's when it's NOT turned on! Turning off the TV, consoles and other devices is a lot easier if they're plugged in with a power strip that you can switch on and off.
- Take shorter showers. Why is this tip here and not done with the water saving? Well, making water hot enough for your shower is expensive. Just by cutting your shower time by a minute, you could save money and electricity!
- Keep an eye on the thermostat. Simply setting your thermostat two degrees cooler in the winter could save 5% on your heating bill. The same goes for summer cooling costs – try to keep your home two degrees warmer than usual in the summer and you'll see your air conditioning costs go down, along with your carbon footprint.
Change your cleaning products
Here you are, looking for ways to make your house environmentally friendly, and you probably haven't even considered all the chemicals under your sink. Not only are you filling your home with potentially harmful chemicals, but you're supporting an industry that is definitely NOT green friendly.
Of course, when you're looking at how to make your house green friendly, you still want it to be clean! Not to worry, there are plenty of cheap ways to clean your home that are much more environmentally friendly. In fact, vinegar is great for cleaning counter tops and bathrooms, windows and mirrors. You can even mix it with baking soda to make a paste that will dissolve set-in stains.
Opt for Eco-conscious Products
When it comes to being Eco-conscious, one of the most important things can be opting for products that abide by the idea of reduce, reuse, recycle in the first place. You're already trying to reduce your water and electricity wastage in your home, don't you want to use products that are designed with sustainability in mind?
One way you can do this is by choosing reclaimed furniture. These are often other objects like doors, railway sleepers and other lumber combined with metal off cuts or industrial items, merged to create unique tables, chairs, desks and more.
When choosing new products, opt for those constructed of materials that keep environmental sustainability in mind.
For example, the EcoSleep Hybrid mattress offers two eco-friendly sleep systems which combine to make sure you'll never sleep better. The 100 percent natural latex foam layers are paired with recyclable, individually encased coils for comfort and support. The mattress cover itself is constructed with sustainably sourced Joma™ Wool and organic cotton. This means that you can rest with peace of mind, knowing your mattress isn't contributing to toxic chemicals in your home or the world—and knowing that it can be safely recycled in years to come.
When it comes to making your house “green” friendly, there are plenty of environmentally-friendly approaches that will work with your lifestyle. We suggest you start tonight by turning off those lights and resting easy on your eco-friendly mattress ;)