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12 Ways you and your family can work to make your house and environmentally friendly home.
You’ll have heard a lot about the importance of creating an environmentally friendly home in recent years. While you would be forgiven for scratching your head about how you’re supposed to do this, there’s no need; it’s amazingly straightforward! And there’s more good news. Creating a home that runs with the wider world in mind isn’t just good for the planet; it’ll also be good for your bottom line. Yes, when you make the switch to an eco-friendly house, everyone wins – you, your family, and the birds and bees and everything else out there in nature. Below, we take a look at twelve simple ways you can greenify your house.
Switch it Off!
The first step in an environmentally friendly home is amazingly simple. Indeed, all it requires is a flick of the finger. Switch it off! If you’re leaving a room – and especially your house – then make sure no lights are kept on. It’s an energy sapper, one that causes the earth and your bank balance unnecessary harm. Though keep in mind that it’s not always necessary to turn off the lights. If you’re planning to return to that room within 5 minutes, then it’s best to keep the light on. It’ll use up more energy lighting itself up again than it would have if it were off.
Also, remember to really turn off your electrical items like your television, not just keep it in standby mode. Standby mode is good for turning on an item quickly but isn’t good when it comes to power usage.
Admittedly, it is sometimes enjoyable to take a long, hot shower, especially on those chilly winter mornings. However, it’s worth keeping in mind the wider implications of your indulgence in keeping an environmentally friendly home. It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that you’ll use much more water and energy if you take a fifteen-minute shower, rather than a three-minute shower. So do your best to get out of the mindset that a long shower is something that you need to have – you don’t! If you’re a family of five, just think of how much you’ll save when it comes to your bills.
And talking of bills, wouldn’t it be nice to take the guesswork out of how much they’ll be each month? By installing a smart meter in your home, you’ll be able to keep tabs on how much energy you’re using. If you see that the usage is creeping up faster than you like, you’ll know that you need to be more careful. Being able to see how much you’re using – and how much it’s going to cost you – really does help push you to be more conscious when it comes to your energy usage.
Keep Yourself Warm
If you’re cold, you’ll be tempted to turn up that thermostat. If you’re hot, you’ll be reaching for the AC remote. While these are natural impulses – at least in this day and age – they’re not always the best option in an environmentally friendly home. These are some of the biggest uses of energy we have in our homes! And they cost a lot, as we’re sure you already know.
Instead, look at alternative ways to keep your temperature agreeable. For starters, you’ll be well served by adding insulation to your home, if you haven’t already. During the summer, keep those windows open so cool air can circulate around your house. In the winter, it’s all about loading up your living areas with blankets and throws. When you cook, keep the oven door open when you’re finished – it’ll push that hot air out into your home.
Buy a Water Filter
Ah, water. So pure, so fresh, so delicious. Or at least that’s the idea. Sometimes, what we end up with is water that tastes stale – and that’s not good! So what we do is, we buy bottled water. This is good from the perspective of our bills, as it reduces water usage, but that’s about it. Bottled water has a markup of some 4000% (really!), so it’s not doing your wallet any favors. And it’s a disaster for the environment, too. For every litre of drinkable bottled water, six litres are used in the production and transport of the bottles. Thankfully, there’s an easy solution – buy a water filter. They’re affordable, and will get rid of that bad taste.
Look at your Tech
There is so much technology in our homes these days; they may as well buzz. Now, we all need to have technology – good luck keeping your food cold without a fridge, for example. But not all tech is created equally. Some are terrible for the planet, and some aren’t. It’s as simple as that! When it comes to replacing your heavy duty pieces of kit, make sure the item you’re thinking of purchasing is energy efficient.
What’s in the Kitchen?
You likely know by now that some foods are particularly damaging for the environment. Meat, for example, is terrible, especially if it’s from a factory farmed animal. The water that goes into one making just one hamburger is the same as is used in more than twenty-five showers. Yes, if you ate one hamburger and wanted to offset the water you’ve used, you’d need to skip showers for nearly a month. But let’s not do that. Why not keep your showers, and add some vegan options to your kitchen and environmentally friendly home? Falafel, black beans, lentils and the like can all be mixed into delicious recipes. You’ll be eating healthier, saving money, and protecting the planet and animals at the same time. Nice!
Keeping Things Clean
It’s natural that you want to live in a clean home. Who doesn’t?! And the good news is that you don’t have to give this up just because you want to be more environmentally friendly. It does, however, mean that you might have to give up some of the products that are currently in your cleaning cupboard. You might not have realized it, but many cleaning products are made with ingredients that are bad for the health of the planet, not to mention the health of your family. Instead, use products that are non-toxic, such as those available at CleanHappens.com. Your home will be cleaner than ever before, and the planet doesn’t have to suffer. Win-win!
You’re going to have certain items in your home. Tables, chairs, bed frames, and so on and so forth. But there’s no law that says all of these have to be brand new or bought from a large department store. There’s a growing movement of “upcycled goods,” which can be just as beautiful – if not more so – than new goods. The premise is simple. Someone has taken an old, beaten up item, given it a touch of TLC, and, brought it back to life. You can even do this yourself. Next time you’re looking for a table, see what’s available second-hand, give it a lick of chalk paint, and marvel at your creation.
Dry Things The Natural Way
You may be in the habit of taking things out of the washing machine and putting them straight into the dryer, but before you do that, take a look outside. Is the sun shining? If so, take your wet clothes outside and let them dry the natural way. If it’s an extra warm day, the clothes will dry faster than in the dryer anyway, and they’ll also have that delicious natural scent.
Set up a Recycling System
We’re all guilty of consuming more than we need. But what’s worse than that is what we buy and don’t use! Plastic wrapping, excess food, and the rest will all go to the landfill if we don’t do anything else with it. So let’s do something else with it. If you haven’t already, set up a recycling system in your environmentally friendly home. It takes a little bit of effort to get started, but it’ll all be second nature within a week or so.
Most cities nowadays have recycling curbside services. If yours doesn’t, just Google recycling services or centers in your town or area.
Start Your Own Veggie Garden
What better way to showcase your care for the environment than by enjoying all that it provides? Set up a veggie garden, and not only will you discover a deeper love for the natural world, but you’ll also be able to provide your family with fresh vegetables. What could be better than spending a day with your hands in the soil, taking care of growing plants, knowing that one day you’re going to be serving them on a plate to your friends and family?
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