Being kinder to the environment and more eco-friendly on a daily basis is something we are becoming more and more aware of, which is a good thing. If we want our planet to be healthier (and, in turn, the people who live on it) then we need to care for it better, and that means looking at our current lifestyles and working out how to change them to be more eco-friendly. Your home is a prime example of how you can make small changes that result in big differences to the planet. Here are some easy ways to be more eco-friendly in your own home every day.
Think of the word ‘sustainability’ and what comes to mind? It is likely to have something to do with energy production and consumption. However, there is more to it than that, and water usage falls within the category of sustainability as well. Being completely eco-friendly around the home means taking every opportunity to help, so saving water is a great idea. If there are any leaks coming from faucets or outlets within your home, get them fixed quickly. It’s probably only a small job, and it won’t cost a lot to get an expert in to do it if you aren’t confident to try it yourself, but you’ll be amazed at the amount of water you can save in this way.
It is also important to be aware of how much water you are using regularly. When you brush your teeth or shave, for example, don’t leave the faucet running as you are wasting gallons of water – only turn it on when you actually need it. If you’re worried about how much water you might use when having a shower, you can even install low-flow showerheads.
The infographic at the end of this article shows additional ways you can save water.
Know What You’re Using
Installing a special meter that will give you a better idea of how much energy you are using in your heating is a way that you can keep on top of your energy use and work out ways to reduce it. Even if you can’t install such a meter, being totally aware of when you are using energy is important. If it helps, you can note it down on a spreadsheet or even a simple piece of paper. If you’re using energy you don’t need because you forget to switch your heating off when you leave the house, or leave lights on in rooms that are empty, for example, then you are not only wasting that energy and hurting the planet, but you are wasting money as well.
Being conscious of every switch you flick on and every radiator you are using will make you appreciate your energy much more, and help massively in the long term too.
It might be that you can see you’re using energy, but you don’t know what the problem is or where that energy is going. If that is the case, check your home thoroughly. Your heat, for example, can escape through gaps in windows, inefficient insulation, or a damaged roof. Once you spot the issue you can get it repaired as soon as possible, and you can read more about the problems that can happen with roofs here. The sooner you have a contractor in to solve the problem, the sooner you can stop wasting so much energy and money. Your home will feel much more comfortable too as it will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
If you’ve been in a hardware store or grocery store recently you may have noticed how many different types of light bulbs there are to choose from. To make the decision easier, you should always choose energy efficient bulbs. These are not new to the market and have actually been around for a long time, but their benefits have only recently been made public. Energy efficient light bulbs use much less electricity and they last longer than regular bulbs too. Even if you find that they are more expensive to buy in the first instance, they will pay for themselves over time.
Use Solar Panels
If you truly want your home to be more eco-friendly then installing solar panels on the roof is a wonderful way to do it. Solar panels convert the sun’s heat into energy for your home, providing you with completely ‘clean’ electricity. In some cases, you can even sell the excess energy back to the suppliers and make some money on the deal. This won’t always be possible though, so make sure you thoroughly check things out before you sign anything. It’s true that solar panels are seen as a long-term investment, but this is not about the money (or at least it shouldn’t be). It’s about being much more eco-friendly in as many ways as possible.
Use Natural Cleaning Products
You will want to have a clean house, but that doesn’t mean you have to use cleaning products that are full of harsh chemicals. In the past it would have been difficult to find products that would do a good job and be environmentally friendly, but today it is much easier, and you’re likely to be able to find them in the standard cleaning products’ grocery aisle. Using these can make a big difference. If you prefer you can even make your own cleaning products using online ‘recipes.’ These work brilliantly and won’t harm the environment at all.
Buy Recycled Goods
Buying recycled goods can also be a big step towards being more eco-friendly. Many different household items come in recycled forms including toilet paper and tissues amongst other things. When grocery shopping take the time to look at the labels and try to be recycled before you buy anything brand new.
Talk To An Expert
If you’re confused about all the options and ideas open to you, then it’s best to get in touch with an expert on sustainability and speak to them about what you can do. They will be able to come to your home and make suggestions about the best ways to be more energy efficient and save money at the same time. Once you have their report, you can make more confident decisions about how to take the next important steps.