Having an eco-friendly home means owning a home that’s not harmful to the environment. This way of life is becoming common as countries push to lower their carbon footprint to prevent global warming. There are a couple of ways to make sustainable changes at home to reduce your negative effect on the environment.
However, on its face, making your home eco-friendly may sound expensive and tiresome. Fortunately, creating an eco-friendly home isn’t out of reach, and when you do it, you actually save cash by lowering your electricity and water bills. Therefore, if your home isn’t eco-friendly, it’s time to make some changes. It’s for this reason that this article will discuss several easy ways on how to have an eco friendly home and lead a better life in general.
Be Smart in The Kitchen
The first way on how to have an eco friendly home is by being smart in the kitchen. Most people use their ovens to make toast. However, an oven consumes much electricity to heat up and toast your bread. The better option is to buy a toaster and make toast quicker. Also, if you love to make fried chicken at home, don’t use a deep fryer. Instead, invest in an air-fryer; it will cook your chicken faster and requires a fraction of the oil, which is healthier.
Biodegradable Household Products
The second way on how to have an eco friendly home is by using bio-degradable products. While you can’t control whether or not the plastics that come with household products are recycled, you can buy products made of biodegradable material to limit the effects. This means they won’t do any damage if they come into contact with nature. Some of the biodegradable products you can get include toilet paper made of recycled paper, aloe vera shampoo, etc.
Buy Recycled Furniture
The third way on how to have an eco friendly home is by buying recycled furniture. There is no need to go to a big furniture store like IKEA to get the latest and newest pieces. Instead, you should buy furniture made from recycled wood. Note that you’re still getting brand-new furniture pieces, albeit made from recycled wood, metal, etc. You can also look to auction sites and/or yards to buy used furniture. Some of these items are still in good condition; some sanding here and there and a fresh coat of paint will make them look brand-new.
The fourth way on how to have an eco friendly home is to practice climate-appropriate landscaping. When looking for plants and trees to line your asphalt driveway and yard, ensure they suit your climate. Most people want plush flowers and trees, but they don’t perform well in all climates. For instance, if you’re area is dry, you’ll need a lot of water to keep them looking good, so ensure you only get plants that suit your climate.
Get A Compost Bin
The fifth way on how to have an eco friendly home is by getting a compost bin. A compost bin helps you discard leftovers and provides fertilizer for your plants. If you’re worried about odor from the compost, nowadays, you can find compost bins designed to be odor-free. You can plant an herb garden if you don’t have anywhere to take the fertilizer. An herb garden doesn’t require a lot of space; even if you don’t have somewhere to plant herbs, you can plant them in pots. The good thing is you save cash because you always have herbs to cook with.
Install Solar Panels
The sixth way on how to have an eco friendly home is by installing solar panels. Solar panels have photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into DC energy which you can use in your home. You can install solar panels on your roofing independently or hire roofing contractors that install solar. The benefit of hiring a roofer is they know where to position your solar panels so that they’re facing toward the sun.
In addition, hiring roofers saves you the hassle of climbing on your roof, which can be dangerous. After installation, you can hook the solar panels to batteries for energy storage. If you produce more energy than you need, you can sell it to your utility company and generate some cash. Also, you won’t need home generators when there is a power outage.
Insulate Your Home
The seventh way on how to have an eco friendly home is by insulating your home. A well-insulated home retains heat in colder months and expels it in hotter months. As a result, you need less energy to reheat your home. If your home is a bit old, the walls have cavities, so get them insulated, particularly if you’re considering getting a heat pump. Insulation is available in many forms, like fiber and polystyrene foam.
Invest in Double or Triple Glazed Windows
The eighth way on how to have an eco friendly home is by investing in double or triple-glazed windows. A double-glazed window comprises two sheets of glass with a gap between them. On the other hand, triple-glazed windows comprise three sheets of glass with two gaps between them. The holes are filled with argon gas and sealed; the gas prevents heat loss because it doesn’t conduct heat keeping your home warm during cold days.
In addition, investing in double or triple-glazed windows boosts security and reduces the amount of external noise that travels into your home. Therefore, you can shop for double or triple-glazed windows online and look for a window and door installation company to learn about the amount of cash you need to upgrade your windows.
Invest in LED Lighting
The ninth way on how to have an eco friendly home is by investing in LED lighting. Although LED lights have been around for a couple of decades now, it’s only in the last few years that people have really warmed up to them because of their energy efficiency. In the past, people have complained that LED lighting doesn’t emit enough light compared to halogens and incandescent bulbs, so they don’t light indoor areas well.
However, improvements in LED technology have made LED lights better. Not only do LED lights consume less power than halogens and incandescent bulbs, but they also last longer. According to LED light manufacturer; Phillips, LED lights have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, or 12 times more than traditional bulbs. To improve LED lights efficiency, manufacturers are now making smart LED lights that can be dimmed and set to light up at specific times.
Service Your Boiler Regularly
The tenth way on how to have an eco friendly home is by servicing your boiler regularly. Although the latest boilers are more energy efficient than their older counterparts, they still need to be serviced often to keep them functioning optimally. You can service your boiler on your own, but hiring an AC company is best because they have the tools and experience necessary to do the job well. Boilers are also risky to handle, so you should let the pros handle such tasks. If you have an outdated boiler, ensure you upgrade to the latest ones.
Sun Dry Your Clothes in The Summer
To make your home eco-friendlier, try sun drying your clothes during hot months. When you sun dry your clothes instead of using a dryer, you save cash on power bills because dryers consume a lot of electricity. What’s more, sun drying helps aerate your clothes and ensures your bedding and clothes last longer. If you don’t have a lawn at the back of your home, you can buy a drying rack and place it on your balcony to allow your clothes to dry. Also, note that using your dryer constantly can break it; give it a rest sometimes.
Swap Your Old Boiler for A Heat Pump
Consider swapping your old boiler for a heat pump. According to energy.gov, heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to air conditioners and boilers. Heat pumps draw heat from the air and transfer it into your home during cold months. On the other hand, they draw heat from inside your home and transfer it outdoors during summer. What’s more, investing in a heat pump means that you no longer need gas or oil in your home to power your air-con. Therefore, go ahead and call a heating service to get a heat pump in your home.
Swap Your Old Thermostat for A Smart One
One of the easiest eco-friendly solutions for homes is a smart thermostat. These WiFi-ready gadgets can be controlled from any smart device, including smartphones, tablets, TVs, speakers, etc. They can be linked to all types of air conditioning systems and/or boilers. Smart thermostats also remember your home’s heating patterns; they can tell when it’s hot and send commands to your HVAC system to cool your home.
In addition, they can’t tell when you leave the house and switch off your HVAC system. Energy savings from smart thermostats aren’t a gimmick; they’re backed by facts. According to data from Google Nest, a smart thermostat manufacturer, homes in the United States save roughly 17% on energy use compared to homes with traditional thermostats.
Swap Your Rainfall Shower Heads for Low-Flow Shower Heads
With regard to showers, there is a belief that you save water compared to having a bath in the tub. While this may be true, you should spend less than 30 minutes showering and have a low-flow shower head. This isn’t the case in most homes because people love their rainfall shower heads. Water is evenly distributed as if it’s coming from the clouds, but this comes at a cost to your power and water bill. If you can, consider changing to a low-flow shower head.
Upgrade to Serviceable Appliances
According to earth911.com, the United States produces close to seven million tonnes of waste annually. But new regulations from the federal government mean that servicing a faulty appliance is easier because manufacturers have been mandated to make spare parts. This isn’t typically possible with older appliances; therefore, the next time you need an HVAC installation, ensure you get a serviceable unit for the foreseeable future. Also, ensure the unit is energy efficient; energy efficiency ratings run from A to G, with ‘A’ being the best.
Use Eco-Cleaning Products
Most mainstream cleaning products contain detergents, foaming agents, and stabilizers made from very toxic chemicals. When these chemicals wash up into water bodies such as oceans, they pollute the water, which can destroy entire ecosystems. Therefore, you should switch to cleaning products made from non-synthetic chemicals.
You can find eco-cleaning products on supermarket shelves; just spend a couple of minutes confirming the ingredient list. In addition, you can make your own eco-cleaning products at home. For instance, mix baking soda, lemon extract, and white vinegar to create stain remover. Also, you can use machines such as steam cleaners to disinfect surfaces and kill germs as opposed to using cleaning products containing harsh chemicals.
Wash Your Clothes with Cold Water
According to energystar.gov, roughly 90% of the energy consumed by washing machines can be attributed to heating water. You can save on energy by washing your clothes with cold water. As a result, you lower your carbon footprint and guarantee your clothes last longer since hot water isn’t friendly to the fabric and fibers in your clothes and bedding.
There is no point in using the in-built water heater in your washing machine unless your clothes have stubborn stains like oil or pigments. Even if you feel that the cold water isn’t adequately cleaning your clothes, try switching to warm water instead of hot water. At the end of the day, the aim is to improve your energy efficiency, so do what you can.
In conclusion, that’s how to have an eco-friendly home without changing too many things. You can adopt some or all of the recommendations above, and you should notice changes in your electricity bill as well as reduce your carbon footprint.