From solar panels to green-lifestyle dating sites (yes, those are a thing!), it is hard to miss the emergence of new products/lifestyle options that take eco-friendly living to a whole new level!
While it is inspiring to see more Californians opting for a less harmful existence, many still view taking on a greener lifestyle as a daunting and expensive endeavor! We have devoted this week’s blog post to putting together a list of simple, cost-effective, and in a few cases, fun tips to help make your home more eco-friendly. You do not have to implement all the suggestions below, but try to pick one that seems feasible and go for it!
Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. – Carl Sagan
Upgrade Your Insulation & Windows
Adding insulation to prevent leaky walls, windows, doors and duct can reduce your home’s energy usage up to 20 or 30 percent. If totally updating your insulation is too expensive for your fall budget, consider trying out thermal shades. These shades are made not only to block the sun in the summer, but also to retain heat in the winter! Energy-efficient windows also help to better insulate your home. Check out this article by House Logic to learn more about the importance of efficient windows and to find the best models for the most reasonable prices.
Opt for Fragrance-Free Products
Conventional fragrances often contain chemicals that may be harmful to the ecosystem when washed down the drain. If you like your soaps, cleaning products, or cosmetics to smell good (we certainly do!) read the labels to find ones that are made with essential oils. Real Simple offers a huge selection of all-natural cleaning solutions! This helpful blog post also provides a list (and reviews!) of the best eco-friendly cleaning products for your home.
Low-Flow Your Bathroom
Flushing toilets accounts for 30% of indoor water use! An average family can reduce water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent and save $$ in water costs by replacing old toilets with newer WaterSense labeled models. While you are in the bathroom, go ahead and install a low-flow shower head as well. Also, regularly check your toilets and faucets for leaks.
Replace Your Lightbulbs
Save up to 66% of energy by replacing all of your incandescent lightbulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs! Beyond saving energy, CFLs also last up to 6 times as long as incandescent bulbs. (Saving money and time!) Also, turn off the lights when you leave a room.. or consider installing automatic timers in your forgetful teen’s room!
Cool Down Your Clothes.
According to Huffington Post a huge amount of energy goes into heating water to wash your clothes. Try selecting the “cold water cycle” on your washing machine next time you throw in a load! Also, always make sure you are washing a full load every time. Running a full cycle for just a few towels or a pair of pants uses a substantial amount of water!
Grow An Indoor Garden
Living plants such as the Gerbera Daisy can act as natural air filters and help to improve indoor air quality. Check out this full list of 15 houseplants that not only brighten up a room, but help to absorb harmful pollutants throughout your home!
Create a Recycling or Compost Station
Nearly half of the trash that a home produces is made up of food scraps. Rather than sending these scraps to the dumb, why not get a compost bin at your house and use those scraps to make fertilizer for your garden?! Get creative and build your own…(or check out these top-selling Amazon options!)
We are working to implement these changes in our own homes, so we are open to any tips or suggestions our readers have!