Five Tips for Greening Your Home: Simple Ways to Create an Environmentally Friendly Home
Everyone wants to be greener but not everyone knows how. Several easy changes exist that everyone can do to become a little bit more environmentally friendly. All it takes is a little time, a bit of thought, and implementing an attitude for change.
#1 Change Out Your Incandescent Light Bulb for a Compact Florescent Light Bulb (CFL)
This 20 second solution of screwing in a new light bulb will not only reduce your carbon footprint but will also save you almost $30 in energy bills throughout the year.
CFL’s last 10 times longer use less than 75% of the energy, without sacrificing any light. If every home switched out just one bulb for a CFL, it would be equivalent of 800,000 vehicle emissions off the road.
#2 Recycling Big and Small Items
It’s good for the bottle and its good for the can, but recycling goes deeper than paper, plastics, and glass. Steel, styrofoam, aluminum foil, and wood can all be recycled.
When recycling plastics just look for the recycle symbol on the back of the packaging.
Most people don’t realize that electronic waste (E-waste) such as computers, monitors, television sets, DVD players, batteries, and cell phones contain heavy metals, Mercury, Calcium, and lead which are highly toxic.
These items should be recycled at a specialized E-waste center that guarantees that they will be disposed of properly.
#3 Pulling the Plug
Even though household electronics might be turned off, if they are still plugged into the outlet, power is drawn from them even when not in use.
As much as 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed when powered off. So unplug or turn power strips off after using computer, TV, and kitchen appliances to save on wasted electricity.
#4 Compost Food Scraps
Composting is an effortless way to reduce and reuse waste. All food scraps, paper towels, yard clippings, anything from once living material will decompose to a substance that can be used to enrich the soil in the backyard.
However, if setting up a compost in your backyard isn’t realistic, you can set up a small bin in the kitchen. Many cities now provide green bins so dumping kitchen compost is added to the cities sanitation program for composting.
#5 Reducing Energy with Appliances
Several simple ways exist to further reduce energy in the home and lower your carbon footprint. It’s as easy as turning down the thermostat in the summer and opening a window or closing the shades in the winter.
Washing clothes in cold water and air-drying will not only save money, but also energy.
Even just cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer will improve air circulation and reduce heat. But air-drying clothes is even greener.
Consider taking shorter (and colder!) showers and less baths to conserve energy and save on another precious resource, water.
Try to run the dishwasher only when is completely full, and instead of running the drying cycle, air dry the dishes.
If and when appliances break down and need replacing, purchase appliances rated by Energy Star, which is a government-backed product that meets energy efficiency requirements set by the U.S. EPA.