Easy Ways to Start Going More Green in the Home

It’s make or break time for our planet, in terms of our willingness to make better choices that will protect the earth for future generations.

We all should become better stewards of our earth and do everything we can to be more environmentally friendly. Every choice matters, especially as choices add up over time, and you can start making a lasting impact by going green in your home.

Changes you make in your household can then extend to your entire lifestyle.  See these five easy ways to start going green in your home.

Step 1: Become More Educated

Learning and education are vital to becoming environmentally friendly. We all make mistakes when it comes to being completely green, but through education and the right initiative, you can identify and adopt greener choices and habits.

First of all, what does it mean to be environmentally friendly?

It can seem overwhelming to know where to begin, but essentially, it all comes down to your lifestyle. Saving the earth is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of big oil companies, and everyone’s roles fit together like a puzzle. Improving your awareness and consumption of resources in your home is a great place to begin.

Step 2: Reduce Water Usage

Reducing water usage in your home is paramount for having a green home and being more environmentally friendly.  Being aware of the water you are using and how you are using it is a great first step. Making simple decisions that limit water usage can make a big impact.

Simple ways to reduce water usage in your home include:

  • Turning off Faucets. Did you know that your faucet can release 2 gallons of water per minute? This means that we should all develop the habit of turning off the faucet when we are brushing our teeth, washing our hands and face, as you wash dishes in the sink, and more. Fixing leaks are important, too. A leaky toilet can release 200 gallons of water in just one day.
  • Repurpose Water. Make every last drop of water count. Use the water you rinse produce off with as the water for your plants. Again, habit making takes time but is everything.
  • Buy a High-Efficiency Washing Machine. Did you know that washing clothes accounts for around 20% of water usage in your home? Look for an Energy Star-certified machine, as they use 40% less water than typical washing machines.

Step 3: Reduce Electricity Usage

Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to limit the amount of electricity you use. Simple changes make a big difference over time. See the following tips:

  • Shut Down Your Computer and Your Screensaver at Night. Your computer uses energy overnight if not shut down, and believe it or not, the lifespan of your computer will not decrease if you opt out of using a screensaver.
  • Unplug Appliances and Use Power Strips. Before you go to bed at night, unplug your television, microwave, and other electronic devices as they use standby power when idle. By using power strips, you can turn off all idle electronics at once, preventing phantom energy loss.
  • Turn Off Unnecessary Lights. Turn off the lights in rooms you are not using, and make sure external lights are turned off when not necessary.
  • Utilize Natural Light. Use it as much as possible, as it improves your mood and wellbeing as well. Open your curtains and blinds during the day and turn off lamps and overhead fixtures. Consider installing skylights!

Step 4: Recycle

The value of recycling cannot be underscored enough, and in your home, the best place to start with recycling is in your kitchen, since the greatest amount of paper and plastic products are consumed in your kitchen.

Consider plastic containers for yogurt, aluminum soda cans, paperboard such as cereal boxes as commonly recycled goods. Do some research into local community recycling practices to know exactly what is recycled and how you should prepare items for recycling. For example, it is typical that cardboard boxes need to be broken down and food and drink containers must be residue-free.

Step 5: Shop Smart

When shopping for household products, you can conserve resources and save energy by choosing products that are energy efficient, used or reusable, made with recycled content, and utilize limited packaging.

Remember that purchasing power speaks volumes to companies supplying products. If going green is important to you and impacts your purchasing decisions, then going green matters to them too.

Practices you can adopt include shopping online, using reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, buying clothes and furniture second-hand, renting clothes, and just buying fewer things overall.

Remember that going green is all about developing better habits that will become second nature over time. Try adopting one at a time so it is less overwhelming, or try taking it one room in your house at a time. Anything you do will make a difference over time and perhaps rub off on your friends and neighbors!

About the Author:

Laurie Larson is a freelance writer who often writes about the importance of sleep health for Mattress Advisor. When she isn’t busy talking about sleep, she loves promoting healthy lifestyle habits and better sustainability practices for the sake of our earth.

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