10 Eco-Friendly Tips For The Home
With Earth Day coming up on April 22nd, I’ve been thinking about a few more ways my family and I can have a more green lifestyle. Just like I’m tackling organization and exercise in small ways, I like tackling green habits the same way. That way it doesn’t feel like I’m making any huge sacrifices, but I’m able to do some good.
A Little Green Adds Up: 10 Eco-Friendly Tips for the Home
Here are ten ways that you can make small changes to your life and help the environment. Some of them will even help you save money!
Replace Your Light Bulbs With More Energy-Efficient Bulbs
I don’t mean that you should go around your house and get rid of perfectly good, working bulbs. But be ready with Compact Fluorescent Bulbs or LED bulbs for when your older bulbs wear out.
It’s a lot harder these days to find the old incandescent bulbs we all grew up with, but a lot of people have replaced these with halogen bulbs, which look similar to the bulbs we’re used to. Unfortunately, their energy savings aren’t anywhere near as good as CFLs or LEDs.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
There are so many different kinds of thermostats now, sp there’s sure to be one within your budget. And they all pay for themselves eventually. Being able to change the temperature of your house while you’re sleeping and have it back to normal again by the time you wake up is a painless way to save energy. And if you get one that can be programmed remotely, by a smartphone or a computer, then you can change the temperature after you leave home if you’ve forgotten.
Clean Your Filters
Whether on a heater, an air conditioner, a clothes dryer, or a vacuum cleaner, a dirty filter makes the machine work harder and use more energy. You should clean the lint from your dryer lint screen after every single load, and clean those other filters every one to 3 months, as recommended.
Check The “Eco Friendly” Box When Ordering Food Online
Most online food delivery sites have an option to request no paper plates or plastic utensils with your order. If you’re eating at home, you don’t need that stuff anyway. And if you’re picking your order up at your favorite restaurant, ask them not to put that extra stuff in your bag.
Every time I buy a can of soda in NYC I’m also given a straw, which I never ever use, so now I always say “No straw, thanks!” when I order.
Inflate Your Tires Properly
Under-inflated tires can reduce your car’s fuel efficiency, as well as make your tires less able to grip the road in an emergency. Properly inflated tires will end up saving you money and keep you safer on the road.
Don’t Rinse Your Dishes
This is a hard habit to break, left over from the days when dishwashers didn’t do a great job cleaning. But as long as your dishwasher isn’t ancient, you probably do not need to rinse your dishes before loading them in. Just try it once to find out. I did, and was shocked at the results!
I don’t drive much to begin with, since I live in a place with an extensive public transportation network. But a lot of the driving I do is on a regular schedule, like taking my son to Tae Kwon Do. With a minimal amount of organization I can trade off with other parents, getting one or two cars off of the road for the trip.
Turn Your Computers Off At Night
It might seem like putting computers into sleep mode is as good as turning them off, but sleep mode uses a lot more energy than you think. Turning them off each night will make a big difference.
Go Vegetarian One Day a Week
I’m not a vegetarian for environmental reasons (I was raised vegetarian), but it turns out that I’m helping the environment a lot by not eating meat. Raising beef cattle, especially, uses a large amount of water and fuel. So if you can skip meat once a week, you can help save water and energy,
Use Fewer Batteries
Rechargeable batteries are a great alternative to regular batteries, because they work in all of your usual devices (video game controllers, remote controls), but they don’t end up in landfills – at least not for a very long time. Or, an even better alternative is to buy items that don’t use batteries, like Citizen watches, which run on the Eco Drive system (powered by light!), not batteries!
There you go! Easy ways to go green that won’t make you feel like you’re sacrificing. What steps are you taking to be more green at home?