Our ecosystem is fragile, and people seem to be realizing that now more than ever. It helps that scientists have continued to aggressively warn us that everything we do has a significant impact on the environment, climate, and planet.
So, whether you’re an environmental enthusiast or not, it’s time you started thinking about what positive changes you can make to protect our planet.
Your home is a great place to start making eco-friendly changes. Indeed, some well-known celebrities have set tremendous examples of how one can make their home greener.
For example, Julia Roberts’ California home is built using recycled tiles, responsibly sourced timber, and several other sustainable materials. Johnny Depp’s home in the Bahamas is not only fully self-sufficient, but it’s also wholly powered by hydrogen solar cells!
Of course, most of us won’t be able to match the level of eco-conscious investments that some of our favorite celebrities engage in, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t all kinds of great, affordable things you can do both in and around your house.
Here are seven good examples and ways to make your home greener — some of which may actually save you money in the long run!
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting
If you are not using energy-efficient light bulbs in this day and age, it’s definitely time to start. While their initial cost is higher, energy-efficient light bulbs not only consume less energy, they also tend to last much longer than their incandescent counterparts.
In other words, you’ll save on both energy costs and the price of replacing your bulbs much more frequently.
Water More Efficiently
No one wants a brown, dying lawn, but manual watering has been proven to waste lots and lots (and lots) of water. Timed sprinkler systems are far more efficient — especially if you place sprinkler heads in the optimal places.
Alternatively — or in addition to doing that — you could switch out your current plants for local ones that are more suited to the environment. Or stop watering completely by going for an attractive rocky landscape that is completely self-sustaining.
In all three scenarios, getting a site plan of your home done can help you to see where those things fit into your landscape.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
It’s time to replace your old refrigerator! And it’s not just the fridge that needs to be replaced. Dishwasher, washer, dryer — generally, most old home appliances consume more energy than newer models that are available.
Because technology changes. And because newer models have been specifically designed to conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint.
Insulate Your Home
Another terrific way of making your home more energy-efficient is by insulating it.
Draught excluders are an easy, inexpensive way of keeping your house warm — or keeping the cool air in. You also can use thermal wallpaper, as well as basement/loft insulation to make your home heat-efficient.
Switch to Eco-Friendly House Cleaning
Today, it’s quite easy to find natural cleaners for your floors, surfaces, clothes, dishes, furniture, and so on. Most of these cleaners are just as effective as the regular, chemical-laced cleaning agents.
Natural cleaners, however, are non-toxic, safe, healthy, and biodegradable.
Build a Compost Bin
Did you know that Americans waste 150,000 tons of food every day? You can do your part to ease this epidemic by composting your food instead of throwing it away.
Of course, to do that you’re going to need a compost bin. Which means figuring out not just how to build it, but — just as importantly — where to put it.
Again, a site plan can help by providing you with a bird’s eye view of your lot so that you can clearly see what the bin might be impacting. They tend to take up a not-inconsiderable amount of space, and breaking trash down into compost is not a fast process.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the bin is far enough from the house and play areas that the smell doesn’t bother anyone, but close enough that it’s not a horrible chore to bring trash out to it and water it.
Other ways to reduce food waste include buying products that don’t come in too much packaging, getting only those ingredients that you require, and planning your meals to reduce leftovers. And if there are leftovers, you could freeze them — or pack them for lunch.
Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Back to water — it is the source of life, after all.
Low-flow fixtures use less water when compared to traditional fixtures. By having them, you use less water, pay reduced water bills, and might even reduce your water heating costs.
How much of a difference do they really make? Installing quality, low-flow fixtures in the bathroom and kitchen can help you achieve water saving of up to 60%.
Obviously, these are just some of the many, many ways you can make your home greener. There are literally hundreds of ideas out there, and quite a few of them benefit you in other ways as well. Just remember, if you’re going to make any big changes to your home — inside or out — make sure you come up with a plan first.