The world is full of pollution, and it’s the human beings who live here that are causing it. This might sound depressing, but it doesn’t have to be so negative; if we all play our part and we all do as much as possible to live in a more sustainable, eco-friendly way, then the planet will benefit, and so will everyone living here.
It might seem like an impossible dream, but it is entirely possible. The first place to start when you want to be more eco-friendly is in your own home. The changes you make here can have a significant impact, not just on the planet, but on those who you influence (even if you don’t realize you are doing so), and on your money – if you can help the planet and save money at the same time, or at least use it in a more environmentally friendly manner, then that’s definitely a bonus. Read on to find out some of the ways that you can create a more eco-friendly home. You can start with some of these ideas today and begin making a vital difference sooner than you think.
Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water
Did you know that as much as 90 percent of all the energy a washing machine uses is to heat the water? Imagine the difference it would make if you washed your clothes in cold water instead. You would immediately save 90 percent of the energy costs associated with your laundry. When you use the cold water setting on your washing machine, you will also reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced, as well as using less energy. Plus, it’s been shown that the colder the wash setting you use, the longer your clothes will last (the heat can damage them), meaning less waste when it comes to your wardrobe. It’s money-saving and good for the environment as you won’t be throwing out so many garments.
You might think that the hotter the water is, the better the cleaning power will be, but this is not the case. General daily dirt and grime will be washed away just as well in cold water as hot water, but with the benefits we mentioned above. The only time you’ll need to use hot water is if you have stubborn stains to remove, but for daily washes, cold water will do just fine.
Don’t Tumble Dry
When the weather is warm and sunny, or even when it’s not so warm, but there’s a breeze in the air, the best way to dry your clothes is to hang them on a washing line. Although it might be more convenient – certainly in terms of the time it takes – to load everything into your tumble dryer, this is going to take more energy, cost you more money, and it’s much less environmentally friendly. You’ll find that, once you start drying clothing, towels, and sheets in the fresh air, you’ll want to keep doing it because they smell and feel wonderful, and you will probably prefer it to tumble drying once you begin.
On top of this, it’s better for the items themselves. Drying naturally in the outside air will help them last longer, saving them from the landfill. If you don’t have a yard you can use, then you can use a balcony with a drying rack on it. Of course, when the weather is cold, or it’s raining, drying your clothes outside won’t be possible, but you can use the same drying rack indoors too. It’s best to place this in the bathroom with the fan running, otherwise you run the risk of causing condensation and dampness in your home. Tumble drying is still an option, but one that should be used as a last resort.
Install Solar Panels
Using an expert solar energy provider to install solar panels on your roof is an excellent way to be more eco-friendly in your home. When you have solar panels on your roof, you will only use the natural renewable energy from the sun to create electricity. This is also known as ‘clean energy’ since, unlike fossil fuels (which are finite and running out) which produce carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases, and other pollutants, there is nothing left over when using renewable energy such as solar energy.
Using solar energy to provide electricity within your home will drastically reduce your carbon footprint. It is better for the air you breathe in your home and the wider environment. You’ll be helping when it comes to renewable energy targets, and in many cases, you’ll be able to save money using this kind of energy. So, get in touch with a renewable energy-focused power company that can help you get the best electricity rates in sydney or where you are based. Such companies can upgrade your electricity meter and help you get the best out of your system.
Use LED Bulbs
An effortless way to become instantly more eco-friendly within your home is to switch your standard light bulbs for LED bulbs. It might seem like a small change, but it’s worth it when you consider the positive impact it has on the planet.
Not only do LED bulbs save energy, which is always something people should be trying to do, but they also last longer than standard bulbs – many years longer in some cases. This means less waste. Plus, if you’re worried that the light coming from these bulbs isn’t going to be as bright as that from standard bulbs, think again; the reality is that, if you didn’t know a bulb was LED, you probably wouldn’t actually notice the difference.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
If you currently have a thermostat that requires you to push a button or turn a dial to switch on and off, you might be able to improve your eco-friendly credentials and save money by changing it for a programmable thermostat.
This kind of thermostat will monitor your heating (and cooling if you have one) system and will let you know when your usage is high. You can then determine what you want to do and how low you want to turn the dial. Often, we switch on the heating without actually thinking about how high the temperature might rise, and it’s only when we get a notification letting us know that we are potentially using too much energy in this area that we realize we can do something about it.
Get A Recycling Bin And Compost Bin
When you have a recycling bin in your home – ideally located right next to your standard trash receptacle – you’ll be much more aware of the idea of recycling, and you’ll do what you can to improve your own recycling habits. Just having the bin in the first place is an excellent step in the right direction since it will cause you to pause each time you’re about to throw something in the trash – you’ll need to decide whether it’s recyclable or not, and make sure you put whatever it is into the correct container.
If you have a compost bin as well, you can reduce your waste even further, with much less having to go to a landfill. Landfills are filling up, and we all need to reduce the amount of waste we send to them. A compost bin for leftover food is a great way to do this. Plus, the compost itself is great for the yard, and if you are growing your own fruit and vegetables, it’s the perfect way to help them grow well. You can be almost entirely self-sufficient when you recycle and compost more.
Add Plants To Your Home
Potted plants in your home give it an air of comfort and homeliness that you’ll love once you arrange them around the place; they make any house much more welcoming. It’s also enjoyable to take care of them, and some people even say they find the plants to be good company! Yet on top of this fun reason to have some greenery in your life, they are good for the environment and can help your home be much more eco-friendly.
Plants are natural air purifiers, so they effectively clean the air you’re breathing, removing any impurities. Although this might not be something that is helping the planet at large, it’s helping your small part of it, and that’s a great start.
Get Window Treatments
Curtains and blinds at your windows aren’t just there to stop people from seeing inside and keeping you cozy and private in the evenings; they can also be an ideal way to ensure your home is as eco-friendly as possible.
Even when your windows are closed, the heat from outside – or the cold air – can still come in. This means that your home can heat up considerably, and you’ll have to use a higher setting on your cooling system (and you’ll need to keep it on for longer). When it comes to the winter, the cold air coming in means you’ll need to heat your home for longer and at a higher temperature. This is bad for the environment, and it costs you more.
When you have quality window treatments to block out these hot or cold drafts, you’ll find that you can keep your heating and cooling at much lower levels and even use them less than you might usually have done.