Many things contribute to pollution. While some of these are activities associated with business or community activities, many other pollutants, like electricity or fuel consumption, take place right in your home.
If you want to do your part in the battle for a better future, it’s important to review your own impact on the environment and then do what you can to remedy the situation. Here are a few actionable tips and suggestions for ways to improve your homefront (without breaking the bank in the process) to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
Upgrade Your Water Fixtures
Reducing your water consumption is a great way to naturally improve your home’s sustainability. The best option to use less water is to simply install low-water fixtures.
From showerheads to faucets, make sure all of your water is running through aerated, low-flow fixtures. This will reduce your water usage, and it shouldn’t even impact your daily life in the process.
Every home gets dirty, and the way that you clean your home can have a big difference in your carbon footprint. Look for good homemade cleaner recipes that can help you ditch both harmful chemical cleaners and the plastic packaging that they come in.
For instance, a simple vinegar and water mixture is good for cleaning wood. Add baking soda to the mix and you’ve got a great tile cleaner. Dish soap, water, and alcohol are excellent for scrubbing stone, as well. All of these are gentle, harmless ways to keep your house sparkling and the Earth happy at the same time.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Another quick and easy eco-friendly solution is to install low-wattage LED lights throughout your home. All this requires is the purchase and replacement of incandescent bulbs in each light fixture in your home — and maybe an adapter depending on the fixture.
This isn’t just a great way to dramatically reduce your electricity usage. It can also bring your utility bill down and save you a bundle of cash over time as well. However, be warned that LED bulbs do cost more to purchase. It’s only over time that they end up saving you money.
Get Energy Efficient Appliances
Dishwashers, refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, humidifiers, space heaters — the list of resource-needy appliances goes on and on. With so many of these operating in your home, invest in energy-efficient models whenever possible.
This can require a decent amount of cash for the upfront purchase of each item. However, the good news is, often you’ll end up saving significant amounts of money over time as each appliance uses less water, electricity, gas, and so on.
If you’re still intimidated by the price tag of cutting-edge appliances, there are two more options. The first is to look for a retailer that offers to break down the price into monthly installments. The second is to look for gently used, second-hand models that will cost less and still be energy efficient.
Remodel With Meaning
As a homeowner, you’re going to have home improvement projects that you want to tackle at times. Whenever that happens, always think of how you can turn each one into a sustainable home upgrade.
For instance, if you’re going to paint, look for paint that is VOC-free. If you’re doing a more serious remodel, take care to insulate well and use eco-friendly wires and plumbing. Use salvaged and recycled materials in every project whenever possible. You get the idea.
Start Thinking with the Five “Rs”
Finally specific recommendations aside, it’s also important to start thinking in an eco-friendly mindset with all of your activities. One of the easiest ways to shift your thinking in a more sustainable direction is by associating yourself with the Five R’s. These are:
- Reduce what you use.
- Reuse items when you can.
- Recycle whenever possible.
- Renew the old and broken.
- Respect everything that the Earth gives you.
By adopting the Five Rs into your daily mindset, you can naturally increase your eco-friendly awareness. However, make sure that you utilize this information to make actionable changes whenever possible. Don’t just learn them and then ignore their applicability. That only leads to bad eco manners.
Upgrading Your Home with the Earth in Mind
It isn’t possible to claim that your income is too low to make earth-conscious purchases anymore. The prices (and associated savings) with so many eco-friendly options have become too good to ignore.
No longer can you claim that your geographic location excludes you from cutting-edge sustainable tech, either. Most rural areas are getting an increasing number of environmentally-friendly utilities and products.
The point is, the only one standing between you and a greener household is yourself. So take a stroll through your home, inside and out, and look for areas where you can make changes. Then commit the Five R’s to heart and start living more sustainably each day.
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.