Making your home eco-friendly is beneficial not only to the environment but also to you. Many green options will save you money and reduce pollution while conserving water and energy. Many of the things you can do to green your home take little time or effort. Just a few minutes a day and a few lifestyle changes make a difference.
Saving energy reduces your bills while also helping reduce greenhouse gases. A simple way to save energy requires using power strips. Plug all your appliances into strips and flip the switch when not in use. Make loads in the washer and dishwasher full before running the appliances. Power off your computer when you are not using it. Switch to Energy Star appliances. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates a 30 percent household savings on energy bills by switching to Energy Star-rated products. Turn your heat down in winter and the air conditioner up in summer. You can gain as much as a 10 percent savings on cooling your home by increasing the thermostat temperature 5 degrees, according to the University of Phoenix.
Conserving water becomes more important as clean water resources diminish. In areas that regularly experience drought or have naturally dry conditions, it may seem even more important to use water wisely. The average American family of four uses about 400 gallons of water daily, according to the EPA. Implement some simple steps to lessen your water usage. Repair any leaks in your home because they essentially waste water and your money. Scrape dishes–preferably into a compost container–rather than rinsing prior to loading the dishwasher. Take brief showers, and install a low-flow showerhead that uses only 2.5 gallons of water per minute as opposed to twice that amount on a regular head.
Many cleaners have chemicals that prove dangerous and contain petroleum products, whether in the packaging or the ingredients. Although you may need some harsher products for a few cleaning jobs, make your own cleaners for everyday cleaning. Your indoor air quality will improve with fewer chemical vapors released from cleaners. You will also reduce the risk of poisoning by cleaning products. The Worldwatch Institute reports that in the U.S.,10 percent of toxic exposure reported to Poison Control Centers came from household cleaning products. Use safe biodegradable ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, plain soap, lemon juice and borax to make effective cleaners. Recipes abound for every surface you need to clean and disinfect.