Climate change is a pretty hot button issue right now. Many people are looking at their homes to try to become more eco-friendly. Purchasing solar panels and installing all new energy efficient appliances sounds like a great idea, but many do not have the budget for that investment all at once. Let’s learn how we can become more eco-friendly at home, starting now, with little upfront cost. The changes will benefit the environment as well as your wallet. Maybe with these changes you can save up for some solar panels!
Use LED light bulbs. They use less energy and can last up to 13 years! Some electric companies will even give these bulbs to you for free if you qualify. Be sure to turn off the lights when you are not using them. Open the shades and let in natural light as much as possible. If you are using outdoor lighting at night, be sure to put these lights on a some type of timer, such as a dawn to dusk setting. While you are turning lights off, unplug unused electronics.
Laundry. There are several changes you can make to your laundry routine to be more green at home. Use cold water, and only wash full loads. You will save on water heating costs and energy usage. Hot water can set stains and help shrink your clothes. Line dry your clothes when possible. This will help your clothes last longer too! Ditch the one use dryer sheets. You can grab a set of wool dryer balls for about $10 at local stores. These last for a long time, and will help your clothes dry faster, and remove wrinkles and static. There are also many recipes for homemade reusable dryer sheets made with essential oils, not harsh chemicals.
Get some houseplants! Plants will naturally clean the air in your home. There are several types that require minimal care, water and sunlight. Do some research and bring some plants in your home.
Start a garden. Even a small one. Having fresh veggies and herbs handy from your own backyard will reduce the amount of emissions caused by growing and transporting food to your grocery store.
If you have a garden, or a flower garden, some compost will be needed. Compost does not have to be a giant nasty heap of trash in your yard. There are many compost devices available to maintain a fresh and clean space. You can compost nearly everything, except meat and a few other items. Reduce the amount of waste you are supplying to a landfill that creates methane by composting.
Set up some rain barrels. Use rain water to water your garden and houseplants. Help save water by collecting some during the stormy season.
Install a programmable thermostat. You can program your thermostat to maintain the best temperatures when you are home, and when you are not. You don’t have to spend a paycheck on a high end thermostat, but if that is your jam, go for it. You can get a programmable thermostat for as little a $20 at local stores. Save the energy used by heating and cooling your home when you are not there.
Lower the temperature of your water heater. Save energy here!
Speaking of that, use curtains and blinds to your advantage. Let the sunshine in the home during the cooler months. It will really warm up a room. And keep the sunshine out in the warmer months. It will really warm up a room!
Use less paper towels in your home. Try instead reusable towels, napkins or rags. They use quite a bit of carbon to produce and degrade in the environment. If purchasing or making cloth napkins, go for dark colors, they are easier to keep stain free. Using cloth instead of paper will help reduce a lot of waste. Keep old t-shirts and towels to repurpose as rags.
Turn off your ice maker. How many ice cubes do you consume in a day? Is it necessary to run the ice maker 24/7? The average ice maker can increase energy use to up to 20% according to an article in TIME.
Insulate heating ducts. Insulating your heating ducts will help keep warm and cool air moving through your system. You can lose up to 30% of the heated and cooled air through uninsulated ductwork. Conserve energy and energy costs by insulating. Same goes for your attic. Make sure you have the proper amount of insulation in your attic.
Try to be non-toxic in your home. Avoid harsh cleaners and chemicals. Try alternatives such as vinegar, baking soda, plant based cleaning products, or plants to repel insects such as mint and lemongrass.
Get creative, there are many small things you can do right at home to be a little greener!
For current market information for your Lafayette and West Lafayette communities or a free consult, contact The Aimee Ness Realty Group Keller Williams Lafayette Indiana. Our team with over 10 years of local experience, has your back to find your dream home, or sell your current home.