The world we live in is changing at a rapid pace. Technology is constantly improving and with this, we now have many ways to conserve the natural resources of our planet. This is typically referred to as living ‘Green’ and those who embark on this lifestyle will wonder what took them so long. It’s easy to start with a few small steps that can make a big difference over time. Since many people don’t know where to start, here are 6 things you can do around the home to start living a Greener life.
1. Upgrade to new modern appliances
Household appliances have historically been among the worst offenders using too much electricity. Year after year they would not only cost homeowners too much money in their utility bill but they would also cause a lot of fuel to be spent generating that power. Today’s energy efficient appliances run much more efficiently and will last just as long as those built twenty or more years ago. Look for those labeled Energy Star as they will clearly display the typical savings that a homeowner will experience each year. Plus you may be able to get a tax rebate the first year of install, but be sure to check with your specific state website for details as this varies by location.
2. Monitor your indoor temperature
For the majority of households, the temperature is adjusted up and down depending on the season. In the summertime, an air conditioner can be used to cool the air while removing excessive humidity. The cold winter months usually mean running the furnace to pump heat through the vents into each room. While it is nice to keep the house comfortable it can come at a high cost. One way to keep these costs lower is to use a programmable thermostat. In the summer you can set the air conditioner to a higher temperature during the day when you are away, and do the reverse in the winter. Program it to step the temperature back to where you want it when you are more likely to be home.
3. Conserve water where possible
Water is one of those natural resources that is sometimes overlooked because it seems so abundant. You need to remember that the clean water that comes out of your faucet has likely been treated which takes energy at a treatment facility. Plus the hot water has been heated via some kind of heater in your home, which again will use a certain amount of energy. From a green standpoint, you should take inventory of how much water you use on a regular basis and do what you can to cut it back. Even a small adjustment can really add up over time. Just a couple of gallons per week would equal one hundred over a full year.
4. Use Green household cleaners
Cleaning is something that every homeowner will need to do on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the majority of household cleaning supplies contain harmful chemicals in them. While they do a good job removing dirt, they also can be harmful to your family as well as the environment. There are companies that specialize in ‘Green’ cleaning supplies that are made up of mostly natural substances. One such example is Green Works which is a company with products containing at least 95% natural ingredients. And not only will they be better for your home but they are also highly rated for doing what they are designed to do…remove dirt.
In addition to finding less harmful cleaning substances, you should also look to use vacuum cleaners that conserve energy. Many of the top brands design their vacuums to be lighter, more powerful but use less electricity than those of years past. And you can find a cordless model for the smaller jobs that don’t require a full sized cleaner. Today’s cordless offerings have lithium-ion batteries that are fast charging and long lasting. In many cases, they will perform just as good as their much larger counterparts. Click here to compare the Dyson cordless vacuum lineup for a full rundown of the very popular V6, V7, and V8 models.
5. Replace old drafty windows
Windows, especially those that are many years old are notorious for letting air through in both directions. This is a quick way to use extra energy as your furnace will run extra hard to keep your home warm in the winter. Replace those old and drafty windows with modern units that are fully sealed. An Energy Star certified window will be a significant improvement over your current one by keeping the outside air where it belongs and keeping your fully heated air indoors. The cost will not be as high as you might think as well, and you will likely never have to replace them again.
6. Recycle plastic and paper products
In modern times the average family uses a lot of paper and plastic products. Milk containers, cereal boxes, pop cans, and more can quickly build up in the garbage dumps and sit there for many years. It takes way longer to naturally break down most of these products than it takes to produce them so it makes sense to recycle when possible. If we can re-use products without sending them to the dump then it will greatly help the environment, both now and in the future. Fortunately, many states have to recycle included with garbage pickup but if not there are sure to be local recycling facilities.
It’s easy to make a few small changes to start living a green life. These are just 6 simple things you can do but there are much more. Make a few small changes to start with and then build up to more.