Do you want to reduce your carbon footprint but don’t know where to start? Often, becoming ecologically aware can be overwhelming, especially when you want to be environmentally responsible without breaking the bank. But creating a more eco-friendly home doesn’t have to be expensive. Read on to learn six simple ways to both reduce waste and save money.
- Simple Ways to Save the Planet and Your Wallet
- Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
- Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
- Save Water
- Go Reusable
- Turn Off Electronics When You Aren’t Around
- Final Thoughts
Simple Ways to Save the Planet and Your Wallet
Creating a more eco-friendly home doesn’t mean paying thousands of dollars for upgrades like solar panels or self-composting toilets. In fact, you can actually save money while saving the planet! Here are some simple—and money-saving—ways to make your home and living habits a little greener (without spending more green).
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
One of the simplest and most lasting ways to save energy—and money—is by switching out your light bulbs for energy-efficient LED bulbs. Did you know that LED light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to twenty-five times longer? This means that LED bulbs can save up to $75 per year on energy costs for a single bulb, depending on usage and electricity rates.
Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Using a programmable thermostat is an incredibly easy way to save money and make your home more eco-friendly. They also have convenient automated features that allow you to set it and forget it. Programmable thermostats allow you to set times of the day when your heating and cooling will turn on and off based on when you need it. For example, if you typically work outside your home for most of the day, a programmable thermostat allows you to keep your home closer to the ambient temperature outdoors while you are away (thus reducing your energy demand). But as the time draws closer for you to arrive home, your thermostat will automatically begin cooling or heating your home to your desired temperature, so your home will be just how you like it by the time you get home. This allows your home to be more eco-friendly without sacrificing your comfort.
Water is an increasingly precious resource on our planet, and learning how to save water is important in creating an eco-friendly home and lifestyle. Luckily, saving water may be more simple than you think. Water is often wasted by little habits that most people don’t even think about as they go about their daily routines. Do a quick check around your home and fix any leaks inside or outside that may be causing you to waste water without even realizing it. Next, try turning off the water as you brush your teeth or shave. By only letting the faucet run while you actively use the water, countless gallons can be saved daily. In the same way, taking showers instead of baths is another simple way to save water for the planet and your water bill.
You’ve probably heard of the zero-waste movement. This ecologically conscious movement aims to drastically reduce waste by avoiding single-use plastic and paper items. While most people are not ready to jump all in on zero-waste, an eco-friendly home can easily benefit from simple reusable products that make reducing waste easy without being stressful or expensive. Instead of buying plastic containers and organizers for your home, try saving your used glass products such as jars, glasses, and jugs to repurpose around your home for an eco-friendly way to keep your home organized and plastic-free. Ditch the single-use plastic water or other drink bottles for reusable bottles and thermoses that not only keep your beverages hot and cold, but keep plastic waste out of overflowing landfills worldwide.
Did you know nearly 8% of greenhouse gas emissions come from wasted food? Luckily, our Earth has a wonderful way of naturally recycling and turning our spent or unwanted food into healthy soil that will continue to nourish us, and you can even do it at home. Composting is the process of turning organic waste into soil that can be used for planting. Learning how to compost your unwanted food scraps can not only save the world from toxic greenhouse gasses, it can actually save you—or even make you—money.
Turn Off Electronics When You Aren’t Around
Last but not least—and maybe the easiest eco-friendly home tip—is to turn off your electronic devices when you aren’t around. Turning off lights, TVs, and computers when you are not in the room can equal big savings in energy and monetary costs. In addition to actively turning off your electronics before you leave a room, your electronics may be using energy even when you think they are turned off. This is called stand-by energy, and it can be a big drain on resources. In fact, 5%-10% of residential power usage is estimated to be consumed by standby electronics. This may include voice-activated electronics and sleeping computers and TVs. Try using powerstrips that can be manually switched off, or unplug these standby electronics while not in use to save your energy and money that may be constantly trickling away with standby modes.
As you can see, with these simple strategies, creating a more eco-friendly home can be easy and save you money daily. By being just a bit more eco-conscious, little changes can make a big difference in your home and the planet. If even a fraction of people were to make small changes like these to their homes and daily habits, the world would see a massive reduction in energy demand and useless waste of natural and man-made resources. Try one of these strategies today and see how easy building an eco-friendly home and lifestyle can be.