In an ideal world, we’d all be able to live without having a negative impact on our environment. But for some, solar panels and temperature-regulating walls aren’t a viable option. As someone who lives in a rental property, I know my landlord wouldn’t be thrilled about me making what he would deem as “major structural changes”, even if it would make the place more eco-friendly.
Here are some of the easiest tips to make your home more green. And the best part? A lot of these could save you money too!
Collect your kitchen scraps for composting
Composting has a lot of great benefits: it can cut down your household waste by up to 30%, it reduces landfill waste, it’s good for the environment, and it can make your garden look great. If you’re a bit green-fingered, then you’ll already know the benefits of compost. Eartheasy.com has some great tips for how and what you can compost.
Use eco-friendly light bulbs
Switch your incandescent light bulbs for Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL) or LED bulbs. CFL and LED bulbs may cost more initially, but save up to 66% more energy, cut greenhouse gas emissions and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Adjust your thermostat with the seasons
Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree in the winter and up 1 degree in the summer to save in the region of 3-5% of your energy bill every year.
Hang dry your clothes
Every hour your dryer is in use, it is producing 2-3 kg of carbon emissions. Hang drying your clothes may take longer, especially in winter, but it’s worth it to know that you’re keeping your carbon emissions down.
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Stop fridge gazing
Do you open the refrigerator door, hoping that inspiration will strike when you see what’s in there? Though it might only be for a few seconds, they sure do add up. Decide what you want before opening your fridge to save $30-$60 per year.
Improve the air quality in your house by growing house plants. If you’re not very good at keeping them alive, then check out today.com’s list of low-maintenance house plants.
Make your own fragrances
Instead of spraying chemicals and synthetic fragrances, make your own from 100% essential oils. Mother Earth News has a great guide for getting started with making your own perfumes with essential oils.
Opt for organic sheets and blankets
Up to 25% of the planet’s insecticide use is because of the production of cotton linens. When buying new linens, opt for organic cotton or switch to bamboo (it’s more sustainable). If you have to choose between polyester and wool blankets, pick wool. Wool is far more eco-friendly to produce.
Fix leaky faucets and toilets
If your faucet is leaking, you could be wasting up to 182 liters of water every week. Similarly, if you have a leaky toilet, it could be losing up to 757 liters every day. Not only will getting these fixed help the environment, it will also stop that pesky dripping!
Use home-made pesticides
If you need to use pesticides in your garden, make your own to avoid spraying chemicals. Home Guides has some great tips for using natural ingredients such as cooking oil and garlic to keep those pests away.