Committing to a more sustainable, green lifestyle is a worthwhile task. Not only will your home produce less waste, but you could save hundreds of dollars per year through more efficient appliances. The process towards a sustainable household doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg because these following quick green makeovers will make your home more eco-friendly.
Plant Herbs, Flowers, and Vegetables
No matter what category your plant of choice falls into, they will start purifying your air because they produce oxygen as a by-product. Growing a vegetable or herb garden will also help you create less waste through packaging at the grocery store. Plus, you’ll save money on food. Flowers are simply lovely to look at, but lavender and many other blooms will reduce anxiety and stress by merely smelling their leaves. Light is vital for plant growth, so be sure to give your green friends plenty of sunlight or UV mimicking lamps to keep them happy and healthy.
Start Recycling and Composting
Plenty of large cities have a weekly recycle pickup, but it may be lacking in newer build suburbs or homes outside of city limits. If that’s the case, you can throw your recycling in a bin and take it to the recycling plant on your next trip to the city. As a positive, recycling plants give you a couple of cents for each can, bottle, and scrap metal delivered. Composting is another form of recycling but has another drop-off point. Pre-made compost bins are virtually odor-free. If most of your composting waste is food scraps or animal waste, you can cycle it into your plants.
Seal Gaps Around Windows and Doors
Older homes commonly have small gaps around the doors and windows due to the shifting in the foundation. In the wintertime, more air will escape, and your furnace will pump hard to compensate for the lost heat, but you could also experience lost central air in the summer. Whether your furnace is energy-efficient or not, it can’t make up for leaky windows. Buy weatherstripping and install it yourself to instantly make your heating bill more affordable.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Most of the energy used by your washing machine is dedicated to warming up the water, so skip the hot water and use cold instead. Coldwater will reduce carbon dioxide emissions while keeping your clothing durable for longer. Heated water can deteriorate fabric at a faster rate than cold, even if you use protective soaps or fabric softeners. Stubborn stains will dissolve faster in hot water, but it’s better to run the stain over the tap or soak clothing to remove dirt or oil. If cold water or soaking won’t take out the stain, it’s likely to stick there forever!
Swap to LED Light Bulbs
You won’t use less electricity if you switch the LEDs, but you will make your home more environmentally-friendly. LED bulbs cause less damage because they last 50x longer and use less wattage than incandescent bulbs. Since LEDs consume fewer lumens, carbon emissions remain low for the factories producing them and the power plant that keeps your lights on. The annual energy consumption for LEDs is 30x lower than incandescent, so this simple change does a lot of good. Plus, LED light bulbs are becoming more and more inexpensive.
DIY or Buy Used Items
Are you in the mood to get creative but don’t have a medium to work on? There are plenty of ordinary household items you can transform into something new. For example, a Q-Tips box could be painted and store make-up, toiletries, or pens. Even something as disposable as toilet paper rolls can transform with a bit of crafting paper. There are endless things you can make with things you want to throw out as long as you have the imagination or Pinterest board!
Buy Natural Cleaning Products
Natural cleaning products are just as effective as chemical-ridden ones; they just use ingredients like citrus and vinegar to cut through stubborn messes. As natural products are becoming more cost-effective to produce, the price of all-purpose cleaners is going down, but they are still out of reach for many. However, you can make your own natural cleaning products with lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar. To make sure the vinegar stench isn’t overpowering, add more dashes of lemon juice for that clean, citrusy smell.