It’s never been more popular and important to adopt a “green” lifestyle. What exactly does that mean?
People are taking great strides when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint on Mother Earth. Many are finding ways to make their house environmentally friendly.
From installing solar panels and recycling to using smart cars and everything in between, the world is moving toward a more environmentally friendly way of life.
Are you ready to join the ranks of those living a greener, more sustainable lifestyle?
Why not start at home? Here we’ll uncover 25 simple ways to create an eco-friendly house.
1. Utilize Your Dishwasher
The dishwasher is an important kitchen appliance for many homeowners. And while it does expel energy, you can use it efficiently by making small changes to your clean-up routine.
Avoid pre-rinsing dishes and always wait to run the dishwasher until it’s full.
2. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
This is one of the most popular ways to make your house environmentally friendly and not only save energy but save money. Replace all of your traditional light bulbs with LED or CFL.
Making this easy swap may cost you a little upfront but in the long-term, could save you up to £40 on your energy bill.
These bulbs also use 75% less heat, reducing air conditioning costs. Most energy-efficient bulbs last longer and require less frequent replacement.
3. Install Solar Panels
Another popular environmentally-friendly choice among both residential and commercial properties is installing solar panels.
This is another big investment upfront that saves both energy costs and pollutants well into the future.
The only downside is that it generally takes 20 years for you to reap the benefits of your investment. Solar panels provide completely clean electricity and you may even save enough energy to sell some back to the grid.
4. Install a Smart Meter
Did you know that your home heating system is one of the biggest sources of wasted energy and one of the best ways to make your house environmentally friendly? It’s also difficult to keep track of how much your heat or furnace is running in the cold, winter months.
A smart meter can help solve your problem. You can program these meters to turn on and off at certain times of the day. This keeps your house at a comfortable temperature without expelling unnecessary energy.
5. Use Natural Cleaning Products
There are countless cleaning products and chemicals on the market for cleaning, but most aren’t eco-friendly. Trading store-bought cleaning products with natural ones can create a safer, cleaner home environment.
When you use harsh chemicals to clean, they’re then washed down the drain and into the ecosystem. Some of the best, natural ingredients are vinegar and citrus fruits. Another benefit is that homemade cleaning products are often less expensive than name brands.
6. Insulate Your Home
Installing a smart meter isn’t the only way to control your home’s heating and cooling system. Proper insulation helps trap both warm and cold air, reducing the frequency that your eating and cooling systems kick on. This goes a long way to make your house environmentally friendly
This means less energy is used and your home remains a comfortable temperature. Insulation is most important in the walls, floors, and roofs. Do you have hardwood floors? Adding area rugs and carpets can help trap heat and reduce heating costs.
7. Start a Compost
Creating your own compost heap is a popular way to recycle uneaten food without wasting it. Compost heaps cut down on the need for chemicals and fertilizers for future growth.
Food waste found in landfills creates large amounts of methane, a dangerous gas for the environment. Composts prevent the decomposition of excess food waste and the release of dangerous chemicals into the air.
8. Buy quality doors
When the heating is on, you want thick/quality doors in your rooms. This prevents heat escaping from the rooms you spend more time in. In addition it prevents the cold in other areas, for instance hallways and kitchens, seeping into rooms you’d be looking to keep warm.
9. Buy Recycled Items
Reduce, reuse, recycle. These are the three main principles when it comes to cutting down on your environmental footprint. Purchasing recycled items is a great way to cut down on wasted materials.
Recycled paper products, electronics, and even clothes are all inexpensive ways to fill your home with environmentally friendly items.
10. Open the Blinds
Why waste money and energy on heating and illuminating your home when you have natural sunlight and heat right outside your window? Open your shades to let the natural sunlight in and switch off those lamps.
The warmth from the sun can also add a few degrees to the inside of your home, reducing heating costs.
11. Adjust Your Thermostat
While smart thermostats and meters help control the steady temperature of your home, simply turning it down one degree can actually make a big difference. Sacrificing one degree can actually save you 10% a year on your electric bill and help make your house environmentally friendly.
12. Stop Snacking
Steering clear of the refrigerator isn’t just good for your waistline. It might actually help slim down your electric bill. The simple act of opening your refrigerator could cost you an additional £18-36 per year!
Other tips for an eco friendly house and fridge include keeping it away from the window or direct sunlight. This can cause it to work overtime to stay cool. Your refrigerator also needs proper airflow to help keep it cool naturally (7.6 centimeters between the appliance and surrounding walls is ideal).
13. Cook Smart
You also need to be mindful when cooking in your home. This includes using appliances like your oven and microwave. These devices use a lot of energy. Avoid wasting energy by leaving the oven door closed while cooking.
Use the oven light to check on your food.
Another new phenomenon that is adding to excess garbage and waste are coffee pods. Ditch these small plastic and aluminum containers for a traditional pot of coffee.
While microwaves are quick and easy for cooking, they’re also harmful to the environment. Microwaves emit large amounts of carbon dioxide. Use them sparingly and mindfully.
14. Grow Houseplants
Your green thumb might come in handy inside the house also. Plants naturally produce added oxygen, helping to purify and clean the air in your home. But bringing plants into your home is about more than just what they add — they can also clean the air from toxins like benzene. Plants like the golden pothos and Boston fern are especially beneficial for air purification.
15. Install Energy Efficient Windows
Energy efficient windows are a popular way to make your house environmentally friendly. Similar to insulation, energy efficient windows cut down on your energy costs and prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from seeping in during the winter months.
This makes for a more comfortable, energy-efficient home.
16. Flush Wisely
Your toilet uses more water than you may realize. In fact, your toilet accounts for nearly 30% of your home’s water use.
Monitoring how often you flush and investing in an eco-friendly design that uses less water can save nearly 13,000 gallons of water and nearly £100 on your water bill.
17. Skip on the Bath
While baths are relaxing and may do wonders for your stress, they’re not so great for your carbon footprint.
Taking a shower uses 14% less water than filling and draining your tub. You can also install a low flow shower head to cut down on water usage even more.
18. Hang Dry Your Clothes
There are two benefits to hang drying your clothes after a wash — not only are you saving energy by skipping on the dryer but your clothes will smell fresh and clean! Clothes dryers are responsible for large amounts of carbon emissions.
Reduce the pollution and make your house environmentally friendly by using a drying rack or clothes line when the weather allows for it.
19. Use Cold Water
Running cold water in your clothes washer actually uses nearly 50% less energy! Set your washer to around 30 degrees celsius. This will save you about £13 every year, plus washing in cold water means your clothes are less likely to shrink and fade.
You may even notice less wrinkles, which means a reduced need to bring out the iron and use more energy!
20. Unplug Electronics
We’re all guilty of leaving your phones, laptops, and other electronic devices plugged in overnight. Not only does this kill their batteries, but it drains unnecessary energy from your home.
Electronic devices aren’t the only culprits — you should also unplug small kitchen appliances and lamps before heading out for the day. Invest in a power strip to make it easier to unplug multiple devices at once.
21. Join the Pressure Cooker Trend
Investing in a pressure cooker, Instapot, or airfryer can have more benefits than just creating a delicious meal — it can cut down on how long you run appliances and waste energy. These devices are reported to cook up to 70% faster than other methods.
22. Turn off the Lights
This is a simple, basic way to make your house environmentally friendly. Turn off any lights you’re not using. Most people turn off lights before leaving their home, but try doing so every time you leave a room.
Done in the bathroom? Shut the light. Not using that lamp anymore? Turn it off! These simple steps can save you a ton on your electric bill and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
23. Ditch the Paper Products
Towels, dishes, utensils, and cups. These are likely all reusable items that you have in your kitchen cabinets, but still, so many people buy paper and disposable varieties. Cut down on the amount of garbage you produce by using those plates you got as a wedding gift, glasses, and regular utensils.
If you have to purchase paper products, opt for recycled brands that are making efforts to protect the environment.
24. Hand Dry Dishes
Some dishwashers offer a drying feature, but if you want to help the environment, skip this step and dry your dishes by hand.
Use a cloth kitchen towel to reduce the need for paper towels. Using the dishwasher can actually save water, but removing items and drying them by hand can cut down on your energy costs by nearly 50%.
25. Turn Off Your Ice Maker
Does your refrigerator have a convenient ice maker? While these nifty gadgets are great for keeping drinks cold, they’re not as kind to the environment. Your ice machine runs all day long, but chances are you don’t consume nearly as much ice as it produces. Ice machines increase energy use by nearly 20% when left running all day long. Turn it off when you’re not using it or invest in ice trays instead.
Making your house environmentally friendly isn’t hard or expensive. In fact, making these small changes will not only reduce your carbon footprint but also the cost of running your home. Make these easy swaps and be more mindful of your energy consumption. Both your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you!
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