If you have thought about living a more green lifestyle, one of the best places to begin is with your house.
Creating a green home will not only protect the environment around you but will contribute to a more healthy environment inside your home for you and your family. Some things to make your house greener may be on the costly side but there are also many less expensive things you can do right now. Here are some tips you can implement to lessen your home’s negative impact on the environment:
Junk mail is not only annoying to receive in your mailbox, but it is also harmful to the environment when dumped into our landfills. You can contact the companies that send you junk mail and request to be taken off their mailing lists.
Bank and payment statements
Instead of receiving paper copies of your bank statements, call your financial institution and request to have them sent to you through email. This cuts down on the amount of paper being used and the number of trees cut down to make the paper. You can simply put them in a file on your computer for future reference. The same holds true with utility bills, account statements, and other proof of payment statements and bills. You can also opt-out of commercial mailings, insurance, and credit card offers and more.
Obviously, recycling cans, bottles, paper products, and cardboard will not only decrease the amount of garbage in our landfills but also make you feel good to know you are doing your part for the environment. Place recycling receptacles in your home or garage to make it easy for family members to participate in this new way of discarding unwanted items. Most cities and towns have recycling bins you can use for free to distribute your items for recycling. Major companies have actually led the trend, initiating recycling programs for everything from concrete to commercial bathroom dividers.
What’s That Smell?
Some people love the smell of fresh paint, a new mattress, and recently laid new carpet but those aromas are not necessarily a good thing. Those odors actually come from the evaporation of the chemicals that are used in the materials to create those items. This is referred to as “off-gassing” and can be found in many household cleaning supplies also. They contain VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) which can cause damage to the environment and to you and your family. They can be irritating to your eyes, sinuses, and respiratory system and may even have an adverse effect on your nervous system. To lessen or eliminate this exposure in your home, purchase products that are free of VOC’s or have a much lower level.
Take your shoes off, please
Place a sign on your door that asks guests to remove their shoes upon entrance into your home. For their convenience, and to keep things neat and tidy, place a shoe rack or shelves near the doorway so your guests will have a place to leave their shoes while visiting. Not only will your house be cleaner, but there will also be fewer pollutants, germs, bacteria, and toxins coming into your house via the bottom of people’s shoes.
Change the Bulbs
Using LED or CFL light bulbs for your interior and exterior lights can help reduce the amount of energy you use. A full 12 percent of your electric bill is a reflection of using lights in your home so be kind to the environment while keeping more money in your wallet. As an added bonus, these newer light bulbs will last up to at least 10 times longer than your old-style light bulbs saving you some money there too.
Another form of recycling is to put your food scraps to good use. They can be used to fertilize your lawn, garden, or flower beds while cutting down on the amount of trash that leaves your house for the landfill. Make sure you keep these food scraps in a secured area so pets and other animals will not steal your fermenting fertilizer.
Seal it Up
To save money on heating and cooling costs while using fewer fossil fuels, put sealant around your doors and windows. Filling in those gaps will save you from wasting energy and save you money in the long run. Sealant and strips for around doors in very inexpensive yet cost-saving. It’s a win!
Plants are a perfect way to green up bathrooms and offices and liven up otherwise sterile environments. These plants will create more oxygen in the air of your home and keep your bathroom smelling fresh and clean. They are also pretty and can be used in virtually any room in your home.
Don’t Waste the Water
Fix leaking faucets and toilets. Leaks not only waste water but will increase the amount you owe on your water bill. A leaking toilet alone can waste up to 90 gallons of water per day, or more. If you are not able to repair the issue yourself, you should hire a plumber. It may cost you some money at first but you will save money again!
These are just a few of the many things you can do to make your home greener, less wasteful, and more kind to the environment around us.