Are you a green homeowner? You aren’t alone! Polls show 59% of Realtors have found their customers are concerned about sustainability.
Our homes are where we spend the majority of our lives. We spend our time drifting to sleep, spending time with our families, and making meals to fuel our lives. We don’t always consider the impact that our day to day activities could hurt the Earth, but sometimes the little things can add the most plastic or pollution.
We try to recycle and eat good things for our bodies, but there’s more we can do. Instead of turning to guilt: here are some of the best ways to help make your home greener without having to give up any comfort!
1- Take Care of Your HVAC System
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system is the biggest culprit for energy consumption. Heating alone accounts for roughly 42% of all household energy consumption in the United States. If your vents aren’t clean or keep the system running 24/7, your system is pumping out a lot into the environment. Instead, it would help if you got a smart thermostat, so you can turn off the air when you’re not home and work to use the heating and cooling as little as possible so that you’re still comfortable.
2- Recycle, if You Don’t Yet
If you don’t recycle, you’re a little behind, but it’s not too late to start! It’s not difficult. You don’t have to rinse the plastic or glass you put into bins. The most important thing you have to do when you recycle is to ensure that everything is organized correctly and put into the correct containers. Much recycling has to be thrown out or still ends up in landfills because it couldn’t be recycled with the things it was placed with. Read labels, and try to shop for items that come in recyclable or reusable containers.
3- Grow Plants and Food
Grow a garden! This plan is suitable for your grocery list and great for the Earth. Not only do you cut down on production and transit pollution, but you also get to help your soil and local bee population. Many people do this for the environment that, as of 2020, more tomatoes are grown by private households than by large farms in the United States!
4- Choose Your Furniture Carefully
Find your forever couch or table by looking for brands that think about the Earth the way you do. Most companies will tell you if their furniture was made with recycled or sustainable materials, and you can check in on reviews to make sure they stick to their promises.
You don’t have to give up on style or comfort; take a couple of extra steps to ensure they also fit what you want for the environment. Above all, you should avoid buying disposable furniture.
5- Switch Out Lights and Appliances
Your lights and appliances are another vast drains on the environment. Although the switch in devices might be expensive, your lights can be replaced relatively cheaply. Go for energy-efficient bulbs, and light your home the way you want. These are widely available and have been going down in price.
6- Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit
Our cars are the worst thing we do to the environment daily. If you live in a city, you can easily bike to work or restaurants within a couple of miles from your job. This idea is great for your body and excellent for the environment. If you’re not close enough to walk or bike, you can help the environment by taking public transit instead. Although it takes more time, this is the best thing you can do for the Earth. You don’t have to get rid of your car, but put some thought into how and when you use it.
7- Buy Used or Refurbished
For furniture and electronics, you don’t necessarily have to buy new to get a great item. Second-hand furniture is an excellent way to help the lifespan of items last longer and help with your home style. Refurbished electronics are also a great option since they’re less expensive, and usually, companies have put in extra work to make sure they run like a dream.
8- Take Care of Leaks Early
Most people might not think that leaks are a big deal. You hear your kitchen sink dripping, and you ignore it; you notice your shower leaking and look the other way. Although these are easy to overlook, you shouldn’t ignore them. Take the time necessary to get these repaired, and you’ll save hundreds of gallons of water from slipping away unused. These leaks are wasteful yet so easy to repair.
9- Unplug Unused Electronics
Even if you’re not using your tablet, laptop, or Bluetooth speaker in the bathroom, they’re sapping electricity. Plug-in electronics only when you need them to be plugged in, and work to avoid just leaving them in walls. This idea will lower your electronics usage and bills and help inspire you to be more mindful about how often you’re on electronics.
10- Use Cloth Instead of Paper
Although paper towels are an incredibly handy tool to have in our cleaning arsenal- they’re not great for keeping the Earth clean! You can still clean your home as profoundly as you do now, but swap to cloth rags and towels. You should avoid dyed fabric and find something with a good texture for scrubbing. You can put them through the washer with another laundry and reuse them indefinitely. If you don’t want to buy new, you can also cut up old towels that aren’t soft anymore and use them to scrub!
The Right Steps Can Help You Create a Sustainable Household
There are a lot of things that you can do to be more sustainable homeowner. The 10 steps listed above can go a long way towards reaching these goals.