Eco-friendly homes are better for the environment and your wallet. But it’s hard to know where to begin! That’s why we’ve put together easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly.
If you’re ready to go green, check out our suggestions below.
1. Unplug electronics when they’re not in use
Just because your TV and computer are turned off doesn’t mean they’re not still sucking up energy. Most appliances continue to draw power, even when not on or running. It’s estimated that this costs Americans $19 billion annually in wasted electricity.
Unplugging your electronics is a great way to reduce your home’s carbon footprint while also saving money on your electric bill.
2. Keep the fridge and freezer full to make your home more eco-friendly
Keeping the fridge and freezer full is a great way to save energy since the coolers will turn on less frequently.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your refrigerator at 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower and your freezer at -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit) or lower. This will also help keep food fresher longer, which means less waste!
3. Invest in energy-efficient appliances
You can save money and energy by getting more energy-efficient appliances.
Look for the Energy Star label or the GreenPower label, which indicates that the appliance is made with either recycled materials or uses renewable resources like wind and solar power.
If a product doesn’t have any of these labels, ask your local energy provider about the rebates they offer to offset the cost of buying more eco-friendly appliances.
4. Turn off the lights when you exit a room
You can start by turning off the lights when you exit a room. If you go from one room to another, turn off the lights in both rooms so that they aren’t left on.
It’s also important not to leave lights on when you’re not home and to unplug appliances when not using them. You may want to consider installing timers for your lamps and televisions. These devices tend to stay on for long periods even when nobody is using them. This will help reduce energy usage during off-hours and save money on your electric bill.
5. Wash clothes in cold water to make your home more eco-friendly
Washing clothes in cold water will save you time, money, and the environment.
The main advantage of washing clothes at lower temperatures is that it saves energy. On average, your laundry machine uses less than half the amount of electricity for a cycle with cold water than for a cycle with hot water.
Washing clothes in hot water also uses more water than washing them at lower temperatures—a whopping 30% more, according to Energy Star’s website. This means that using cold or warm rather than hot water can help you save money on your monthly energy bill.
6. Turn down your thermostat
This one is a no-brainer, but it still bears repeating: turn your thermostat down when you’re not using heating or cooling. This can be especially important in the summer when you don’t need to run your A/C as much.
That said, consider keeping your thermostat at a higher setting during colder months so that your heater doesn’t have to work as hard (and therefore cost less) when it’s on.
Of course, if you do decide that lowering the temperature will help save some cash.
7. Installing solar panels on your home
Solar panels are one of the best ways to lower your carbon footprint and save money on utility bills. They can be installed in various ways, but they generally require an investment of around $25,000.
However, solar panels produce clean energy and will eventually pay for themselves—which is why they’re great additions to any home or property.
8. Insulate your home properly
Insulation is a must. It keeps homes cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and can also reduce noise.
If you don’t have any insulation, you can buy rolls of it or have it added by an expert. There are many materials that can be used to insulate homes, including cellulose and foam boards.
9. Keep house repairs local
When you hire a contractor, it’s important to look for one who will use local materials. Doing so helps the local economy and ensures that your home will be built with materials that are better for the environment.
The added bonus? You’re also supporting contractors with a vested interest in the community and won’t take advantage of you as a customer by overcharging them for their services. Local contractors also tend to be environmentally friendly because they want to do what’s best for their company and the entire community.
10. Pick water-based paints
When painting your home, pick water-based paints. Why? Water-based paints are good for the environment and cheaper than oil-based paints.
They also have a longer drying time than oil-based paints, which makes them ideal for humid climates.