People who make their homes eco-friendlier usually find they cost less to run too. It has to be an added bonus if you are helping the planet and saving money at the same time. Many people do not know where to start with making their house more eco-friendly though, so here are a few tips to help you.
Here are some simple steps to an eco-friendly house anyone can follow:
Be More Energy Efficient
The less energy you use, the less has to be made by the power stations. If everyone reduced their energy consumption, it would make a big difference to global warming, as power stations are blamed for more than 30% of CO2 emissions.
There are simple strategies that can help in your home. In the winter months, lower your thermostat by just two degrees. No one will notice except for you when the energy bill comes in. Then count how many things there are in your home that are left on standby when they are not in use.
Each TV, computer and anything else that has a red light on it overnight is costing you almost $1 dollar a week. Multiply that by the number of items and then by 52 weeks of the year, and you will be surprised at how much you could save just by turning them off completely.
Then there are things like home insulation that can help. It is said that 35% of the heat generated is lost through our attics, so insulating that is well worthwhile. Make sure windows and doors are not letting warm air out too and you will find the amount of energy you are using reduces dramatically.
Décor and Furnishing
Many paints and stains contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful chemicals. Next time you are refreshing your home, buy paints and stains that are low in VOCs. This will mean that even the walls in your house will be more eco-friendly.
Furnishings can be made from recycled products and look just as good. This helps the amounts of trees that need to be cut down, and many people have started to buy second-hand furniture and restore it themselves. This is a great way to help the planet, and it can be very satisfying to take an old table, for instance, and return it to its former glory.
You can buy bedding that is made from organic cotton that has been treated with non-toxic, water-based dyes. These all go towards you living in a chemical-free home.
Most commercially produced cleaning products contain chemicals that are not too good for you and your family, and they are expensive. You probably have some good cleaning products in your cupboards already, and they are a lot cheaper.
Baking soda is just one that is brilliant because it has many different uses. It is a natural cleaner that can be used for personal hygiene or cleaning your home. For example, it is very efficient in cleaning your teeth, which is why many kinds of toothpaste contain it. Mix some in water and swill it around your mouth for a mouthwash that will freshen your breath. It can be used to exfoliate, relieve skin irritation, reduce the effects of heartburn, and stop the itching of insect bites.
In your home, it will break down grease naturally, which makes it great for cleaning floors and worktops. It will clean and deodorize your microwave and fridge, both of which should never have commercial cleaners used on them. There are so many uses for baking soda it really is amazing, but it is not the only product you already have that can help.
Both vinegar and lemon are both natural cleaners that can be used for a multitude of household jobs. You can buy natural cleaners commercially, but always check the labels to ensure they are what they say.
A recirculating water pump will reduce the amount of water you use. They deliver hot water instantly and will save you water every time you use it. You can also save water by replacing older kitchen appliances.
A modern dishwasher, for example, uses less than half the water a five-year-old one will use. This is partly because they are made to be more water-efficient now, but also because the older an appliance gets, the less water and energy efficient it becomes. The same applies to your washing machine, kettle, and any other appliances that use water and energy.
You should change all your light bulbs to LED. Not only are they cheaper to run and more flexible to use, but there are more eco-friendly on disposal. They last roughly 10 times longer than an incandescent lightbulb and do not have the problem of flickering that you get with fluorescent lightbulbs.
You can change the colors of them and operate them remotely from your smartphone, which can be great for security if you are away from home.
Change to Green Suppliers
Most power, but not all, is produced with fossil fuels. There are two problems with this. One, they produce a lot of CO2 emissions, and secondly, one day, they will run out. There are companies producing power by using the sun, wind or tides, and as these are all renewable resources, they are a much better way.
Check with your supplier to find out how their power is made, and then look at the comparison sites to get the best deal on a green energy supplier. They are no dearer, and often have bonuses attached because they are so desperate to get people to stop using the power that is produced using fossil fuels.
In some cases, governments are subsiding these companies to encourage people to change, as they have targets to meet for reducing the CO2 emissions and the power stations are a great way to help with this.
Look Closely and Follow These Steps to an Eco-Friendly House
Being eco-friendly is not difficult, but it can take some determination and effort to turn your house into an environmentally friendly one. Once it is done, it is simple, and you will soon wonder why you did not do it a long time ago.