A lot of focus has been placed on environmental awareness lately, and how we can improve our world by living “green”. But aside from the basics that most of us know about – recycling, using public transportation instead of cars, and that sort of thing – many people wonder what more they can do. We’ve put together a bunch of quick tips that you can use around the home to help make your home more green, and do a little bit more to help the environment.
When you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious at home, the best way to think about it is in terms what you use the most. Think about how you use electricity and water, and how to minimize the waste you create each day.
You might be amazed to learn that many devices actually consume power while they’re turned off! Thanks to our increasingly technology-based lifestyles, we tend to leave most of our devices plugged in all the time so that we can turn them on at a moment’s notice. Most people have power adapters for their smartphones, tablets, and other rechargeable devices always plugged in, and these little devices actually consume a fair bit of electricity even when they’re not in use! Unplug them when you don’t need them, and not only will you make your home a little more green, you’ll also see a difference on your electricity bill!
Light bulbs are also a major source of electrical waste in the home. There have been a lot of attempts to improve the old incandescent light bulbs that most of us know and love, but they haven’t all been successful. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs are one option that use far less power, but they often contain harmful chemicals that can make disposing of them properly a big hassle. A much better alternative is to use LED bulbs, which are more expensive at the outset but last far longer than CFL or incandescent bulbs and take a fraction of the electricity to produce the same amount of light.
Another great way to make your home a little more green is to conserve water. Installing low-flow showerheads and toilets can make a huge difference in the amount of water you use, and you probably won’t even notice the difference in daily life. Getting a new showerhead is easy to do, but installing a new toilet can be expensive. If you don’t feel like going to all that trouble, you can easily convert your toilet into a low-flush model by placing something in the toilet take to take up space. You have to be careful what you use because you don’t want to mess up the way the toilet works, but a simple plastic bottle filled with water or sand can displace a lot of volume in your toilet tank. That way each time the tank fills, it uses less water.
It’s not just inside the home that you can conserve water! If you’ve got a garden you love, you should consider attaching a rainwater tank to your eaves-trough system to collect rainwater. You can then use the water you collect to water your garden instead of having to use the garden hose like usual. Rainwater is generally much better for gardens and plants because it hasn’t been treated with chemicals like fluoride or chlorine. This trick will help make your home green both metaphorically and literally!
We all know about the value of recycling our glass, plastic and paper products, but an even better solution is to reduce the amount of waste you create in the first place. Change all your monthly bills to use email billing instead of paper bills, and put a ‘No Flyers Please!’ sign by your mailbox. You’d be amazed how much paper this will save over the course of a single year!
If you’ve got the space and you love gardening, you might want to think about creating your own compost pile in a back corner of your yard. You can dump all your kitchen waste there – vegetable off-cuts, eggshells, etc – and in a year or two, you’ll have a nutritious compost that your plants will absolutely love.
With these simple changes, it’s possible to make your home more green almost overnight. When they’re so easy to do, there’s no reason not to! If you can convince your friends and neighbours to follow your good example, then you’ll really be inspiring the kind of change that will help save the environment and make the world a better place.