Some Easy Ways to Make your Home More Eco-Friendly
We all want to do our part to protect the environment, but without a large paycheck, that can be difficult, if not impossible. But doing your part doesn’t have to be hard. You can eco-friendilize and it doesn't even have to hurt!
Use less water. (Ah-hah!)
Saving water is all about small steps:
- Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
- Take showers that are a minute or two shorter (get a cool timer from The Shower Manager)
- Only flush the toilet when you need to (okay, ick... remember in Meet The Fockers..."when it's yellow, let it mellow..."?)
- Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
- Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers, and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products. (Erg, okay, that seems hard, but no harder than say, googling how to breed goldfish, or other randomness...)
Use less energy. (Okay, that's kind of a "no, duh." But hey, you never know!)
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, ( huh, like anyone we know) you can make a big difference with small changes.
- Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but they totally make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
- Unplug chargers & countertop appliances when you’re not using them. They use up power even if they're not on.
- Put devices with remotes, like T.V.s, VCRs, and stereos, on a power strip and turn it off when you’re not using them. These devices use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
- Turn the air up, or down! A few degrees won't make any real difference to you, but a pretty substantial one to the environment (and your wallet!)
- Turn off the AC off altogether! Open up your windows and let the outside in...
- Walk or ride your bike for short trips. (refer to this post about the awesomest bike, ever)
- Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved. You can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using. You can compete to see who uses the least water. You can often count on your kids to help keep you on track when given the task. (Seriously. Kids love to call out their parents.)
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. (Okay, I know it's not that easy, but hear me out.) With a little thought there are many items around your home that can be reused – DLTK has oodles of fun crafts to make with toilet paper rolls. And old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels. Old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases. You get the idea, right? No? Okay, here's a little help, courtesy of About.com
Use environmentally friendly products.
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more “natural” or “eco- friendly” products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: 1. Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural. 2, They’re often expensive.
If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Pioneer Thinking has a great list of other natural safe home-made cleaning recipes & products.
We all knowing that going green means "better for the environment", but it’s also better for you. Conserving resources also helps save you money, which you know, is pretty dang awesome.
Go ahead, eco-friendilize something (or someone!) in your life.