Many of us are always looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly in our daily lives. As our climate crisis becomes more severe and the need for change increases, we’re always searching for options to help. As it happens, a huge opportunity lies within your home! As essential as our household appliances and their functions are, many of them are big energy drainers. If you’re looking for ways to make your home eco-friendly, there are lots of places you can start. Some of them are more pricey than others, but there are options for most homeowners. Try some of these out!
Invest in solar panels
Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, and for a good reason. They take advantage of the sun by converting sunlight into the energy needed to run household necessities, such as air conditioning or kitchen appliances. The best part is the lack of fossil fuels this method of energy production uses. The goal is to naturally and harmlessly operate homes and appliances to make your home eco-friendly!
Of course, the solar strategy isn’t perfect. It takes fossil fuels and energy to create solar panels, but they are much more eco-friendly once they are installed. The burning of fossil fuels happens at the beginning, but afterwards, solar panels provide energy without emissions for years to come. Summer is often the most convenient time to install these, when the weather is nice and the sun is shining!
Consider window replacements
Old, inefficient windows are notorious for letting heat out in the winter and allowing hot air to come flowing inside during the summer – basically, always the opposite of what you want. However, upgrading to energy-efficient windows can help make your home eco-friendly. The best windows are designed to block hot air from entering during the summer and trap warm air inside during the winter. This reduces the need for your AC to work as hard, which makes your home operate more efficiently and saves you money on your utility bills!
If you don’t want to fully replace your windows, little fixes can still make a big difference. For example, you can seal any cracks around your windows or get solid curtains or blinds to keep sunlight from heating your home. This will help your home retain cool air and limit your use of air conditioning.
Do some gardening
Do you have a garden in your yard? If so, make use of it and grow fruits and vegetables. This will limit your use of plastics and take away the need to buy from stores that ship products in. If you don’t grow your own food, no problem! Try shopping at a local farmers’ market, where you can find great produce while supporting local.
If you grow plants and flowers, keep them healthy so bees can enjoy them. Remember, about a third of our food comes from bees. You can even expand your garden if you’re feeling up to it, or plant some trees for future use. There’s basically no way to mess up the environment with a garden, and it will contribute to making your home eco-friendly.
Buy sustainable summer products
This option has less to do with your home itself and more about you, the inhabitant! In the heat of summer, we seem to go through bottles of sunscreen and water like crazy. While it’s great to stay hydrated, consider getting a reusable water bottle if you don’t have one already, so you’re not recycling countless plastic bottles. The same goes for straws when we sip those refreshing iced coffees and lemonades – buy a pack of metal straws!
Sunscreen isn’t something you generally think about in terms of the environment. However, some brands have harsh chemicals that wash off our skin and down our drains, impacting our waterways and wildlife. You can buy sunscreen that’s better for the environment, such as Sun Bum and Suntegrity. These brands are certified Reef Safe, meaning they don’t have the most harmful chemicals that hurt the environment.
Hang a clothesline
We need our dryers to keep up with our laundry needs in the winter months. In the summer, though, why not try using a clothesline instead? Dryers use a ton of electricity, and this energy produces lots of CO2 and sends your utility bills through the roof. You can make your home eco-friendly by sending your clothes outside to dry, free of charge and fossil fuels. Indoor clothes racks can dry clothes as well, but you may as well take advantage of an outdoor one in the summer.
Keep track of your energy usage
Energy monitors can be a great investment in your house. These trackers tell you how much energy you’re using in your home, and it can also break down where that energy is coming from. Sometimes, we don’t realize just how much we use until we see the numbers in front of us. If you see an area where you’re using a significant amount of energy, you can try to reduce that amount. These monitors keep you in check and help you reduce your usage. Prices for these gadgets can vary from $50 to $250 and up, depending on your price range.
There are truly endless possibilities for making your home eco-friendly. It all depends on what you are able and willing to do, but every little action can make a difference!
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