Five Easy Ways to Green Your Home: Eco-Friendly Ideas for an Environmentally Friendly House
Living green is not only a trend but has become a lifestyle for many. With daily reports of global warming, energy availability and the overall cost of energy, many homeowners want to know how they can help make a difference. The National Institutes of Health report that the United States generates about 208 million tons of municipal solid waste each year (or about four pounds per person per day), so even small changes in your home can make a big difference.
Capturing rainwater in a rain barrel and reusing the water to water your plants is a great green practice. Consider installing a rooftop garden or a rain garden to use rainwater and help reduce your usage of water from the local reservoir. Composting is also another fantastic way to reduce your trash output and create fertilizer for your garden. Growing your own herbs and vegetables also reduces your carbon footprint and saves money on groceries.
Encourage your family members to turn off lights when leaving a room. Run the dishwasher only once a day or once every other day. Save laundry to run full loads. Consider showering every other day. The old 1970s adage ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow- if it’s brown, flush it down’ can be used in your bathroom to save hundreds of gallons of unnecessary freshwater waste. Replace old appliances with energy saving models, which could save you hundreds of dollars per year on your energy bill. Use energy-efficient light bulbs.
Use Green Products
Luckily, consumers now have access to an increasing number of green products in regular grocery stores and other retailers. When you are shopping for items like cleaning products, paper towels, toilet paper, and other household goods, find eco-friendly products to substitute for your regular brands. Even choosing an eco-friendly laundry or dishwashing detergent can significantly lower the amount of nitrogen you send out into your local waterways. Consider re-usable grocery bags made from recycled materials. Use compost-able materials (like disposable silverware and plates) in your kitchen.
If your household doesn’t already recycle, this is the easiest way to help the environment. If your neighborhood does not have access to curbside recycling, look online at your local county or state government offices website and find a recycling center where you can bring your aluminum, plastic, newspaper, etc.
One of the best websites to check for more ideas is greenhome.com, which displays a graphic of a household, and you can click on a room of the house and the website tells you how to make ‘green’ changes in that room. You can also buy a book (printed on recycled paper and shipped in green materials, of course!) on ways to make your home more eco-friendly.
It is easy being green!