Single-use plastic and CO2 emissions are the biggest sources of pollution. Not everybody can afford solar panels or Energy Star appliances, but we can all make smaller changes in our own homes. These changes are budget-friendly and they don’t take a lot of time; they are however efficient and they can turn your home into an eco-friendly place.
Without further ado, here are 12 small changes to make your home more eco-friendly:
1. Wash Your Clothes In Cold Water
Up to 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes toward heating water, according to Energy Star. So skip the heating and just use your washing machine on the cold water setting. This way, you reduce carbon dioxide emission but you also keep your clothes in top condition for longer, as hot water can deteriorate the fabric and make your colorful clothes less vibrant.
Unless you’re dealing with stubborn stains like oil stains, there really isn’t a point in running your washing machine on the hot water setting. If you feel the cold water setting doesn’t do a proper job, you can try the warm setting. Energy-wise it’s still better than using the hot water one, but also more efficient for cleaning than the cold water setting.
2. Skip The Dryer When Possible
During sunny and hot months, it’s almost a shame to not line-dry your clothes outside. There is something special about line-drying in the fresh air. Not to mention, your clothes and bedding will last longer if you hang them outside on a drying rack instead of drying them in the dryer. If you don’t have a garden or a backyard where you can line-dry your clothes, you can install a drying rack on your balcony and keep the windows open to allow the sun to dry your clothes faster.
3. DIY Instead Of Buying New
Why buy new when you can get creative and involve your family in a fun weekend project? At Inspire, Design & Create, you can find many DIY guides to help you completely transform your home. They also have tool reviews that can come in handy if you are ready to commit to the DIY lifestyle.
4. Swap Regular Light Bulbs For LED Bulbs
Investing in the right energy-efficient light bulbs makes a huge difference. You will not only use less electricity but you will also make your home more environmentally-friendly. No matter how tempting incandescent bulbs are, LED bulbs are the better alternative. They last longer, are eco-friendly, and they help you save money in the long run.
5. Use a Programmable Thermostat
Get green by installing a programmable thermostat to monitor your cooling and heating systems. A thermostat can reduce the cost of your utility bill and make your home more eco-friendly at the same time.
6. Get a Recycling Bin and a Compost Bin
If you own a recycle bin, you’ll be more conscious about recycling glass bottles, jars, paper, and other items that should be recycled.
A compost bin will help you get rid of leftovers and will give you free fertilizer you can use for your plants. These days, compost bins are designed to be neat, tidy, and odor-free. Plus, they make your life easier since they help you reduce household waste.
7. Plant Herbs
In case you were wondering what to do with the fertilizer, here’s your answer – plant your own herb garden. Herbs don’t take a lot of space. You can plant them in small pots and keep them inside the house, close to a sunny window. The big advantage? You will always have fresh herbs for your favorite dishes.
8. Decorate Your House With Plants
Potted plants are effective for indoor air cleaning. Not only that, they are also nice and they make your home more welcoming. Sure, it takes a bit of responsibility to take care of plants but it’s surely worth it.
9. Get Window Treatments
The curtains and blinds are not just for keeping nosy neighbors away, they are also there to keep the heat and cool air outside. Despite keeping your windows closed, heat and cold air can still creep in. If you don’t have a big tree to protect your home from the sun during summer months, your home can feel like an oven. Upgrading your curtains and blinds is definitely a great way to maintain the temperature and make your home more environmentally-friendly. Using the AC all day every day is definitely not.
10. Be Smarter In The Kitchen
Many people use the oven to make toast because they think it’s not efficient to buy a toaster. However, the oven uses a significant amount of energy to heat up properly and, if you only plan to cook two slices of bread, it’s not at all efficient to use the oven. The toaster uses less energy and gets the job done faster. Speaking of the oven, check the oven door every time you bake or cook something to be sure the oven door is properly closed. Keeping the oven door open leads to a huge amount of heat loss.
If you’re a coffee lover, swap the pod coffee maker for a drip coffee maker. Pod coffee makers are not at all eco-friendly since you have to use pods. The plastic capsules end up piling up in landfills every year. With drip coffee makers, you just need ground coffee.
Lastly, make sure you minimize food waste by learning how to meal plan, meal prep, and store food properly.
11. Buy a Water Filter
Whether you opt for a whole-house, an under the sink, a faucet or a pitcher filter, your home will instantly become more eco-friendly if you stop buying plastic water bottles. A water filter saves time, money, and helps reduce the amount of single-use plastic that ends up in the landfills.
12. Use Homemade Natural Cleaning Products
Natural cleaning products are just as effective as the regular ones. But they don’t contain any harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment and your health. Granted, natural cleaning products are more expensive and not all people can afford them. Nevertheless, you can make your own cleaning products using items like vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Author bio: Kristen Chapple. Kristen is the editor and content creator atinspiredesignandcreate.com. She is passionate about sustainability in style and interior décor with a soft spot for DIY projects.