Image by Suvodeb Banerjee / Creative Commons
Sometimes the idea of “going green” or making a more eco-friendly home can be a little overwhelming. How much is it going to cost you? How much time is it going to take? What major changes are you going to have to make? What comforts will you have to give up? Well, in all honesty, these 7 steps take very little time and can make your home more eco-friendly in no time at all.
1) First step is to run your dishwasher, washer, dryer, and other such appliances during off “peak” hours. Then add in changing to the cold water settings, only run when you have a full load, and opt for a more eco-friendly cleaner. Here’s a post I found offering natural recipes for liquid hand soap, dish soap and laundry soap.
2) To cut down on food waste, you will need to plan ahead. Before you go grocery shopping, you’ll want to figure out what you are going to buy based on what recipes you plan on making for the week. This way you won’t get excess food that can easily go to waste and you won’t miss out on the items you do need. Then remember to get reusable containers that you can use to save leftovers.
3) Next step is to set up a compost bin. This doesn’t have to be hard. You can either buy a compost bin, make one yourself or have a compost pile in your yard. The choice is yours, but before you make you final decision, check out this guide to compost containers. It explains what they are, things to consider before you buy one, the option of going homemade, etc. Don’t forget to get your kids involved in the fun of composting too.
4) Toss those air fresheners. With fall in full bloom (at least in some parts of the world), there are more natural ways to fill your home with fresh scents. You can open your windows to help get rid of indoor air pollution while at the same time bringing the smells of nature inside. You can simmer a pot of apple cider on the stove. Add in a little cinnamon and your house will have a scent that no store-bought freshener can beat. Try your hand at some baking and your home will take on a whole new smell.
5) If you don’t already have them, buy a few power strips. Remember to unplug appliances, computers and other electronic devices when they are not charging or in use. Don’t get sucked dry, raise your vampire power awareness and cut down on wasted energy.
6) Get a programmable thermostat. Preset the time your heat or air-conditioner come on, preset the temperature you want your home, and more. Of course those of you who really want to step it up a notch can always buy Nest, the Learning Thermostat.
7) Last, but not least, is getting you and your family into a recycling frame of mind. To start, you have to remember reducing your waste is best, then reusing whenever and wherever you can, then anything that can be recycled, should be. Start by putting a recycling bin inside. Next, educate your family on what can be recycled and you’re on the way.
Just those 7 steps alone will make your home a lot more eco-friendly. I know there are many more such as planting a garden (indoor or outdoor), harvesting rainwater, getting solar panels, tapping in to wind power, etc. While all of those are good, I figured these 7 would be an easy way to get you going. Enjoy!