Transitioning to a green lifestyle doesn’t have to be as dramatic as you think. In fact, there are simple things you can do around your house every day to make your life more environmentally-friendly. Believe it or not, these changes are easy to apply and won’t compromise your comfort. To test them out for yourself, read on for six ways you can give back to Mother Nature in your own home.
1. Limit Your Laundry
One of the most obvious ways to reduce consumption and preserve energy while doing laundry is to cut it down to just once per week. Use cold water only and line dry your clothing instead of using the dryer. For some clothing items, you might need to complement line drying with a quick run through the delicate cycle, but this still cuts down your energy consumption dramatically over time.
2. Choose Green Cleaning
Everyone knows that moisture and carpets just don’t mix, so why not switch to a dry method of cleaning instead of full-out washing and rinsing? Dry carpet cleaning methods reduce allergens and limit your water consumption, making it a positive choice for your health and the environment. You can keep it eco-friendly with your other household cleaning projects by mixing together your own cleaning products, which saves money and prevents you from exposing your home to harsh chemicals.
3. Leave the Thermostat Alone
Even setting your thermostat just a few degrees lower in the winter and higher in the summer can make a dramatic difference on your home energy bills, which (you guessed it!) also protects natural resources. Remember to always adjust the thermostat when you leave the house, and consider keeping it off completely during milder seasons when the weather isn’t as extreme. Use fans during the summer and portable heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature in a limited space, and dress according to the season.
4. Be Self-Sustained
This project might be a little more involved, but you also get a lot more out of it than other green projects. You can save money and resources by doing your own mulching with a chipper and planting your own grass seeds. Make sure your hose isn’t leaking, and be sure you have completely turned the water valve off after each use. Use a rain barrel to water your garden the natural way, and plant your own produce to enjoy fresh, pesticide-free vegetables.
5. Turn Off the Lights
Replace traditional light bulbs with compact, fluorescent alternatives to save money and energy. Invest in a dimming system to adjust the lighting in each room, so you never consume more than you actually need. Always unplug electronic items when you’re not using them, and take advantage of natural sunlight as much as possible during the daytime.
6. Eat Healthier
Many health professionals recommend eating meat sparingly, which can do the environment just as much good as it does your body. Aim to replace one meat entree each week with a protein-rich, vegetarian dish to limit your consumption of meat. If you already consume a limited amount of meat, choose more organic foods, since these foods are healthier and grown by more environmentally-friendly means.
There are so many reasons to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, providing personal incentive on top of the incentive to make the world a better place. These six projects can help you get started in your new green lifestyle, but you can always try out new methods of saving energy both inside the home and out.