19/02/2020

The Planet-Friendly Home

More and more people across the globe are becoming environmentally-aware and wondering what they can do to help. If you’re one of them, the best place to start is undoubtedly at home. 

Most of us can’t change the world, but we can change our own little part of it for the better. So, if you’re interested in doing your own little bit for the planet, here are some simple things you can do to be more environmentally-conscious at home:

Stop Wasting Water

Few of us consciously waste water, but many of us are wasting this precious commodity to some degree. The thing is, if you want to be more sustainable, you really need to watch your water consumption. That means if you have any leaking pipes or faucets, you should get them fixed. It also means that you should not run the water constantly when you brush your teeth or shave, and you should certainly stop taking really long showers. You may even want to install slimline rainwater tanks so that you can capture and use rainwater around the home, or at least install a water-butt in the garden so you can use the rainwater you catch for your plants and flowers. The more you can do to conserve water the better for the planet.

Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

We all need to light our homes in the evenings, but there are ways of doing so that are planet-friendly and ways that are not. Incandescent bulbs, for example, are very inefficient and will use a lot of energy, whereas LEDs and CFLs are far better at lighting the home with less impact on the environment. Not only do energy-efficient bulbs use less juice, but they have a far longer shelf-life too. That means you save money and valuable resources at the same time - what’s not to love!

Consider Solar Panels

If you live in an area that gets lots of sunlight, you could slash your carbon footprint and your electricity bills, by installing solar panels on the roof of your house, or perhaps in the yard. Some solar panels are so good that not only can they generate enough energy to run your home, but they can create an excess of energy that you can sell back to the power company for a profit. Of course, solar panels are not a cheap option, but you will save money in the long-term, so they are an investment well worth considering.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Keeping the home clean and presentable is important to most of us, but so often we end up using harsh chemicals that are bad for the environment, and often the body, in a bid to keep the place sparkling. This is really unnecessary when you consider the fact that it’s possible to make completely natural cleaning products that are just as, if not more, effective. 

The cornerstones of homemade natural cleaning products are white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, and essential oils. There are numerous recipes to be found online, and they’re easy to put together. It’s typically cheaper to make your own cleaning products too, and an added bonus is you can cut down on your plastic consumption by reusing containers instead of buying a new bottle of cleaner every week or so.

Ensure Your Home is Insulated

Insulating your home is smart. Not only does it significantly cut your energy consumption and save you money, as well as being really planet-friendly, but it also helps you to feel warmer in your home when it’s cold outside and cooler when it’s hot. You can insulate everywhere from your roof to inside the walls, as well as installing double or triple glazing and they will all help to eliminate drafts and keep heat in. 

You can also do low-tech things such as putting rugs down on hardwood or tiled floors and hanging thicker curtains, which will also have an insulating effect.

Compost Your Food Waste

Ideally, you should try to eliminate as much of your food waste as possible by planning your meals and streamlining your grocery shop, but practically that isn’t always possible, and when so when you are left with food waste, it’s a really good idea to turn it into compost. That way it doesn’t end up at the local garbage dump, and it can be turned into a useful substance that will help nourish earth-friendly plants, flowers, and trees in the future.

Recycle

If you don’t currently recycle, it’s really not difficult to start. All you need is a few containers that can be used to separate out various elements of recycling and a little space ot keep them - the garage is perfect. Then, you can collect your recycling until it’s full and drive to your local recycling center when you have a moment. Not only does this help the planet, but it reduces the amount of garbage in your trash cans too, which can be a useful bonus.

Buy Recycled Stuff

As well as recycling your own trash, why not choose to buy recycled products whenever it is possible to do so. From vintage clothing to upcycled furniture and even recycled toilet paper, there are so many recycled products out there that it really isn’t hard to make a change. I mean, you can even buy reconditioned smartphones, games consoles, and computers these days which are just as good as new and purchasable at a fraction of the cost!

Use Eco-Friendly Paint

When the time comes to update your home decor, consider using either recycled wallpaper or eco-friendly paint, which does not use as many finite resources in the case of the former, and which contains no nasty chemicals in the case of the latter. It’s never been easier to find more sustainable home decor products, and they are just as good, if not better than traditional options, so what have you got to lose?

You don’t have to go all out eco-warrior to be more planet-friendly. There are, as you can see, so many simple things you can do at home that is makes sense to make a few changes!


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