How To Green Up Your Home and Routine

Posted by Jake Riviera on March 16th, 2021

Chances are that you've been spending more time at home lately. Between virtual learning and remote work arrangements, more people are finding that to be the case. These tips will help you make all that at-home time more environmentally friendly.

Start With a Sound Foundation

Even the best intentions can be wasted if your home is not designed to be environmentally friendly. Overly large spaces, vaulted ceiling in cold climates, and a lack of insulation are just a few of the things that can make a house less eco-friendly. Older windows and doors with single pane glass and tons of draughts are other key areas to look out for. Homes that are fully or partially built into the ground, windows that maximize sun exposure, and insulated glass and frames on windows and doors are a few home features that make living green easier.

Embrace Renewable Energy 

If you are like most households, a large portion of your utility usage is for heating and cooling. Embracing renewable energy sources can dramatically lower its environmental impact. Many households have found that switching to solar panels can significantly reduce dependence on the utility grid. Still not sure? Use a solar panel calculator to find out if it's a feasible option for your household. Wind power is another renewable technology that is become ing more popular. It is a good solution for houses in areas where solar might not be a viable choice. If you are building a new home or willing to undertake a renovation, geothermal systems are another option.

Change Utility Habits

Of course, you may find that other changes can have a significant impact on your power consumption. Some things are simple, like remembering to turn lights off when you leave a room or turning your devices off when you aren't using them. Here are a few other ways you can cut back:

  • Put up a clothesline and hang the laundry instead of using a dryer

  • Use motion detectors to turn lights on when you come home

  • Install a smart home hub to monitor utility usage and make adjustments based on the data

Work To Conserve Water

Water is a critical natural resource that is being depleted at unprecedented rates. There are many threats to the freshwater supply, making conservation increasingly important. Think about it for a moment, you need water for every basic life function. Countless aquatic animals rely on it for survival. It is used to irrigate crops that provide food to billions of people every day. That becomes heartbreakingly evident when you look at famines that arise from prolonged periods of drought.

Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do around the house to conserve water. Install low-flow fixtures in high-use parts of your home. Toilets, showers and kitchen sinks are key examples. Use aerator devices to cut back on water use without compromising water pressure. Install native landscaping plants or use xeriscaping techniques to cut back on irrigation needs. Changing your laundry habits can also play a big role in how much water your household consumes.

Switch to Natural Cleaners

Cleaning products can be a major source of chemical pollution in some areas. Part of the problem is that they are so common. Most people think nothing of dumping them down the drain or putting small amounts into the trash that ends up at a landfill. In both cases, those chemicals can contaminate the groundwater supply or affect nearby aquatic ecosystems. Switching to natural cleaners is a simple swap that can have a huge impact. As more people realize the dangers of traditional cleaning products, green alternatives are becoming increasingly common. You can find them in many big box and grocery stores around the country and prices are comparable to your old favorites.

Use Organic Gardening Techniques

If you have a garden or lawn, you may not realize how bad it can be for the environment. If you use standard plant-care practices, you are probably adding potentially dangerous chemicals to the ground. IN many cases, your plants probably don't even need the amendments you are using. To find out, have your soil tested. Most agricultural extension offices offer this service for free or at a minimal cost. Then, address deficiencies in a targeted and eco-friendly manner. Many organic practices are easy to adopt. Take composting, which can make a huge difference. It improves the soil, so you need less water and fertilizers to grow plants. Mulch further cuts down the need for water, and can also prevent weeds from taking over.

Making small changes to your habits can help you move toward a greener lifestlye. At the same time, embracing conservation practices and renewable energy greatly reduces your environmental impact.

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Jake Riviera

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Jake Riviera
Joined: May 24th, 2020
Articles Posted: 22

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