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30 Ways To Be A More Eco-Friendly Homeowner

Posted by Alan Bernau Jr on Thu, Apr 18, 2019

eco-friendly-homeowner

Do you consider yourself an eco-friendly homeowner? Maybe you recycle, take reusable bags to the grocery store, and own energy-efficient appliances. If so, that's great! Check out some other simple things you can do to be even more eco-friendly.

  1. Create a Compost Pile. You probably know you can put coffee grounds, potato peels, and lettuce in a compost pile. But did you know you can compost cardboard, grass clippings, and newspaper as well? Composting decreases what goes into a landfill and enriches the soil with beneficial bacteria.
  2. Get a Low-Flow Toilet. This is a toilet that uses less water per flush. In fact, low-flow toilets use 1.3 gallons of water per flush, as opposed to the 1.6 gallons (or more) used by traditional toilets.
  3. Open Your Curtains. Instead of turning on the furnace when you're cold, make better use of the sunlight to warm your home. If you have south-facing windows, open the curtains to allow sunlight inside for several hours per day.
  4. Get Smart Technology. A smart thermostat ensures that your home's heating and cooling system operates in the most efficient way possible. Presetting your thermostat allows you to be eco-friendly and save on your energy bills, too.
  5. Invest in Quality Furniture. An eco-friendly homeowner spends a bit more on furniture items that are durable and long-lasting. This helps to keep cheap, broken furniture items out of landfills.
  6. Use LED Bulbs. LED bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. Also, they're more energy-efficient.
  7. Be Mindful of Your Water Use. Take a moment to think before pouring water down your sink. If you drink just half a glass of water or have water left in the kettle, pour the remainder into the pot of one of your houseplants.
  8. Keep Your Clothes Dryer Running Efficiently. Remove the lint from the lint trap every time you use the dryer. This allows it to operate at peak efficiency.
  9. Extend the Life of Your Refrigerator. Adjust the temperature of your refrigerator to 40 degrees or below so it's not working harder than it needs to. This is the proper temperature for food storage, so it will also cut down on food that spoils and goes to waste. I suggest putting a small thermometer in your fridge just to keep an eye on things.
  10. Put Up Weather Stripping. Putting weather stripping around doors and windows keeps cold breezes out in the winter. This can help you to maintain a warm temperature in your home and cut down on furnace use.
  11. Install Solar Panels on Your Home. When you use solar panels to power your utilities, you're lowering your impact on the environment. Plus, installing these panels can increase your home's value if you ever want to sell.
  12. Select an Energy-Efficient Washing Machine. Some washing machines are designed to gauge just how much water is needed to wash a load of clothes, so they don't use too much. Getting one of these is an easy way to save water.
  13. Use the Oven in an Efficient Way. After preheating the oven, open it only once to put in your baking dish or pan. When you continually open and close the oven, it loses heat and must use additional energy getting back to its set temperature.
  14. Choose a Shower Over a Bath. When you take a five-minute shower, you're using about 50% less water than you would if you took a bath.
  15. Unplug Appliances. Have you ever heard of energy vampires? Household appliances are using energy even when they are on standby, so start unplugging.
  16. Install Timers on Your Lights. Have you ever run out the door to work or school and forgotten to turn off the porch light or an interior light? You can avoid this waste of electricity by installing timers on your outdoor and indoor lights.
  17. Use Drought-Tolerant Plants in Your Landscape. Russian sage, salvia, lavender, and coneflower are all drought-tolerant plants that add color to a garden. Plus, they require minimal watering, which makes them eco-friendly. I especially like that many of these types of plants attract butterflies!
  18. Wash Clothing in Cold Water. Unless you have a load of extremely soiled clothing, set the water temperature to cold. The clothes will be clean, and less energy will be used in the process.
  19. Fill Your Dishwasher. You can use water and energy more efficiently if you wait until the dishwasher is full before starting it. Also, make sure the dishwasher itself is labeled as energy-efficient.
  20. Fix Dripping Faucets. A dripping faucet is not just annoying; it can add up to a lot of wasted water. In many cases, a small replacement part is all it takes to fix the issue.
  21. Get a Tankless Water Heater. A tankless water heater provides hot water when it's needed. This makes it more energy-efficient than a traditional water heater that stores a supply of water and keeps it hot until someone wants to use it.
  22. Use Old T-Shirts as Rags. Make some cleaning rags out of old shirts or socks. Washing and reusing these rags reduces paper towel use.
  23. Keep Your Refrigerator Coils Clean. Take a little extra time to vacuum or sweep dust off the coils beneath your refrigerator. Dust and debris can clog a refrigerator's filter, making it use more energy than necessary to operate.
  24. Air-Dry Your Clothes. If you have a place to put up a clothesline in your yard, try air-drying some of your clothes. Though it takes a bit longer, this method is very eco-friendly.
  25. Check the Quality of Your Home's Insulation. Poorly insulated walls allow warm and cool air to escape your home. When you have effective insulation, you can keep your home at a comfortable temperature while not overusing your AC or furnace.
  26. Adjust the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan. If you have a ceiling fan, set its paddles to turn counterclockwise in the summer and clockwise in the winter. In the summer, the counterclockwise paddles will direct cool air down into the living area. Paddles turning clockwise in the wintertime will pull cool air toward the ceiling, forcing warmer air downward.
  27. Change the Filter in the Furnace. Changing the air filter in your furnace every three months contributes to the efficiency of your heating system. If you have pets, you may want to change the filter more frequently to get rid of pet hair and dander.
  28. Teach Your Kids Good Habits. Turning off the light before leaving a room, turning off the faucet while putting toothpaste on a toothbrush, and loading the dishwasher completely are all eco-friendly habits your kids and grandkids can pass on to their families. Just imagine these habits being practiced by future generations!
  29. Keep a Box for Scrap Paper. Before recycling a piece of paper, be sure to use both sides. Use one side of a piece of paper, put it into your scrap paper box, and take out a piece when you need to jot down another note.
  30. Make a Rain Barrel. The water you collect in your rain barrel can be used to water your garden, fill the birdbath, or water indoor plants. It reduces runoff and the spread of pollution into nearby rivers.

Thanks for reading! - Alan

Topics: eco friendly homeowner

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