Green living or living more sustainably is a responsibility that each of us can undertake in our daily lives. As we face climate change, forest fires, and the extinction of certain species, we all can make lifestyle choices that reduce our carbon footprint to protect the environment. What better place to start than in our own homes? Below are five ways to create an eco-friendlier home and help make a positive impact on our planet.
1. Use eco-friendly cleaning products
When purchasing cleaning products for your home, such as your kitchen and bathrooms, avoid products that are loaded with dangerous chemicals or volatile organic compounds (VOC). These products are not just harmful to your family’s health, but they also contribute to pollution when they enter our water supply.
Consider eco-friendly products that are low in VOCs as they contain fewer allergens and are gentler for sensitive skin, while they are biodegradable and safe for the environment, too.
2. Limit shopping
Before purchasing new items, such as home décor, bedding, or clothing, think twice. Decide if these are items that you need or simply want. When purchasing new items, Earthday.org suggests you choose materials that use natural fabric fibers, such as cotton, linen, bamboo, organic, or low-impact materials. By doing so, you reduce the number of microplastics shed from washing and flowing into rivers and oceans.
You can also support sustainable and ethical brands that reduce waste, use renewable materials, and treat their workers fairly.
Lastly, instead of throwing used furniture or clothing, donate or recycle these items to reduce waste. Your garbage could be your neighbor’s treasure.
3. Choose energy-efficient home appliances
Energy-efficient appliances can operate using less energy and under lower temperatures while completing the task. Check your existing appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, microwaves, and ovens, and shop wisely when purchasing new ones. Replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones can also reduce your energy use. Using energy-efficient appliances results in a lower electricity bill for you, minimizes the exploitation of our natural resources, and helps to reduce pollution.
You can track your energy usage at home to identify areas where you can reduce your energy cost. The Wiser Energy system monitors the electricity in your home and provides real-time energy usage, notifies you when devices are on or off, and can help keep your family safe from disaster. By using the Wiser Energy system, you can track your savings and set energy goals to reduce waste. To learn more, click here.
4. Install high-performance windows
Most of the heat in our homes is lost through leaky or inefficient windows. By sealing window gaps, adding protective coatings, double or triple glazing, or switching to double-paned windows, you could reduce energy usage by over 20% during winter and up to 17% in warm climates during winter. While this may be a costly solution in the short term, it will definitely pay off in savings in the long run.
When choosing high-performance windows, Finehomebuilding.com says there are four factors to consider: u-factor, the measure of how much heat flows through your window, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) or the amount of solar heat the window allows to get inside, visible transmittance, or how much visible light gets through the glass, and lastly, air leakage which certifies that the window does not allow for more than 0.3 cubic feet per minute per square foot of window area in the equivalent of a 25mph wind.
5. Go Solar
More homeowners are switching to solar energy systems to power their homes. By installing solar panels which convert sunlight into electricity for your home, you reduce your electricity bills and save money in the long run. Depending on where you live, you may also earn tax credits and rebates to reduce the initial cost of your solar installation. To learn more about the costs of solar panels, read this article.
On top of lowering your electric bills, going solar reduces your dependency on fossil fuels which helps combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air and water pollution.
By choosing to harness the power of the sun for clean energy and making small changes in your own home, you can live more sustainably and do your part in protecting our planet.
Interested in going Solar? This article can help you get started on your journey.
If you would like to meet with one of our Preferred Installers who can help you install solar in your home, click below:
- Green living = a lifestyle that makes choices to conserve and preserve the Earth’s natural resources
- Carbon footprint = the total amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds) that are generated from the consumption of fossil fuels by individuals or a group
- Clean energy = energy that comes from natural resources or processes that are always replenished and do not pollute the atmosphere when used. Examples: solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, and tidal energy. Also referred to as renewable energy.