Most homes were built in a time before concerns about the environment were so widespread. It was only really in the 1970s that environmentalism got started and even by the early 1990s, it was still small.
Now, though, things have changed. It’s mainstream and something that practically every major media outlet now openly discusses.
Unfortunately, despite the changes in the conversation, the way we live hasn’t adjusted all that much. Homes follow much the same format as they always have.
The good news, though, is that there are a bunch of little things that you can do that really add up over time. Check them out below:
Change The Temperature On Your Thermostat
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One of the first things you can do is change the temperature on your thermostat. For instance, if people are home, set it to 75°F instead of the usual 70°F if you use air conditioning in the summer. Similarly, change your winter temperature from the usual 68°F to 65°F. Small alterations like these can make a tremendous difference to your overall bills.
Rely More On Renewable Energy
Of course, if you have ample renewable energy installed on your property, you may be able to avoid the need to turn down your thermostat at all. Companies like Wayne's Solar are already selling things like solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels that can power electrical heating systems.
The more you rely on renewable energy, the greener your home will become, and the less carbon it will produce.
Recycle What You Can
Unfortunately, you still can’t recycle everything that you use in your home. Recyclers simply can’t process some forms of packaging.
However, you can process most of it, especially if you know where to look. Check your local area to see what electronic items recyclers are willing to take, including things like old computers, TVs, and smartphones.
Use Appliances Intelligently
The amount of energy your appliances consume depends a great deal on how you use them. In some cases, you can avoid the need for them entirely.
For instance, you could try running your washer on cold and see if the results are acceptable. You could also hang more of your clothing out in the sun or avoid the temptation to preheat your oven. If you have an opportunity to use the microwave, do so. Set the water heater to just 120°F instead of higher.
Reduce Water Usage
Water requires energy to pump to your home, which releases CO2 into the atmosphere. It also depletes freshwater in many areas which can have a knock-on effect on local ecosystems.
To reduce how much water you use, take quick showers and not baths. Use low-flow faucets and shower heads. And if you are brushing your teeth, turn off the faucet.
Automate The Lights To Turn Off When You Leave The Room
Modern technology has given us something incredible: lights that turn off when you leave the room. These work using a combination of sensors and smart chips. If they detect you’re in the room, they’ll switch on. If you leave the room, they’ll turn off. This way, you never waste electricity on lighting that you don’t use.
Install LED Bulbs
Related to this, you might want to install LED bulbs. These use dramatically less electricity than standard incandescent and they last much longer, too.
There are two ways you can go about this. Either, you can wait for your incandescents to burn out before replacing them. Or you can replace them all immediately and benefit from lower electricity costs.
These days, you can install LED bulbs all over your home. They’re equally beneficial in indoor and outdoor areas.
Use The Same Bag Every Time You Go To The Store
Bags for life usually turn into “bags for the week.” And while they reduce the number of single-use plastic bags around, they still add to the overall quantity of non-biodegradable waste in the environment.
Fortunately, you can simplify your grocery trips by using a single canvas bag made of material that will break down in the ground. Take it with you wherever you go so that you always have a bag available. If you have a car, keep it in the glove box or trunk.
Use Approved Appliances
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Lastly, prioritize buying ENERGY STAR appliances. These are tested by an independent energy rating body that determines their energy efficiency. Some appliances use less than half the amount of electricity as standard versions, and they may last longer, too. But only replace your existing appliance if you absolutely have to. Otherwise, it will wind up in landfill.
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