by G. White
Doing your part to protect the environment once meant separating paper from plastic in your recycling bin and buying organic greens that you carried home in a reusable tote. But these days, there is a lot more you can do to be green and create a healthy home and it doesn’t cost a lot in either dollars or time.
Since we are human and creatures of habit, change takes time. Begin with small steps. To help you get started, here are a few environmentally friendly living tips on how you can turn your home sweet home into home green home.
Start by saving energy
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs they last up to 10 times longer.
- Turn off the lights in rooms that are not being used.
- Set cooling and heating temperatures correctly. Your refrigerator and freezer are probably the biggest electrical energy consumers in your house. Refrigerators do their job at around 37 F and freezers set at -3 F keep things nice and frosty. Set your home thermostat at 68 F in the day and 55 F at night. In the summer keep it at 78 F. Water heaters work most efficiently between 120 and 140 F.
- Get unplugged by unplugging electronic appliances when not in use.
- Use appliances efficiently. Wait for a full load before turning on the washing machine, dryer, or dishwasher. Preheat your oven only when necessary.
- Let the sunshine: Open blinds, drapes, and shutters to let solar energy warm and brighten your home naturally.
- Stop leaks: Plug, insulate, replace, repair, caulk, or seal to make your home as leak-proof as possible.
Clear the air
- Ban smoking: The number one way to combat indoor air pollution is to never let anyone smoke in your home.
- Grow plants indoors: Live plants act as natural air filters.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector.
- Check for radon
Shun toxic products
- Choose non-toxic cleaners.
- Use cloths instead of cleaners.
- Reduce the use of bug spray.
Grow a greener garden
- Plant an edible garden.
- Compost kitchen scraps.
- Water your garden wisley.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn: Grass cuttings act as natural fertilizer when they decompose.
Beyond paper, plastic, and glass
- Use durable goods
- Buy recycled products.
- Find creative ways to recycle household goods.
- Save baths for special occasions: A shower uses about half as much water as the average bath. Just remember to keep it under 5 minutes.
- Fill the sink to do dishes
- Think before flushing: Don’t waste water flushing tampons, condoms, or flushable wipes down the toilet.
With a little “tweak” here and there, you will have a green home and reap the benefits!