Are you looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Do you want to contribute to the world’s battle against climate change? Then there’s no better place to start than inside your home.
The amount of carbon footprints of homes depends on certain factors. The size of your house is one of the biggest factors. Larger homes create bigger carbon footprints compared to low-income households.
However, a small home can still hurt the environment. Thus, you need to learn how to make your home more eco-efficient, regardless of its size.
What is eco-efficiency? It revolves around the reduction of ecological damage while maximizing energy efficiency.
Continue reading below for some of the best ways to turn your home into something friendlier to the environment.
Use Cold Water and Skip the Dryer
When we talk about eco-efficiency, it’s not all about using energy-efficient solutions. It also involves revisiting the way you perform simple tasks at home like washing your clothes.
If you want to wash your clothes in a more eco-friendly way, wash them in cold water.
Eco-efficiency analysis reveals that your washing machine uses up to 90% energy in heating water. Thus, you should use the cold setting option on your washing machine. Doing so will reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emission.
As for your clothes, washing them with cold water extends their life. Hot water tends to wear the fabric faster. Moreover, the colors of the prints can fade faster.
Also, instead of using a dryer, try line-drying your clothes. This is an excellent way of drying your clothes, especially during summer. Use your backyard or garden to line-dry your clothes.
If you live in a condo, you can hang your clothes using a drying rack. Alternatively, you can use your balcony to dry them under the sun and in the fresh air.
Switch to LED Lights
Are you still using incandescent lights? Then it’s time to make the switch to LED lights. These light bulbs are more energy-efficient compared to most options today.
Sure, they may cost a bit more than your traditional light bulbs. However, they last longer, translating into long-term savings. Interestingly, LED lights can save you about $1,000 annually over 10 years.
Also, the prices of LED light bulbs are now lower by 85% compared to how they cost several years back. Since they’re energy-efficient, they reduce carbon emissions by using less energy without compromising the level of illumination.
Solar Panels for Long-Term Savings
If you want to boost your home’s eco-efficiency while saving substantial amounts in long-term electric consumption, consider installing solar panels.
The great thing about a solar panel system is that it allows you to use pure and clean energy coming from the sun.
This means you reduce your home’s dependence on fossil fuels. Moreover, you reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
Some people still have apprehensions about solar panels because of the initial costs that come with the installation. Yes, they will cost you quite a lot in the beginning. However, the savings that follow will be more than worth it.
For starters, you get to reduce your monthly energy bills. By harvesting energy from the sun, you can use solar power at certain times of the day.
Also, you get to earn rebates and tax credits. You can recoup 30% of your system costs for the installation and equipment when you file your taxes. Add these all up and you get to save money while saving the environment.
Invest in Eco-Efficient Doors and Windows
Replacing your old doors and windows with energy-efficient ones is another effective way of making your home eco-efficient.
These doors and windows ensure that heat stays inside your house. This is crucial, especially during the colder months of winter.
On the flip side, they also keep the heat outside your home during summer. Older doors and windows fail to do this.
As a result, your HVAC system needs to work harder to give you the temperature that you need. In turn, your energy consumption and monthly electric bills increase.
Also, sticking to your old doors and windows means you keep on contributing to air pollution. If your home consumes a lot of energy, it generates excess carbon dioxide.
Where does carbon dioxide go? Into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. If you’re looking for an energy-efficient door, Provia entry doors are excellent options to consider.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Our list will not be complete without touching on this mantra. Reducing means revisiting the stuff that you use at home and limiting them to the ones that you truly need. If you can do away with a certain food, cross it out from your grocery list.
When it comes to reusing, check the items that you are planning to throw away and see if you can still make use of them. Planning to discard some old clothes, hold your horses and turn them into cleaning rags.
As for recycling, find a purpose for old plastic bottles. Instead of throwing them in the garbage can, convert them into DIY pots for small plants and herbs.
Grow Your Food
Instead of relying solely on the supermarket for your food essentials, consider growing some in your backyard. Start by growing your favorite fruits and vegetables in your yard.
Not only will this save you money, but it will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
If you’re wondering what the best herbs to grow in your yard are, go for a variety such as mint, sage, thyme, basil, and rosemary. You can use these herbs for most of your daily cooking.
Also, having a lot of plants and herbs in your backyard increases the production of oxygen. Also, these plants will consume carbon dioxide, increasing your home’s eco-efficiency in the process.
Aside from growing your food in the garden, you need to revisit your kitchen habits. How do you prepare and cook your food? If you love using your oven to toast your bread, consider using your regular toaster instead.
Compared to the oven, a toaster consumes less energy. If you’re going to toast a couple of bread slices, the toaster should be your primary option.
Also, opening your oven door even for several seconds means you’re losing a lot of heat.
Do you use a pod coffee maker? Switch to a drip coffee maker and save more energy. Pod coffee makers use more energy for a single cup compared to a drip coffee maker.
Also, the plastic capsules that you use in the pod coffee maker only end up in landfills.
Unplug Those Sockets
This is perhaps one of the simplest ways of boosting your home’s eco-efficiency. However, not all households develop and practice this habit.
Even if you’re going out for an hour or two, if there’s no one at home, don’t forget to unplug your appliances. These items are like vampires that consume energy even if you’re not using them.
Even if you switch them off, leaving the plug in the socket means they’re still consuming energy. Hence, you’re practically wasting energy and money.
Invest in a Thermostat
One of the keys to having an eco-friendly home is to invest in a programmable thermostat. A thermostat can help you monitor your heating and cooling systems.
In doing so, you can determine if you’re getting the right amounts of heat.
It can also tell you if you’re already going overboard. Also, you can invest in a smart meter. This tool lets you program your HVAC to work only when you need them.
Some homeowners tend to leave their heating systems on when they go out during winter. In turn, you waste a lot of energy in the process. By installing a smart meter, you can program your heating system to turn on minutes before you get back home.
Go for Natural Cleaning Products
You also need to rethink your choices for cleaning products. Instead of using products that come with harmful chemicals, shift to natural cleaning alternatives. These harmful chemicals also leave a negative impact on the environment.
Hence, instead of buying cleaners full of chemicals, go to your kitchen and create your natural cleaning products. Some of the best cleaners include vinegar; citrus fruits like lemon juice, and baking soda.
Insulate Your Home
Last but not least, be sure to insulate your home. Insulation is one of the smartest ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Insulation works by keeping the heat inside.
This means your heating system doesn’t need to work hard to keep you warm at night or during winter. It keeps the air from slipping out from different spaces around the house.
Improve Your Home in All Aspects
By applying these ideas, you can turn your home into an eco-efficient one. You can save more on your energy expenses while doing your part in caring for the environment. However, you should also improve the other aspects of your home.
Check out our different posts on home improvement. We share tips and tricks that will improve your property inside and outside.