Going green starts at home. From recycling and composting to using eco-friendly products, there are a handful of simple, everyday practices that you can put into action to make your home a more sustainable and green place to live.
Choose Earth-Friendly Home Products
Say goodbye to those harsh, chemical-ridden products in your bathroom and kitchen; say hello to something that’s both eco-friendly and safe for your family as well as the environment. The Environmental Working Group has reported that the chemicals and cleaning agents found in many common household cleaning items can lead to birth defects, asthma risks, respiratory issues, chemical burns and cancer.
Consider checking out Amway.com for safer, eco-friendly options. Here, you can find dozens of household and everyday products that are safe for you, your family and the planet.
Avoid Unnecessary Waste
The United States makes up one-third of the global trash that exists, even though our country accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Data reported by Virginia Tech shows that 65 percent of Americans do not recycle simply because it’s too confusing, takes too much work and isn’t required.
The effort to cut back on waste starts at home. You can recycle your unwanted glass bottles and plastics, and compost paper products and food waste such as banana and orange peels and egg shells. It’s easier than you might think. The experts at Gardener's Supply Company offer tips to make learning how to compost simple.
A smart thermostat can not only save energy, it can also save you money. There are hundreds of “smart” devices on the market; many of these items are probably already in use in your own home. Why should your home’s thermostat be any different?
Consider updating that old thermostat to Nest, a smart thermostat that is programmable directly from your smartphone. The thermostat can even sense when nobody is home and turn off your heating or cooling to save energy. Nest is even smart enough to learn your settings and preferences.
Look for Eco-Labels
Many of today’s appliances are not only state-of-the-art but eco-friendly as well. Manufacturers have made it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about what they are purchasing at the store by adding eco-labels to their products. You’ve likely seen these labels, such as the Energy Star sticker, on your home’s appliances or on products in the stores.
According to the Department of Energy, Energy Star-rated dishwashers use 41 percent less energy than other dishwashers without the eco-label. Washing machines with the label can cut water usage by 40 percent. If you’re ready to update your home appliances, consider Energy Star-rated products to save money and energy.
One of the best ways to carry on a legacy of sustainability is to teach what you practice. Encourage your entire family to recycle or compost. Talk with your kids and engage in an educational discussion about the health of the planet and what it means for all of the plants and animals living here.
The best way to encourage action from those closest to you is to lead by example. It’s not hard to do. Start small and you might just see big changes.
What are your eco-friendly practices within your home?