You probably think about sustainability daily while at your office. Perhaps you’re working on a project that has green strategies or your own office has a sustainability team and automated solutions to save energy, water and, ultimately, money. With Earth’s population increasing and the issues of global warming growing, it’s more important than ever for everyone to find ways to go green. Aside from caring for the environment, going green can also have a great deal of benefits for your health and your wallet. Sometimes, it’s a little tricky knowing where to start, but you can take simple steps within your own home to minimize your impact on the environment.
Follow these five steps to live a little greener each day:
1. Buy an Eco-Friendly Home
Looking to buy a new home and stay green? You can look for obvious Earth-friendly touches, like solar panels, but you can also pay attention to smaller details that will save energy. Check windows to ensure they’re energy efficient. If your yard has a lot of trees, you can cut your energy use down, as well, because the shade will help lower cooling costs during warmer months. It’s also worth noting that you may not find a home that’s completely eco-friendly, so be prepared to factor your own improvements into the cost.
2. Make Upgrades to an Existing Home
If you’d rather make upgrades to your existing home, there are quite a few projects you can complete to reduce your carbon footprint. Switch out appliances for energy-efficient models, replace old windows, and invest in heavier curtains. You can also change out any standard light bulbs for LED or CFL bulbs, which tend to use 80 percent less energy. You can also switch from a tank water heater to a tankless version, which provides hot water on demand and stops running when you aren’t using it. When making other improvements, try to use upcycled or environmentally friendly materials, as well.
3. Get Rid of Excess Garbage
Americans produce an average of 4 pounds of garbage each day with about 30 percent of that being paper. Much of this garbage sits in landfills or makes its way into waterways and the ocean. That’s bad news for the planet. The good news is it’s easy for you to reduce how much paper you use by simply sorting through your mail. Go through your bills and enroll in paperless billing. If you receive tons of junk mail and advertisements, take steps to stop these items from ending up in your mailbox and your trashcan.
4. Conserve Water Every Day
Think that leaky faucet isn’t a big deal? You may want to think again. Neglecting seemingly small repairs, like a leaky faucet, a dripping sprinkler or faulty toilet, leads to 1 trillion gallons of wasted water each year. Have your plumbing problems repaired right away to stop wasting water and to lower utility bills. If you have a garden that needs frequent watering, think about using a rain barrel to collect water from storms. Using collected water for gardens, containers, and lawns can conserve water and help lower your water bill.
5. Eliminate Toxins From Your Home
You may be surprised to learn there are toxins lurking in most households. These dangerous substances found in many cleaning supplies can cause health issues for humans and the environment alike. Help keep your family, and the planet, healthier by eliminating toxic items from your home. It’s a good idea to use natural cleaners or make your own cleaners around the house.
Reducing waste and conserving energy can do more than improve the environment. Living green can have benefits for you, your family and your finances. By making eco-friendly improvements, conserving resources and ridding your home of toxins, you can lead a healthier life and help leave a cleaner planet for future generations.