We will start with a classic. Everyone has probably heard about recycling and reusing various items. To reduce how much you use, you could add your name to various websites like Catalog Choice and DMA Choice that help you stop receiving junk mail. If you want to recycle but sorting through your trash is not your thing, you could try donating unwanted items instead of throwing them away. Another option would be to repurpose them. There are all kinds of DIY videos and articles on social media that teach you how to transform unwanted items into something better. Trash into treasure!
If you have the money for solar panels, go for it, but many people don’t. You could try contacting your power company to see if they use green energy, too. But there are many low-cost alternatives: unplugging electronics to avoid phantom electricity, planting trees to provide shade and cut down on air-conditioning costs, purchasing LED light bulbs or small solar-powered outdoor lights. Even small changes can make a huge difference.
One great way to run a green home is to actually make things greener. Growing food, planting a rooftop garden, or creating a vertical garden can add a little color to your life but also helps you save on food and energy costs in the long-run.
There are all kinds of products out there claiming to be green, all-natural, and environmentally friendly. Do your research first about what you are buying and what it contains. There are many websites like GoodGuide and EWG that help you figure out how safe products truly are. But in general, buying biodegradable, BPA-free, natural, organic, or reusable items are better than the alternatives. If you are still unsure, there are many recipes to make your own cleaning products or cosmetics that you can find online.
Water is one of those things we use all the time but rarely think about. If you can afford new energy-efficient and low water appliances, those are great investments. But even if you can’t there are still ways to watch how much water you use. Try not to let the water run when you are washing dishes or brushing your teeth. If you have to, try to collect the water and use it for something else: watering plants, making tea, or even watering your neighbor’s plants. We all have that neighbor who is an expert in growing dead plants… When you use your washing machine, try to run it with cold water and make sure that it is full. The same goes for the dishwasher. Your hot water heater can be insulated and the temperature of the water can be reduced to 120 degrees. Another great fix is to try an aerator for the sink, so you use less water without sacrificing water pressure. You can also buy a high-efficiency showerhead to save water without sacrificing comfort.
Everyone can go green and run a green home. With a few simple inexpensive tricks, you can save the environment, your health, and your wallet!