Want to make your home more eco-friendly but aren’t sure where to start? Here are five great ways to reduce your energy costs, waste, and your home’s carbon footprint.
Reduce Your Use of One-Use Plastic Items
While plastic is incredibly useful in many forms, we often aren’t aware of the prevalence and impact of one-use plastic items. Each year, 500 billion disposable cups are consumed and only about 23% of all plastic bottles get recycled. You can easily purchase reusable water bottles and drink containers to do your part. Additionally, 32% of plastic packaging produced annually ends up in our oceans. That’s equal to pouring a garbage truck full of plastic into the ocean every minute. Another way to reduce your use of plastic: say no to straws or purchase reusable straws. Swap your standard plastic sandwich bags and trash bags for compostable BioBags. They’re just as handy and help the environment.
Unfortunately, our food doesn’t just decompose in landfills. When decomposing food is packed under layers of trash, it produces methane gas. Methane is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. You can avoid the hassle and the odor by simply putting a bin inside your freezer. Throw produce scraps into it and when it’s full, take it out to your compost bin or to a corner of your yard. Composting is also great for your garden, producing nutrient-rich soil. For additional information, here’s a helpful composting guide.
Switch to LED Light Bulbs
Another easy way to make your home more eco-friendly is to make the switch to LED light bulbs. You’ll save on your electricity bill and you’ll have a more energy-efficient home. LED light bulbs come in different color temperatures so you can choose between warm and cool lights to brighten your home. While incandescent light bulbs only convert 10% of energy into light and the rest is wasted as heat, LED light bulbs convert 95% energy into light.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a bit of an investment, but it pays off in the long run. By learning our temperature preferences, smart thermostats cut down on fossil fuel energy sources. The thermostat can lower your house’s demand for electricity produced by power plants, reducing carbon emissions.
Invest in Solar Panels
Solar panels have become increasingly popular since they reduce utility bills and really help our planet. Over 25 years, a standard solar panel installation can be equated to 135 tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided, 440,000 miles not driven, and 2.3 acres of trees planted. In addition, houses with solar panels can sell for up to 4.1% more than those without solar panels.