Finding ways to be more eco-conscious may seem daunting, but going green doesn’t have to be a huge transformation.
The truth is, living more sustainably starts with small decisions in your day-to-day life. And a great place to start is where you have the most control over your surroundings — your home.
To kick off the 50 Ways in 50 Days countdown to Earth Day (April 22, 2020 marks the holiday’s 50th anniversary), here are five ways to help the environment by actions you can take around the house.
Hang Your Clothes to Dry
After refrigerators, clothes dryers are one of the most electricity-draining appliances in your home. Save electricity and money by hanging your clothes up to dry. Air drying your clothes not only reduces your carbon footprint and saves you money, but it’s also friendlier on your fabric than a dryer, and will give your laundry a fresh, more natural scent. Don’t have a backyard or clothesline? Don’t worry — you can efficiently dry your clothes in the house too, especially if you hang them up near an oven, heater or furnace.
Turn the Water Off When Brushing Your Teeth or Shaving
Letting the water idly run during your morning routine may seem inconsequential, but every drop adds up. To keep your water waste to a minimum, switch off the faucet while brushing your teeth or shaving. Getting used to the practice won’t only save water and money, it will help you be a little more mindful during an otherwise routine daily task.
Cut Out the Chemical Cleaners
A great way to be friendly to the environment at home is to switch to natural cleaning products. Green-certified cleaners not only keep your house tip-top through the use of natural ingredients, but they are safer for you and your family. To really save some cash and feel good about the elbow grease you’re putting in on the daily chores, create your own cleaners using household items like baking soda and vinegar.
Hit the Lights Using the 15-Minute Rule
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFL bulbs) are a more energy-efficient alternative to incandescent light bulbs. But their use alone does not ensure that you’re doing everything you can to keep your electricity usage in check. Leave your CFLs on if you will be out of the room for less than 15 minutes. Otherwise, turn them off to save energy as well as maximize the life of your bulbs.
Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Replace your current showerhead with a low-flow showerhead. This swap is one of the easiest and most passive ways to reduce your water use for years to come. If you enjoy longer showers, you can also go the extra mile by switching the water off while you lather for minimal environment impact and optimal savings on your water bill.