Many people are spending more time at home under shelter-in-place orders amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Since it is likely that your household is already adjusting to the effects of COVID-19, now is a great time to audit how eco-friendly your home is.
As part of our countdown to Earth Day on April 22, here are a few tips on how to keep your home green while social distancing.
Plant a garden
Planting a garden is a great way to save money, learn a new skill and be environmentally friendly, all while social distancing. Plants improve air quality, and you’ll love cooking with fresh and easy-to-grow herbs and veggies. Whether you live in a suburban home, an apartment, or on a farm in a more rural area, you can still order gardening supplies like seeds, soil and pots online to get started. You can also sign up for a free online vegetables gardening course to get your bearings and get started.
Reduce waste in your kitchen
You’re probably cooking more than usual, so now is a great time to assess if your kitchen practices are as green as possible. While you obviously won’t be able to eliminate food waste entirely, certain things like vegetable scraps and used coffee grounds can go into a compost bin. Keep your electricity use in check by using ENERGY STAR-certified appliances (and unplugging any when you are not using them). Make sure the coils are clean and food is stocked correctly in your fridge, a prime suspect for excess energy consumption.
Use water-conserving fixtures
Make sure you are using low-flow faucets, toilets and shower heads to conserve water in your home. Not only will they make your house more environmentally friendly, but they are a great way to lower your water bill as well.
Make sure your home is properly insulated
Insulation is one of the most important things to consider when greenifying your home. Air leaks through windows, doors and ducts can be responsible for your unit’s heat loss, which is vital to the environment as well as your wallet as heating and cooling account for nearly half of your house’s energy consumption.
Use a 15-minute rule for your lights
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.