Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

4 Steps to a Greener Home

Going green is easier said than done, but even the smallest steps towards living a more environmentally-friendly life can make a difference. We know we should walk rather than drive where possible, and we know we should drive the car that emits the least carbon monoxide possible—but what about at home?

Having a green home is a lot easier than you might think. Photo credit: StockMonkeys

If you are serious about going green there are many ways, big and small, that you can ensure your house is more ecological. Have a look at a few ways you make a difference at home:

1. Invest in Solar

Yes, solar power is still more expensive than energy powered by fossil fuels, but if you are determined to boost your green credentials then investing in renewable solar energy is probably the most significant step you can take. Using 86 percent less water than coal, solar power produces clean, pollution-free energy and is 95 percent less toxic to humans compared to fossil fuels. By going solar, each household will save enough water to fill a large swimming pool—every single month. That’s a lot of water each year.

As solar continues to advance it is becoming more and more cost effective, and because it is so valuable to the environment it’s the first power source to be given substantial government backing. You can cut the cost of a solar power system by up to 50 percent if you utilize all the tax rebates and incentives available to you. Don’t be put off by the first figure you see; if you do your research you may be surprised at just how inexpensive a solar powered house can be.

2. Manage Your Household Appliances

The average American household wastes huge amounts of energy each year. As technology advances, more and more eco-conscious people are installing home automation systems which allow you to manage your energy consumption to reduce both waste and expenditure. Features like motion sensor lights have been popular for a while but the latest systems take control to a new level and prevent any unnecessary energy waste.

Fretting over whether you’ve forgotten to turn the thermostat down or switch off the lights while away may soon be a thing of the past, as no matter where you are located you can now remotely control your home’s energy output. You can even set smart schedules to manage your energy based on your usual daily habits—so for example, the heating will automatically decrease while you’re sleeping. Not only does this type of system avoid wasting energy but it will also save you money in your utility bills.

3. Insulate Your Home

A properly insulated home saves enormous amounts of energy—and like home automation systems, an added benefit is the fact that you’ll also save money. Insulation not only reduces the loss of heat during the winter months but also ensures that less cool air escapes during the summer, so you can often make savings on your yearly heating and air-conditioning bill by up to 20 percent.

Most households in the U.S. lack proper insulation and as a result have significant air leaks. If you add up all the leakages and holes in the outer walls, windows and doors of the average home it’s comparable to the effect of leaving a window open every day of the year.

4. The Small Things

If you don’t have the budget to implement any of the above, there are still multiple smaller ways you can work towards a greener home. Exchanging your home cleaning products for natural ones means that far fewer toxic chemicals are being washed down the drain and re-entering our environment—and you’ll be surprised at how effective natural methods like vinegar water solution can be.

The global meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all transport combined. The more meat people eat, the more livestock is required and the more gases are emitted. Reducing the amount of meat you eat means you’ll have far less impact on the environment, and movements such as Meatless Mondays aim to encourage people to have at least one day a week where they don’t eat any meat.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

10 Natural (And Vegan) Ways to Clean Your Home

Solar Capacity in the U.S. Enough to Power 4 Million Homes

How You Can Go Solar Without Even Owning a Single Panel

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A woman walks to her train in Grand Central Terminal as New York City attempts to slow down the spread of coronavirus through social distancing on March 27. John Lamparski / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
polaristest / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner

Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Spinach is a true nutritional powerhouse, as it's rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Read More Show Less