5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

Feel proud after taking these steps to reduce your impact on the enviroment.

1. Take Your Home’s Temperature

Did you know that almost half of a home’s energy consumption comes from heating and cooling? You can save energy and money by adding a layer of clothing (or taking one off) and keeping your thermostat set a bit lower in winter and higher in summer — for example, 78° F in warmer months and 65° F in colder weather. If you’re willing to add just one more layer of clothing in winter, each degree below 68° F will save 3 to 5 percent of your heating energy!

2. Use Less Water

Here are three simple changes you can make to cut down on the amount of water your family uses. First of all, install an aerator on all your faucets. This simple act could cut your annual water consumption by 50 percent. Second, consider replacing your pre-1994 toilet with a newer, low-flow model. A low-flow toilet uses only 1.6 gallons per flush compared with older models' 3.5 gallons. Third, turn off the water while you brush your teeth to save 4.5 gallons each time you brush. Encourage everyone in your home to do the same and this will really add up.

3. Switch to Energy-Efficient Lighting

Replace a 100-watt incandescent bulb with a 32-watt compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulb and you’ll save about $30 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. CFL bulbs use 75 percent less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer. But don’t worry; you needn’t live beneath an ugly fluorescent glow. Premium fluorescents cast a buttery-golden or pure-white light and are only slightly more expensive than low-end fluorescent bulbs.

4. Get Good at Recycling

When recycling plastic items, look on the bottom for a number one or two, and put only those in your recycling bin. Most areas do not take items with numbers higher than one or two. Refrain from putting broken glass, light bulbs or food in your bin. The environment — and your waste professional — will appreciate your efforts.

5. Reduce and Reuse Plastics

Americans toss about 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags (grocery bags, trash bags, sandwich bags … you get the picture) into the trash each year. Make every effort to reduce the number of plastics you consume. Try reusable containers with lids for storing foods. Pack school lunches in reusable containers. Forgo shopping bags at the store (instead, get in the habit of taking your own cloth bags to the store). Every little change adds up.


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Great intentions & some good info. But badly researched data on the recycling info! Instead of telling people to only recycle #1&2 plastics, encourage them to contact their local recycling and find out what they do take. In the past 10+ years I've not lived in any area with such limited recycling. The least municipal recycling took #'s 1,2,4,5 & some #6 (polystyrene). Where we live now takes everything (all plastics #'s 1-7, glass, paper, cardboard, etc) all in 1 bin! Get info for your area!

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On #5: Reduce & Reuse Plastics- My family and I reuse our plastic grocery bags for trash bags in our bathrooms. And since most of what goes into your bathroom trash is plastic and toilet paper rolls, the cardboard roll in the middle, it can all be recycled as well.

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