If you want to lower your carbon footprint and help out the environment, the first thing you should consider is how to make your home more eco-friendly. We spend a lot of money decorating and making our house a home, but our changes improve more than just aesthetics.
In fact, some of the following sustainability improvements can be made quickly at minimal or at no cost. Here are a few ways you can make your home more sustainable all year round.
9 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Australians who are interested in saving money on their electricity, a sustainable energy source, compare electricity providers with iSelect. However, there are several ways homeowners can save on their utility bill each month besides switching providers, including the following.
1. Draft-Proof Doors and Windows
Replacing leaky weatherstripping with fresh caulking or tape will cover cracks, gaps and eliminate holes. If your home or apartment is leaking heat or central air, it will cost you twice as much to heat your living space. Both caulking and weather stripping cost around $20.
2. Consider Replacing Home Insulation
If you own your home, you can pay $2500-$5000 to reinsulate your home. However, if you want to stick to insulating your attic or basement, you can likely DIY the job for $1000 dollars. Since you won’t need to rip out your dry-wall or repaint, you can simply insert insulation behind plastic.
3. Buy and Install Solar Panels
Solar panels are undoubtedly the most expensive way to make a more sustainable home, but if you own your own house, it may be worth it. When accounting for the cost of installing solar panels, California residents will save $40,673 over 20 years ($2,033.65 each year) on their bills.
4. Install Heat-Proof Blinds or Curtains
Most blinds or curtains will be able to block out heat from coming into your home. In the summer, unprotected glass windows will quickly heat up your home, causing you to use more central air/air conditioning to cool your home. Alternatively, use an indoor window insulation kit.
5. Replace Water Filters and Dryer Filters Regularly
Adding a water filter that removes microplastics from the water can ensure you’re doing your due diligence for the environment. A dirty lint filter can also waste energy (and cause a fire hazard), so clean it regularly for dryer clothes and to lower your energy consumption.
6. Use Cold Water and Natural Cleaning Products
You can save a lot of money simply by washing your clothes or dishes in cold water. As long as you’re using high-quality cleaning products and you don’t need to wash out stains, you’ll still remove bacteria and dirt from your items. Also, try to line-dry your clothes when possible.
7. Invest in Smart and/or Efficient Technology
Smart technology is often seen as expensive, but 2 smart power strips and a pack of 4 smart light bulbs can be as low as $100. However, if you want something simpler or less expensive, opt for on/off power strips and LED light bulbs. All of these options will reduce energy usage.
8. Buy Products That Can be Composted or Recycled
A compost bin will minimize organic garbage, like fruit and vegetables, fur and hair, houseplants, paper, and coffee grounds. If possible, only buy products that can be recycled (if it can’t be composted), like beverage containers, electronics, batteries, and certain paints.
9. Make an Energy-Efficient Garden
If you garden as a past-time, you should try to grow plants that you or other insects/animals can eat. Use composting materials to add nutrients to your garden and only use rainwater to water your plants. You can reduce your water usage by using mulch instead of grass in your yard.