9 Ways to Make Your Home Greener

A small change can make a huge difference when it comes to leading a greener life, not to mention have a positive impact on the environment, too. In fact, the perfect place to make these changes is within your own home.

We’ve pulled together some handy tips on how you can make some changes in your abode to benefit from a greener lifestyle, which go well beyond paper, plastic and glass.

  1. Replace Lightbulbs with CFLs or LEDs. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can really do wonders for saving energy in the home. Better still, these kinds of lightbulbs have a longer lifespan than regular ones. Simply swapping your regular lightbulbs with CFLs or LEDs really is the way to go.
  2. Ditch the Dishwasher. It’s time to don your marigolds and get stuck into some good, old-fashioned washing up. Did you know the average dishwasher uses an astonishing 49 litres of water per cycle? So, fill up the washing up bowl, squirt in some washing up liquid and save some energy. If you do use a dishwasher, be sure to scrape off leftover food into the bin, as this will save water. And try not to use pre-rinse.
  3. Turn Off Electrical Appliances. You can save £30 a year, just by switching off electrical appliances. Even just turning off your laptop, the toaster, kettle or TV for the night can really cut costs. You can make things all the simpler by using a standby saver which basically enables you to turn them off, all at once.
  4. Switch off Lights. Forgetful when it comes to turning off lights? Fit movement sensors so lights only activate when required. Alternatively, you can save energy by fitting automatic timers for lights that are regularly left on in empty rooms.
  5. Set the Right Cooling Temperature. Did you know your fridge and freezer use the most energy in the house? Make sure they aren’t being used more than necessary. For example, fridges operate perfectly at around 37°F (3°C) whiles freezers function well set at 0° F (-18° C). And don’t forget to keep fridge and freezer doors shut. Even leaving them open for just a couple of seconds can waste loads of electricity.
  6. Make Your House Move Greener. When it comes to selling your home fast and reducing your carbon footprint, make your move greener by using recycled boxes rather than purchasing brand new ones. Alternatively, ask friends if they have any extra boxes from their last move. Or you could head to a local village shop, farmer’s market or coffee shop to ask if they’ll give you one of their boxes. You could even use your own blankets to protect fragile items such as mirrors or pictures.
  7. Fix Leaks. Make your house as leak-free as you possibly can by plugging, insulating, caulking, sealing or repairing leaks. You’ll soon see a significant cut in your energy prices.
  8. Plant Power. Bring some living plants indoors to rid the inside air of pollutants. By growing plants in your living space, the indoor air will become like a natural filter. Even better, some plants can soak up damaging toxins released from carpets, electronic equipment or furniture. Opt for rubber plants, palm trees or spider plants.
  9. Plump for Eco-Friendly Cleaners. Instead of choosing harsh chemical cleaners, which can contribute to health problems, choose non-toxic cleaners. There are quite a few biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning products available in the supermarkets, all of which are a more natural way to clean. Even better? Make your own out of baking soda or use natural disinfectants, such as citrus oils or tea tree.

Using a Rain Barrel is a Smart Way to Save on Water

The new rain barrel with a rain chainAs spring approaches it is time to start thinking about your vegetable and flower garden, maybe even fruit trees and berry bushes if you are lucky!  A lot goes into having a successful home garden and pre-planning for the season is a great way to save money and plant a thriving garden.  First, check out all of the tools and equipment that will go on sale in the fall and winter seasons.  Buy a new rake, shovel, and watering can during those months because they are usually on sale or in the clearance section of the gardening isle.  Purchasing a rain barrel or making one at home is a great way to save you money and help the environment.  You can make a rain barrel from scratch using old wine barrels, olive or pickle barrels.  Some of my local nonprofit organization sell full rain barrel kits for under $50!  This is a great deal, and spending this small amount of money, will save you save a lot of money over time on your water bill.  Along with that it will also help the environment to prevent too much drain run-off into the street sewer systems.

One of the most common uses for rain barrel is for watering your flowers and plants.  Placing your rain barrel in a good location on the side of the house is very important.  You want to make sure you catch as much drain run-off as possible and use the recycled water to feed your garden every day.  Your plants will thrive with the natural rain water and grow delicious veggies all summer long.

Proper rain water drainage is important for your neighborhood and sewer systems.  Having good ventilation in the dirt does, is key in helping save water and stop drain run-off.  During a heavy rain or storm the run-off water flows with gravity, thus moving down a driveway into a sewer drain.  If there is a lot of rain, and a drain gets full of rain water it can cause the street sewers to overflow or back up causing a huge mess, even flooding.  If everyone had a rain barrel and used it on a regular basis then it would help save houses from flood damage and money spent on repairing the house, along with helping save the planet.  

Saving water is another good reason to invest in a rain barrel.  Your water bill will be significantly lower using rain water to feed your flowers, veggies and plants.  In some cities water is very expensive and the rates go up in the summer, using a rain barrel for the garden that feeds your family is like saving double because you grew your veggies for free or low cost seeds, and then watered them with free water from Mother Nature.

Saving money with a rain barrel is easy.  Check out your local going green non-profit organizations online and invest in a rain barrel today to save you money in the future and help the planet.


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