Earth-friendly At Home: Small Changes With Big Pay-offs
February 17, 2015
It's easier than you may think to go green at home. Here are a host of simple, small changes that can make a huge difference to the environment as well as to your pocketbook.
WATER: Water is a precious resource we can all easily save more of. Try these simple fixes.
Instead of buying bottled water, carry filtered tap water in a reusable bottle, preferably aluminum, rather than plastic.
Fix leaky faucets and toilets. Use faucet aerators that conserve water, along with low-flow fixtures for showers, faucets, and toilets. Turn off the faucet between dishes and while brushing your teeth.
Wash full loads of clothes in cold water (most energy used in washing clothes goes to heating the water). Don’t machine dry clothes (or dishes): use a clothesline or drying rack.
Take shorter showers to reduce water use and lower water and heating bills.
ENERGY: Nearly half of the energy used in our homes goes to air conditioning and heating. The following changes can help reduce your energy use.
If possible, install a programmable thermostat; in the winter, set it to 70 degrees during the day and 65 at night. In the summer, set it to 78 degrees.
Set ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise in summer to pull hot air up to the ceiling. In winter, set them to spin clockwise to move hot air down.
Use compact fluorescent light bulbs, and turn off all lights when you leave a room.
Plug TVs, computers, monitors and other electronics into power strips; turn off the power strips when the equipment is not in use.
STUFF: Most of us have way too much stuff cluttering our homes. Here’s how to be more earth-friendly in our buying habits.
Purchase well-made products that will last longer and need replacing less often. You may pay more up front, but you’ll do better in the long run
Buy gently used: Shop online for lightly used clothing, appliances, and furniture. And don’t forget garage sales and thrift stores.
Borrow or barter: Trade used items in good condition for other people’s used items in good condition that you may need. Borrow books, e-books, music, and movies from the library. Share tools and appliances with neighbors.
BYOB: Bring your own bags to the supermarket to cut down on the use of plastic bags.
Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.