There are steps you can take to make your home more environmentally friendly that can also save you money in the long run. Take a look at these eco-friendly house ideas that you can try out.
There are many ways to help the environment, conserve energy, and live green by changing small things in your everyday life.
Going green may seem like a massive undertaking. So many resources with more and more staggering information are being announced every day.
Where to begin? Instead of taking on something of gigantic proportions all at once, why not start by taking a few basic steps? Recycle some old habits and start with small changes.
The result is less strain and a better chance of success.
Here are eco-friendly house ideas to get started on a journey towards a more earth-friendly life.
Use Homemade Cleaning Agents
Cleaning agents contain many chemicals and other toxic elements. These get released into the air when you use them. You can use homemade cleaning agents instead, at least for some things.
Baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice, and plain old non-bacterial soap can be combined with water to create an effective cleaning agent.
Skip the Paper Towels
Do you shy away from disposable plastic utensils? Skip the paper towels as well. Some of them contain toxic chemicals. You can use cellulose sponges to clean your countertops and utensils.
Put them in the dishwasher after cleaning to rid them of germs.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
There’s no need to throw away hundreds of plastic shopping bags each year. Plastic bags can take up to a thousand years to decompose, and only one percent of shopping bags are recycled in the United States.
More than a million birds and sea animals die each year after eating plastic bags. Purchase some reusable paper or plastic shopping bags.
Recycle Your Batteries
Do you use up a lot of batteries? You should not throw out your single-use batteries into the trash bin, even if it is allowed in your state.
Instead, go to your county’s website and find out how you can recycle your batteries. Leftover zinc and other materials can be put to good use. You can also try out solar panels for your home to get clean energy.
Use Wood From the Right Sources
When buying wood furniture, do your research into where and how the wood is sourced.
Using furniture that is made from reclaimed wood, for example, will ensure that no additional trees had to be cut down to produce your furniture.
Reclaimed wood is simply wood that is taken from old wood furniture, extra wood from factories, extra logs from a dam, or otherwise unused or extra wood.
Another idea is to use furniture that is made from sustainably harvested forests. Even if new trees are cut down for your furniture, at least the forest will remain protected.
Use Less Furniture
Some people buy a lot more furniture than they need and live in a cluttered home. Living a minimalist lifestyle and buying less furniture can make your life simpler and happier. It will also use up fewer world resources.
Avoid Flame Retardants
Flame retardants are powders. As such, they get released into the air. They contain harmful chemicals that can ruin your health. They are also not necessarily effective at slowing down a fire.
Consider choosing furniture that has no flame retardants.
Dispose of Your Furniture Smartly
When disposing of your old furniture, you don’t need to throw it away and let it rot in a waste dump. First of all, see if it can be repaired and salvaged. If you really don’t want to keep it, consider giving it away to family or friends.
If they don’t want it, donate it to a charitable organization. You can also make some extra cash off your furniture by selling it on eBay or Craigslist.
Reuse Your Clothes
Of course, you should not re-wear any type of clothes without washing them. Clothes used for yard work might need that washing machine.
But if you wear a pair of pants or a sweatshirt over a t-shirt and go out shopping and come home, do they really need a wash? To ease yourself into sustainable living, consider re-wearing those pants and sweatshirt.
As long as they have only been lightly used, you don’t need to waste the water and wash them right away. By wearing them a second time, you save both water and detergent.
Of course, the same principle can be applied to your towels. After you shower, hang your towel up to thoroughly dry, and you will be able to use it again.
Take Shorter Showers
Shorter showers are a great way to live more sustainably. Simply reducing your shower time helps you save water as well as energy.
You might be surprised by just how much.
On average, an 8-minute shower requires about 18 gallons of water. That means reducing your shower time by even two minutes can save 4.5 gallons every day, and 31 gallons per week. It’s a small change, but one with a significant environmental impact.
Recycle As Much As Possible
Recycling is an ideal way to reduce your waste and keep garbage out of landfills. You probably already know that.
But you might not know that this step can go beyond plastic bottles and old newspaper.
Cell phones and batteries, for example, need to be kept out of landfills where they can release toxic chemicals into the earth.
Stores like Best Buy receive and recycle old computers and printers. Before you throw anything away, research recycling it first.
Donate Used Items
If you have items that you no longer want or need in your home even though they are still in good condition, consider donating them.
Clothing, furniture, and even electronics still in great conditions can help others, and stay out of a landfill as a result.
If an item you no longer need is still perfectly good, why not allow others to enjoy them? It’s an easy step not just to help others, but the environment as well.
The same is true for clothing. As long as it is only gently used, consider donating it so that those in need can benefit.
Eco-Friendly House Ideas
You can do it. Even if you’re just beginning to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you can use eco-friendly house ideas get you there.
Once you think about making small changes, you realize the impact you can make. Recycling, re-using, and donations will help you feel better about life, knowing that you’re not just helping yourself but also others.
And before you know it, you’re well on your way to healthy and sustainable living. If you have any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!