Sure, going green is all the rage now but are there any actual benefits besides making your home a bit more trendy? By focusing on sustainability and working towards making your home more energy efficient, you can, in fact, save quite a bit of money – and there are a variety of benefits for our planets in it as well.
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As a homeowner, there is so much you can do to reduce your carbon footprint and make sure that the house you live in is helping the environment rather than damaging it. From solar power to growing your own kitchen vegetables, composting the leftovers, and saving a small fortune on your energy bills; here is a handful of ways to make your home a bit greener today already.
That way, you can get started with those savings a bit sooner and can pride yourself on having one of the most energy-efficient homes in the neighbourhood.
First: Saving electricity and saving money
Any investment that will help our wallets as well as our environment should be worth making. A lot of homes are starting to choose solar power now instead of relying on the regular power supplied by the municipality. There is an odd sense of freedom in it, almost as if you’re living off the grid, but the money you have to put into it first may put some people off.
Solar power is definitely one of those home improvements you should make as soon as you can afford it but not sooner than that. Start by having a look at this guide to solar financing and work out when you might be able to afford it.
The benefits are, undeniably, so many that they outweigh the initial costs by far – and, if there should be a power outage in your area, you’ll be the only house that is still shining brightly in all of the darkness. Keep in mind that you have a lot of different options in terms of choosing solar financing, though, so you might be able to afford it a bit sooner than you think.
Another point to saving both electricity and money at home is, of course, to go for energy efficient light bulbs and remind everyone in the household that they need to turn the lights and other appliances off in order to save electricity. If you have kids at home, it might help to show them the electricity bill so that they can get an understanding of how much you actually pay.
You can make a game out of saving power and money as well, though, if you have more than one kid. Promise them a surprise treat if you manage to squeeze down the bill to a certain number and you’ll probably be finding your kids sitting in the dark more often than not – but at least they’ll focus on saving power.
Next: Buying local produce
A household that thinks the environment is important should always buy its produce locally as well as seasonally. There are so many benefits to this as well, though, and by buying most of your produce according to the seasons, you’ll end up with plump and delicious food every time.
Try to find a good farmer’s market in your local area, first of all, and start buying your produce from their stalls. They will have farms nearby, in any way, so you can rest assured that the food they are selling has travelled short and that it will be in season.
This way, you’re ensuring that no food has arrived at your doorstep by plane and you might influence your community to do the same when they see you walking home with a basket full of seasonal food. Going green is, after all, sometimes about making a statement and influencing the others to follow your lead as well as you won’t really be able to make that big of a difference all on your own.
If you’re already buying all of your produce locally and always according to the seasons, you might want to step it up a bit. Growing your own kitchen vegetables is fun, delicious, and ridiculously easy. Just start by having a look at this article to learn all about the foods you can grow with ease; leafy greens will always do great and you won’t have to wait too long before it’s fully grown.
Remember to save water
No household is a proper shade of green before it manages its water consumption. This is something you will have to plan and discuss with the rest of your family, though, to make sure everyone is on board – otherwise, you might find yourself knocking on the bathroom door one too many times.
Start by taking the time to fix any leaks so that you’re not wasting any water unnecessarily. This is a quick thing to do, though, but you can always call up a plumber to help you out in case you’ve never done it before.
After this, there are a variety of lifestyle changes you can make to save even more water; never let the tap run freely while brushing your teeth or shaving and try to shower for no more than five minutes.
You could also install a low-flow showerhead, by the way, if you don’t trust the others to keep their showers only five minutes long. It doesn’t cost much at all and will definitely help you to save a ton of water.
Use natural cleaning products
Finally, now that you’ve improved your home and made it so much greener, it’s time to put the cherry on top by changing out your cleaning products. Harsh chemicals are bad for your health, skin and the environment – so swapping them out for something more gentle should be a no-brainer.
There are a lot of environmentally friendly products in the shop now, though, in case you’re not that into using vinegar, lemon, and baking soda for all of your cleaning purposes. If you don’t mind it, you’ll have everything you need ready at hand in the cupboard – so you can get cleaning and saving the planet right away.