Is your home as eco-friendly as you want it to be? If you’re like many people, you are increasingly environmentally conscious in and around your home. You buy LED lights, you compost and recycle, and try to keep the air conditioner or furnace at reasonable temperatures. However, there are lots of other simple things we can do to help sustain the planet, while also saving money. To help kick-start or fuel your eco-friendliness - here are 8 ways to help make your home more eco-friendly:
Home heating and air conditioning use up a lot of energy. To decrease your usage (and your energy costs), it’s a good idea to install a smart meter that you can program to turn on, up, or down at specific times of the day. This way you aren’t running your furnace or A/C full blast when there’s no one there. You can program smart meters remotely from your cell phone, and they also work on your lights and other appliances around your home.
Plastics are filling up our landfills and fresh water sources at record rates. To reduce plastics, trade in those zip-top freezer and lunch bags for reusable (and washable) bags or containers or even wax paper pockets, use metal or paper straws, and buy reusable water bottles. You can also get reusable mesh bags in various sizes to use at the grocery store for your produce. Pack lunches or snacks with stainless steel cutlery, and if you’re worried that it doesn’t always come home, you can stock up at garage sales or thrift stores. Don’t forget to bring cloth bags or bins whenever you shop.
There are a lot of products we use around our homes that are highly toxic, from scented laundry products to old paint and many store-bought detergents and cleaning supplies. Look for products with low VOCs and check to see that contain natural ingredients. You can also make your own cleaning products at home with items you likely already have.
While we don’t get as much sun in our region as they do in southern climates, we still get a fair amount that will help reduce our electric energy use. Even a few solar panels on your roof, shed or garage can power up your electric lawn mowers, and other items. Solar-powered grills are becoming more popular too, as are the extensive variety of great outdoor lighting options.
Good insulation keeps your home cool in summer and warm in winter. The better insulated your home is, the less energy you’ll use. There are great products to choose from that are more eco-friendly, such as Icynene, polystyrene, Aerogel, cellulose or even sheep’s wool. Don’t forget to make sure you have insulated windows and doors to help keep drafts out too.
Whenever possible, choose products made of wood, bamboo, organic cotton, wool, stone and so on. Another way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy previously-loved items for your home from antique stores, thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets. Not only are there amazing finds to score at great prices, but it keeps items out of the landfill and helps limit environmental damage caused by packaging and shipping.
Nothing smells better than fresh sheets off the clothesline! From mid-spring through till late fall, you can use your outdoor clothesline for drying your laundry. Have clothes drying rack set up indoors as well so you use that energy-inefficient dryer less.
House plants help clean the air, and they look lush and terrific too! Around your yard, be sure to plant native species of plants, grasses and trees that won’t be invasive and will thrive in our climate.
By incorporating these ideas into your everyday life, you’re doing a lot to contribute to a more sustainable environment, while saving money at the same time. Having a more eco-friendly home is also a great selling feature when it comes time to list your home! If you’re looking to buy or sell in Collingwood, Blue Mountain, Wasaga Beach, Meaford or the Georgian Triangle, we’re here for you. Connect with our team of experienced Realtors® at Clairwood Real Estate today at (705) 445–7085.