- Reusable household items like beeswax food wraps and wool dryer balls can help save money and reduce waste.
- Composting is a smart and easy way to minimize food waste and bolster your garden’s fertilization.
- Technology is on your side! Smart home features can help automate more eco-friendly practices in your home.
Green homes save money, are healthier for you and help support the environment. It’s no wonder why many homeowners have the goal of going green, but where does one start? Making the changes to have a more eco-friendly home can feel intimidating, but these seven practical energy and waste-saving tips are easy to implement.
1. Assess your space
When going green, start by assessing your space and analyzing what you have to work with. After determining your baseline, you can make plans for improvement. To begin your green makeover, we recommend starting with a DIY home energy audit and then decluttering your home using these tips.
The self-energy-audit will help you identify what areas of your home could use improvement, whereas decluttering will create space for the changes you’d like to implement.
2. Switch to reusable household items
An average person uses 500 plastic sandwich bags throughout the year. Now imagine the accumulation of waste due to single-use household items every year.
The initial investment in reusable household items can seem expensive, but with repetitive use, you typically save money over time. These items can also help you cut down on trips to the store. Of course, the primary benefit is that you are reducing your own input to landfills when you reduce your reliance on single-use items.
Here are some reusable items that can seamlessly be added to your household:
- Silicone cupcake liners
- Metal or bamboo straws
- Beeswax food wrap (instead of plastic wrap)
- Reusable paper towels and cloth napkins
- Silicone sandwich bags, produce bags and larger shopping bags
- Washable makeup rounds (rather than cotton balls or pads)
- Stainless steel razors with recyclable blades
- Wool dryer balls
3. Install energy-efficient appliances
Over the years, home appliances begin to wear down and may need to be replaced. In fact, most appliances last around 10 years before an upgrade is needed. While the waste from replacing these appliances can be frustrating, it is possible to purchase green appliances that will help your home grow more energy-efficient. Search your local home improvement store for an eco-friendly appliance that matches your budget and home style. And remember, another green practice is to continually get your appliances serviced to ensure they last as long as possible.
4. Start to compost
Composting helps eliminate the production of some greenhouse gases and the burden of waste that enters landfills. Start by designating a food scrap bucket or using compostable trash bags. Then, decide whether you want your compost removed by a local service, added to a compost pile in your yard or put in a designated compost bin.
To start composting in your home, check out these beginner composting tips. And for bonus green points, consider growing a garden with your composted soil!
5. Reassess your cleaning products
What you use in your home impacts the health and safety of your space. Opt for more eco-friendly cleaning products or even DIY cleaning solutions; they’re better for both you and the environment. When picking out your new products, be sure to look for sustainable brands, low-waste or refillable packaging and simple ingredients.
6. Walk to nearby parks and stores
Rather than driving a mile down the road to pick up your Sunday morning coffee, try walking! Walking to parks, trails, stores, events and nearby amenities can help decrease your carbon footprint and fossil fuel emissions. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy a little fresh air around your neighborhood — it’s a win-win.
7. Use technology to your advantage
When establishing a more eco-friendly home, take some of the work off of your back and pass it on to technology! These days, there are plenty of ways to automate greener systems in your home.
- Set up online bill payment to eliminate paper mail.
- Invest in smart home features for higher efficiency.
- Set timed lights so you never have to worry about an “on” switch while at work.
- Program your thermostat to match your work and school schedule.
Moving forward, go green!
Whether you’re looking to implement eco-friendly practices in your home for today or you’re hoping to find a green home moving forward, reach out to Edina Realty or your Realtor for assistance. We’re here to help you accomplish your home goals as you work toward a greener home.