Going green is smart for the environment, your family and your finances. A green home is safer and healthier than one filled with dangerous chemicals. It doesn’t require a great deal of effort, and most of the green tips can be started just by changing a few of your habits. Get the kids involved to make a greater impact, and improve the quality of your everyday life and save money by embracing green habits throughout the home.
Make the transition from baths to showers, and try to make those showers as short as possible. Use a timer to turn it into a game and see how fast you can exit the shower. When washing hands or brushing teeth, start turning off the water while you are scrubbing. Wash small loads of dishes by hand, and use a basin of soapy water to rinse dishes rather than letting the water run over them.
When it comes to using the machines around your home, wait until you have a full load of clothes or dishes. Defrost food in the refrigerator rather than with hot water, and only use enough water to cover noodles or vegetables when boiling them.
If you have a leaking faucet in the home, take the time to fix it. Even a slow drip can add up to wasted gallons in a short period of time.
Start reusing scrap paper by letting the kids draw on the backside of junk mail or printed items. Rather than using paper towels for cleanups, grab a dish cloth that can be washed. Go electronic whenever possible for paying bills. Most banks offer this service free of charge now, and you’ll reduce the waste of paper and envelopes. You’ll also save by not having to buy stamps. Some companies offer benefits like discounts when you use their online statements rather than paper bills. Whenever possible, opt out of junk mail and unsolicited advertisements to stop the flow of paper into your home.
Cut back on the plastic entering your home by taking a few easy steps. Instead of using plastic bags for sandwiches and lunch snacks, use reusable containers that can be washed. Rather than using disposable plastic bottles that are thrown out all the time, opt for reusable sports bottles and fill them with tap water or drinks from home. Use a water filter at home to avoid spending the money on bottled water.
There are countless plastic containers that are thrown out every day, but they can be used for storing leftovers, food, crafts and other small items. These include butter, yogurt, sauce and other containers. When you go shopping, take your own reusable cloth bags so the store won’t give you more plastic ones. When you do bring plastic shopping bags home, use them to line your small trash cans.
Saving energy is good for the planet and it lowers your utility bills. When you aren’t using appliances, take a moment to unplug them. Some items, like phone chargers, pull energy even when you aren’t charging the appliance, so take the time to unplug electronics that aren’t in use You can also invest in smart surge protectors that allow you to shut down power to a bank of electronics without actually unplugging anything.
Teach the kids to turn off lights when they leave a room. During the day, open the curtains and shut off interior lights to bring in natural light. Reduce the dry time on your clothes dryer to avoid overdrying clothes, or hang them out on the clothesline to dry in the sunshine. People in their old age who are looking for a place where they can spend their retirement should look into energy efficient retirement homes. They usually have lower costs while providing greater amount of comfort.
You can also save a small fortune by switching to green cleaning methods. Vinegar is a fine cleaner for polishing mirrors, disinfecting toilets and scrubbing hard surfaces. Lemon juice is excellent for removing greasy stains, and it can be used as a non-toxic bleach on clothes. Olive oil makes a great furniture polish that nourishes the wood and shines it.
The beauty of these tips is that most of them cost nothing to implement, yet they will help you save money. Start embracing the green lifestyle today to lower your expenses and make your home safer. In addition to helping your finances, you’ll also help the planet.
Alissa Young is a community manager and property caretaker at MeadowBrookPoint where she tries to make sure that every home is as green as possible.