By Paul Denikin
As scientists warn about climate change with increasing urgency, eco-friendliness is on everyone’s mind. The average house can be extraordinarily wasteful with a massive impact on the local environment. While Energy Star appliances are a great start, there are other, even easier things we all can do to improve a home’s eco-friendliness.
Swap Out Your Light Bulbs
Light bulbs are one of the biggest money and energy wasters in your home as well as one of the easiest issues to fix. Many people purchase the cheapest bulbs on the shelves when shopping for lights. However, while traditional incandescent bulbs are cheaper up front, you’ll actually spend more on these bulbs over time.
LED bulbs last more than ten times longer than incandescent bulbs and use a fraction of the energy. Though they may cost extra up front, you will not need to purchase a new bulb for many years to come.
Invest in a Composter
There are many options for household composters. Some are small, inexpensive, and free-standing while others can be installed into your kitchen. Composting can cut your household garbage by up to 50 percent, reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, and can be hugely beneficial for your yard, garden, and even potted plants.
A composter can seem like a less than appealing addition to your kitchen, but most emit little to no odor. If you use this compost for a vegetable garden, you are saving yourself more money and reducing your home’s footprint on the earth.
Plant a Tree
A great trick for reducing your utility bills is to visit your local nursery and purchase a shade tree. Large, leafy trees shield your home from the harsh sun and reduce the heat. Your cooling bills will drop as will your energy usage.
Furthermore, if you plant native trees, you are contributing to the local ecosystem. Plus, any landscaping you do will boost the value of your home.
Look Into Aerators
Aerated appliances limit water waste. If you can't afford to replace all your large appliances with aerated options, look into aerated shower heads and faucets. These are an affordable option that will have a significant impact on both your water bill as well as your home’s eco-friendliness.
Don’t Buy What You Don’t Need
Plastic doesn't biodegrade. So, when you buy and throw away things like plastic drink bottles, baggies, and plastic wrap, they have a long-term impact on the environment. It’s cheaper for you and much better for the earth to use reusable drink bottles and containers. And when using plastic is unavoidable, be sure to recycle it.
Making your home eco-friendly doesn't have to be challenging and expensive. Even choosing one of these tips will help your household budget and the environment. So, buy a shade tree or make your own compost, whatever you decide to do is a step in the right direction.
Paul Denikin is a father of two and an expert on home repair and home management. Visit his site: Dad Knows DIY.