Today is Earth Day, the time of year where we give an extra boost of awareness to the importance of being eco-friendly. Although this is only a one-day observance, you should take the initiative to go green all year and do whatever you can to make Earth cleaner. The place where you can begin is your own home, so here are some actions you can take to start your commitment to bettering the environment.
We’ll begin with one of the biggest steps, and that is to install solar panels on your roof. Lately, I’ve been seeing more and more homes with these panels, and it’s easy to understand why they’re becoming increasingly popular; not only do these panels help you save money on electricity, but they will also add more value to your home if you ever decide to sell it. The EPA and Department of Energy will even provide Americans with tax credits for using solar energy. After reading some of these benefits to solar panels, I really hope you consider this valuable addition to your home.
In terms of electricity, there are several things you can do to make sure you don’t waste it, one of which is to turn off any lights in a room if you won’t be using that space for a while. Also, if you have an exhaust fan in your bathroom that you turn on before getting in the shower, don’t set the timer for longer than you expect to be showering. For any electronics that might require a charger, make sure to unplug the charger once the appliance’s battery is full. The charger can still draw energy when it’s left in an outlet, even if it doesn’t have the device plugged into it, so make sure to unplug your charger once you’re done using it. I’m sure you can think of at least 10 other ways you can save electricity, but these are a few to get you started.
Speaking of saving energy, you might want to consider switching from incandescent bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. If you don’t care for the glow of the CFL bulbs, even just using one or two in your home can hinder the emissions of hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gases. According to the National Park Service, if every household in the U.S. replaced just one incandescent bulb with an energy-saving bulb, we would decrease global warming pollution by more than 90 billion pounds during the life of these bulbs. After reading that bit of information, you might want to save reading the rest of this post for later so you can take some time to go out and purchase a couple of these energy-saving bulbs.
When recycling, you should really have separate containers for paper and plastic products. You probably won’t have too many spacial issues with plastic products, but as far as the paper products go, if you have to put something in the container that will take up a lot of space, like a pizza box, make sure to fold it or cut it up to make it easier to throw out, which will leave room for other discarded paper products.
To limit your use of too many water bottles, commit to drinking more tap water. I know that might not be ideal for some, but if you’re worried about the content of your tap water, have a water softening system installed in your home. It will take any unwanted substances out of your water, and you can then use a stainless-steel bottle and refill it with tap water whenever you need it, instead of buying a bottle of water every time you’re thirsty. Once you have clean tap water, you might as well use it.
If you buy canned drinks with the six-pack plastic rings on top, be sure to cut them up before you throw them out, in order to prevent any animals from getting caught in them if they come in contact with the plastic.
As you’re saving water, it always helps to either take shorter showers or purchase shower heads that lessen the water pressure. Also, when you brush your teeth and shave, don’t keep the water running. Even though these two tasks don’t take up much time, you will be surprised at how many gallons of water you can waste if you keep it flowing.
It has started to get warmer out, which means you’re going to start firing up your air conditioner. I know it may seem tempting to leave it on all day when you’re not at home because you want to come back and be instantly cooled down, but doing this is a severe waste of electricity. If you turn the air conditioner on when you get home, it won’t take long for you to cool off, so there isn’t much of a point to keeping the AC on all day if there isn’t anyone home. Also, if there happens to be a summer night with a refreshing breeze, save some electricity and open a few windows to cool down. Sometimes, it might not seem that a breeze will be as effective as an AC, but on certain nights, it’s the way to go.
Although Earth Day only comes once a year, you should definitely do your best to make your home more eco-friendly. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to make this happen, but you can take small steps here and there to live a greener life. Whatever you do to accomplish this, it will all make a difference.