With the new year come all sorts of New Year’s Resolutions: form many, becoming more aware and environmentally-conscious is one of them! Being eco-wise is good economics in our home, finances, and with the earth. Besides recycling, there are simple things we can do in the comfort of our own homes to play our small part in taking care of our planet.
Reduce energy use
Coal and oil are quickly disappearing because they are being used at a faster rate than they can be replenished. So shut your electronics all the way down or unplug them completely instead of putting on standby mode. These actually keep on leeching energy while not in use. When it’s time or when you can, replace appliances for Energy Star labeled ones. This is going to help you have less consumption, thus saving you more money.
Use natural resources
If possible, opt for renewable energy sources. Consider solar panels. These are now made more affordable. Check out Tesla’s Solar Roof. Or why not line dry your clothes instead? Or air-dry your dishes. Or use the rake instead of a blower. Sure these will take some effort, but it’ll be worth it.
Tone down the temperature
Producing the perfect temperature will have to consume energy. Tune-up your heating system regularly. Make sure you have proper insulation too as it can reduce the cost of heating and cooling throughout the year. Wash clothes in cold or warm instead of hot. Or use a smart thermostat that automatically drops the temperature when you’re not home.
Lighting can contribute to 20% of your energy bill. Keep the lights off when you’re not in the room. Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can, especially during the day. Open your curtains and let the natural light in. It is also a good idea to switch to a compact fluorescent bulb or LED. These types last 3-25 times longer and can help you save around $75 each year.
Make every drop count
Only three percent of all the water is freshwater — one percent is available for drinking while the other two percent is locked in icecaps and glaciers. Each of us depends on water for life and with all 8 billion of us relying on it, it only makes sense that we must conserve water. So make sure your home is free of any water leak. Learn to suds up in under 10 minutes. If possible, opt for a low-flow showerhead and fittings to faucets.
Practice conscious consumerism
Somewhere halfway between Hawaii and California is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of plastic, floating trash that’s now twice the size of Texas! Repurposing glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen can help minimize waste. Choose cloth rags over paper towels. Opt for reusable items versus disposable plastics.
Lessen your contribution to landfill problems by not buying more. If something is broken, see if it can be fixed before throwing it away. More people are becoming into buying secondhand items as they are cheaper too.
Plant more trees
If you can, plant new trees or herbs in your garden. Not only will this help prettify and purify air, but having your own produce will save you some cash.
These efforts may only be a dot to paint the bigger picture, but it’s good to start somewhere. A whole lot of people doing a little bit adds up to a whole lot to heal our planet. As the saying goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”