By Kacey Bradley:
It seems as if all anyone can talk about anymore is how to go green. People are becoming more aware of how their daily routine impacts the earth in a negative way, and a lot of that is thanks to technology. Now, if people are curious, they can do a quick internet search to see how much carbon dioxide is released when they run their cars or how big landfills get when people don’t recycle.
The internet also gives people the opportunity to learn how to be more kind to the earth. There are some harmful habits that people don’t even realize are bad, but there are ways that everyone can pitch in to help. Especially home owners! Check out some easy ways to make your home play nice with the earth. They might also save you some money.
- Use Room Darkening Curtains
While the sun is out and your curtains are open, more heat gets transferred into every room with a window. It’s something you can feel simply by walking up to a window and comparing that to how the temperature feels when you step away. Think about replacing your current curtains with ones labeled “room darkening.” These are meant to block sunlight completely. Keep them closed while you’re not home so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime.
- Buy Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Light bulbs always seem to be going out, so the next time you find yourself racing to the nearest store for a replacement, look at what you’re buying. The light bulbs that are on sale might do more damage than good. Regular incandescent bulbs use 66% more energy than compact fluorescent bulbs, so opt for CFLs before heading back to the checkout line.
- Choose Upcycled Furniture
Buying new furniture can be such a hassle. Skip hunting through endless stores and websites by going to your local donation center instead. If you learn about how up-cycled furniture comes to be, you’ll see how it’s more eco-friendly for your home and the production process that made it. It’s basically an all-around win.
- Consider Bamboo Flooring
Wood floors kill trees. That’s not a mystery. But what is a mystery for consumers is the damage that those missing trees do. Trees aren’t easy to grow back quickly, but bamboo is. That’s why it’s become a popular eco-friendly flooring option for homeowners. It can look exactly like the wood floor of your dreams, too, so you don’t have to compromise on design.
- Lay Out Some Rugs
If you don’t like your floors but can’t afford to replace them all, try laying some rugs instead. Investing in some cute, well-made rugs means that you have home décor that will last a long time. Plus, they help the earth, too! Rugs insulate your house more so than leaving hardwood floors bare in the winter. They’re among the best ways to save on energy in the winter, and to help the earth and your wallet.
- Don’t Go Refrigerator Gazing
Everyone has had the experience of wanting something to eat, opening the fridge, then struggling to decide what to actually make. Letting the cold air out of your fridge while perusing the shelves is a major energy waster. Instead, try to decide what you want to eat before you go into the kitchen.
- Use Vinegar to Clean
Cleaning products often go on sale and do a great job cleaning tough surfaces like the shower floor or a moldy toilet, but they also have loads of chemicals inside them. These chemicals get washed into the environment, so trade in your cleaning products and make your own vinegar cleaning fluid. It’s safer for your skin and easier on the earth.
- Check for Leaky Faucets
If you don’t live in an area that’s prone to droughts, you might easily forget that there isn’t an endless supply of water. It can feel that way when you’re so used to turning on the sink or the shower whenever you’d like, but you shouldn’t waste what you have. Check for leaky faucets occasionally and always make sure you turn off the water completely when you’ve finished using it.
- Hang Wet Laundry
This may come as a surprise, but when you switch a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, you’re making your carbon footprint even bigger. The average household dryer releases 3.3 kg of carbon dioxide for every load, which means that 200 loads releases a half ton. Anything that’s not too heavy should be hung up to dry if you have the space to do so. Shop around for a sturdy laundry rack that’ll work with your laundry room or closet.
- Try Using Soap Nuts
Washing detergents might seem safe but, like cleaning solutions, they’re made with lots of chemicals. This isn’t good for the world when so much of it gets washed out when washing machines drain. When it’s time to restock, ditch the detergent and get yourself some soap nuts instead of heading back to the laundry aisle. They’re naturally occurring, so the planet knows how to handle them when they break down.
Buying a home is a major accomplishment in life. It’s a milestone that almost everyone longs to reach some day; and once there, you start to realize just how much you’re responsible for when you’re paying a mortgage. Homes can hurt the earth in much greater and more harmful ways than smaller living spaces, so, while you’re in it, read as much as possible about how you can make your home play nice with the earth. You’ll feel better about your carbon footprint and you’ll even save money while you try.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!