We all know the importance and impact our daily decisions make on the boundaries of the safe operating system of our planet. If you’re looking for ways beyond simply turning lights off in rooms your not in and switching out those old incandescent lightbulbs for energy-efficient LED ones, I’ve got you covered. Here is a guide on steps you can take to help lessen your home’s negative planetary impacts while saving yourself some of that sweet sweet cash.
THREE MAJOR AREAS OF YOUR HOME TO CONSIDER
Plastic and Paper Product Use
If you are fortunate enough to have solar panels then more power to you. I’m a nerd, I know. If you are like me and do not have solar panels then more than likely your power is being generated by fossil fuels - coal, natural gas, petroleum, and other gases. Burning these resources is causing a multitude of issues for the planet, not just climate change - stratospheric ozone depletion, nitrogen overload, ocean acidification, and loss of biodiversity are also a few to note. They are making headway towards nuclear and renewable energy sources but here are some things we can do in the meantime.
Installing a smart thermostat is one of the easiest ways you can save on your energy bill while reducing your carbon footprint. The Nest 3rd Generation thermostats are great if you are going to utilize their learning capabilities.
The Nest Thermostat E is just as user-friendly, compatible with the app, programable, and efficient at a more affordable price.
Switching out your old incandescent lightbulbs to LED ones is a no-brainer. It is an upfront investment, but they will pay for themselves relatively quickly. In my farmhouse, I like to have exposed Edison-style bulbs and Geeni has come to the rescue with their Geeni LUX line! I have used the Geeni color changing smart bulbs for years and now they have Edison bulbs that look fantastic!
FORGET THE DRYER
Anything that generates heat in your house is a big energy sucker, especially the dryer. On sunny days I will hang my laundry out on the line and on rainy or cold days I hang them on hangers or a drying rack. I have been doing this for the past few years and it has saved me so much money!
To avoid the ‘crunchiness’ of hanging dried laundry, I toss them in my dryer with wool dryer balls or a dryer sheet on low heat for 10 minutes.
HOW TO USE THE SUN TO YOUR ADVANTAGE YEAR-ROUND
Buying a 150-year-old farmhouse in New York has taught me a lot about using the natural resources available to me - most importantly the sun. Obviously, during the warmer months, it grows the food I feed my family and the flowers I adore, but how do you take advantage of it in the winter?
Instead of relying solely on your heater, let the sun warm your house.
Thermal insulated curtains are your friend (best friend if you're in a drafty old house with single-pane windows) Before I purchased thermal insulating curtains my living room would roast during the summer and freeze during the winter. On hot days, close those babies up while your house is still cool from the previous evening. During the winter have them open during the day to let the sun warm your house and close them before dusk to keep the cold out. I have also hung them in front of drafty exterior doors that I don’t typically use and this has saved me so much money in heating and cooling.
I have tested quite a few thermal insulating curtains from Amazon and the Rose Home Fashion Blackout Linen Texture are by far my favorite. They are 100% blackout, feel and look luxurious, and are affordable. Personally, I like the beige color is the best, I also purchased the white but the white looks too motel-y for me.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR CURTAINS HERE ARE TWO REVIEW VIDEOS TO HELP GUIDE YOUR DECISIONS
Plastic and Paper Product Use & Food Waste
KITCHEN SWAPS FOR A MORE SUSTAINABLE HOME
The kitchen is where we can take many steps in creating a more eco-friendly home. Let’s first talk about buying bottled water. If you have access to fresh potable drinking water and are still buying bottled water.. we need to talk. If you need to purify your drinking water there are many options available to you. You can install a whole house water filtration system, use an under the counter system, or simply use a Brita system. Buy a reusable water bottle to take on the go (so many cute ones out there) we all need to do our part in reducing our plastic consumption.
Install an under the counter water filtration system like this one from Waterdrop
Try a Brita, I love my 18 Cup Brita Reservoir
Skip the single-use Keurig pod and opt for a Reusable K Cup.
To save counter space ditch the Keurig altogether and check out the Hamilton Beach Two Way Brewing System
PLASTIC AND PAPER SWAPS
Swedish Dish Clothes have saved me so many paper towels!! Stick to the lighter color ones, some dyes on the darker ones rub off
No more need for plastic wrap, try Beeswax ones! Mine have lasted forever
Tired of tossing big detergent jugs? Try using laundry strips. These from Tru Earth are my favorite
Food waste is a huge contributor to the production of methane in our landfills. The biggest way to help reduce methane production is to simply eat your food!
With food waste you do have, try composting it. This helps conserve landfill space and gives the organic matter space to breathe and turn into carbon dioxide instead of methane. I love this countertop composting bin. If you have the outdoor space try using a tumble composting bin