The term “eco-friendly” is on a lot of people’s minds these days. Eco, of course, is short for ecology. When you use eco-friendly to talk about your domicile, what you usually mean is you’re taking simple steps to reduce energy consumption and lessen your carbon footprint. This is a great thing to do whenever you can manage it since the better we take care of the planet, the better condition it will be in for our children and grandchildren. We’ve all got a clear responsibility to take care of the Earth, since, for the moment at least, it’s the only planet we have that can sustain us. With that in mind, let’s look at some ways you can make your residence more eco-friendly.
You Can Install Solar Panels
There are common-sense solutions to some problems or issues, such as what to do if you’re in a burning building. Eco-friendly solutions can be more difficult because not everyone agrees on which ones work best and are the most cost-effective.
Still, almost all climate change experts agree that installing solar panels in your home is one of the most efficient and smartest things you can do if you want a more eco-friendly house. You can contact a company near you, as they are all over the country at this point. There are many of them on the West Coast, but you can find them elsewhere as well.
Solar panels allow you to have a lot more natural light in the house. That will reduce your electric bills and cut down on your overall energy consumption as time passes. You can also mention them as a selling point when the time comes that you want to sell your home.
You Can Set Up an Irrigation System
Setting up an irrigation system in your yard is another way you can create a more eco-friendly home. There are different ways you can do this, and you’ll have to take a look at your house and yard to see what makes the most sense.
For instance, one option might be to install a sump pump in your basement and a water line that directs the excess water into your backyard. You can have the water from the sump pump empty into a rain barrel, and then you can use that to water your lawn.
You use rainwater that way, so you’re recycling it. You will have a much lusher lawn, and you can grow some flowers as well. You’re keeping your basement dry at the same time.
You Can Set Up a Garden
You can set up a garden in your front or backyard. You can have some flowers there to make the place look nice, but you can also grow some vegetables or fruits you can eat.
For example, you might grow potatoes, corn, or tomatoes. You may opt for various beans, such as lentils, which grow in almost any conditions. Maybe you would prefer sweet potatoes, kale, cabbage, or squash.
You can enjoy growing your fruits and veggies and making various tasty meals out of them. That saves you cash on your grocery bill each week.
Plus, it is eminently satisfying to cook and eat the produce that you grow yourself. It definitely makes you feel like you accomplished something.
The one thing to keep in mind is that some pests like to dig up your garden. Squirrels, in particular, can be an issue. You can combat them by putting chicken wire over your crops, though, or you can also put cayenne pepper in the soil that will burn their paws and convince them to stay away.
You Can Use Fans Instead of Central Air
Another way to make your home more eco-friendly is to avoid air conditioning. For example, you can manage heat by opening the windows, or use box or tower fans during the hot summer months instead of central air. Central air is a luxury, but it’s also not so great for the environment. Your home’s energy consumption shoots through the roof if you install central air and run it all summer.
You might use only box air conditioner units. If you have one or two rooms in the house that get extra hot, you can use box units there, which don’t use as much energy as central air. This might be the solution if you want to cool down your bedroom, but the rest of the house isn’t quite so bad.
You can also sleep in your boxers or underwear during the summer. You can keep cool that way, and you won’t feel like the heat is so oppressive.
You Can Recycle Wrapping Paper
You also want to recycle and reuse things as much as possible if you truly want to have an eco-friendly home. You already know that you should recycle paper and plastic products, and you can bring reusable bags with you when you go shopping as well. All of these actions go a long way.
One more useful measure you might not have thought of is reusing wrapping paper if someone ever sends you a gift. You can probably use it at least one more time, and no one will ever know the difference. It’s very wasteful when you see garbage bags full of wrapping paper sitting on the curb right after Christmas or other holidays.
You can also use other paper to wrap gifts, such as old newspapers if you have any sitting around. Most people won’t care if you wrap your gift to them that way instead of using brand-new wrapping paper you bought at the store.
There are tons of other eco-friendly options open to you, like using eco-friendly toilet paper and shampoo brands. You can reuse water bottles rather than continually buying bottled water you use only once. You can refill a plastic water bottle many times before you have to get rid of it.
You can use more energy-efficient lightbulbs as well. All of these actions, when you add them up, mean you’re being a more responsible eco-citizen.
Cover image: Photo by Paul Kapischka on Unsplash