7 Ways to Make Your Home a Sustainable Home

7:16 pm by Kristy Tan

We all know that climate change has an enormous impact on our lives and our planet, but some of us might think, “Will I really make a difference?” It might be hard to believe that just one person can truly make a difference. But here’s the thing, maybe one person going 

We all know that climate change has an enormous impact on our lives and our planet, but some of us might think, “Will I really make a difference?” It might be hard to believe that just one person can truly make a difference. But here’s the thing, maybe one person going 

7 Ways to Make Your Home
a Sustainable Home

June 25th, 2020

Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

W

e all know that climate change has an enormous impact on our lives and our planet, but some of us might think, “Will I really make a difference?” It might be hard to believe that just one person can truly make a difference. But here’s the thing, maybe one person going 

green won’t make a difference. But that one person will inadvertently influence the people around them, and those people will influence their own sphere of people. 

“Your ripple effect is greater
than you think!”

Many people feel that the issue of climate change is just too vast for individual actions to really make a difference. But is that really the case?  If everyone makes minor changes in how we shop, how we travel, what we eat, and how much energy we consume, we can most definitely make a difference.

As we welcome summer with its longer days and warmer weather, let’s take some time to do our part for a cleaner earth. There are many changes in the way we live that we can adopt with ease and without breaking the bank.

No 1: Insulate

Insulating your home is one of the best ways to reduce energy consumption and do good for the environment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing air leaks and adding insulation can reduce your energy usage and costs by between 5% to 30%.

Things that you can add insulation in your home include your:

          1. Heating Ducts

          2. Hot Water Tank

          3. Attic

          4. Loft

          5. Windows and Doors 

No 2: Install Low Flush Toilets

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, toilets account for nearly 30 percent of an average home’s indoor water consumption. This number is especially true and may even be higher for older toilets that use as much as 6 gallons per flush.

 

Using the EPA’s WaterSense calculator, a family of 4 will save at least $140 per year when switching to a WaterSense-labeled toilet. With a new WaterSense-labeled toilet costing as low as $50 each, you can see a return on your investment in less than a year!

 

Don’t want to change out your toilet? Put a few pebbles or rocks in an empty plastic bottle (experiment with 1 or 2 liter bottles), fill it with water, and then place it in the back of your toilet. With this little trick, you can save up to 10 gallons of water per day.

No 3: Install a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats can programmed to run your air conditioning when you are home and turn off when you leave. They can even learn your routines and automatically set up a schedule so that your home is perfectly heated or cooled to your liking when you get home. By intelligently managing your heating and cooling, smart thermostats can save the average household up to $180 per year. This, of course, would vary by the size of your home and the number of people in your household.

 

With smart thermostats priced between $35 to $150, you get a return on your investment very quickly! Additionally, many utility companies have rebates for smart thermostats, be sure to check with your utility company for even more savings!

No 4: Use Wisely

Paper towels are often non-recyclable. Discarded paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash every year globally. By switching to a microfiber cloth at home or using Joe Smith’s one towel method, you can reduce your overall carbon footprint and costs! 

 

Do you wash your clothes with cold water? According to Energy Star, water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a clothes washer. Unless you have tough oily stains, washing your clothes with the cold cycle can not only clean your clothes well, but also keep your clothes lasting longer. Finally, you can also eliminate up to 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year by going that route.

Ready to join the clean energy movement?

No 5: Grow your Own

Growing your own fruits and vegetables in your garden can have many benefits. First, you save time and money by making less trips to the grocery store and also due to seeds being much cheaper compared to buying grown vegetables. Second, this is healthier for the environment as well. Your fruits and vegetables do not need to travel from a farm to a supermarket and then to your home. Thus, you are reducing air pollution and lowering your overall carbon footprint. 

 

Third, you know what goes into your fruits and vegetables since you are the one controlling the environment that they grow in. Since you are growing them in your garden, they are most likely organic! Finally, because they are “farm-to-table”, your fruits and vegetables will be tastier and sweeter than the ones that you get from the supermarket.

No 6: Get an Energy Audit

A home energy audit helps you determine how much energy your home uses, where your home is losing energy, and which problem areas and fixes you should prioritize to make your home more efficient and comfortable. 

 

You can do an energy audit on your home by yourself or you can hire a professional to do it. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get a professional home energy audit for free! Check with your local energy department to see if they have a free program.

No 7: Go with Renewable Energy

Powering your home with solar or wind is one of the best ways to fight climate change. Depending on where you live, you may be able to switch to a power company that provides energy from renewables.

 

If you can consider getting solar panels installed on your home, you may be able to sell any unused energy to your utility company.

 

If you are unable to install solar panels on your property due to shade around your home, costs, or because you are renting, check out Community Solar programs in your area. These programs help you subscribe to a local solar farm so you can get access to clean, renewable energy along with savings to your monthly utility bill! 

Want to help create a cleaner future?

This blog post is a shortened version of our webinar. Interested to more ways to make your home a sustainable home? Watch our webinar, “15 Ways to Make your Home a Sustainable Home”, below!

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