If you want to make your home greener this year, you are not alone. But it can be challenging if you don’t know how to go about it. Many people seem to think that going green is an expensive process. However, it doesn’t always cost a lot of money to be eco-friendly.
Now that is true in some regards, but even simple changes can make difference. If solar panels are not an option, alternatives exist.
There are plenty of cheap solutions when it comes to creating a greener home, and today I will share a variety of ways to go about it with varying price points.
1. Install Solar Panels
Solar panels allow your home to generate clean energy. This helps reduce your home’s carbon footprint because you will no longer require energy from the electric grid, or at the very least, not need as much.
Not only does it lower the carbon footprint, but it can eliminate your electric bill entirely. Though, many simply have the power bill reduced significantly. In fact, solar panels actually pay for themselves with the money they save homeowners.
This is known as the Solar Panel Payback Period. It’s a simple calculation of how much money you saved on the electric bill subtracted from the amount you paid for the panels. On average, it only takes between 6 to 10 years.
That might sound long, but solar panels have a life span of about 20 years. Thus, they can save you a tremendous amount over time.
And it might take much less time if you can subsidize your solar panel purchase with tax credits. Also, keep in mind that solar tech is constantly evolving. This means costs are continuously dropping for panel installations.
2. Build A Garden
Many homeowners focus on the inside of their house, but the outside is equally important. Building a garden consisting of local plants can be a boon for local pollinator populations that are struggling like honey bees, butterflies, and more.
Now, building a garden might not be the cheapest home addition, but it is extremely rewarding. Not only can you grow vegetables, but it can also raise the value of your home as landscaping can add some serious value to your property.
Of course, this can also help provide food for other species like birds. One thing you need to avoid using is pesticides. Instead, you can implement more natural solutions like Ladybugs to ward off typical garden threats.
While it will take a little bit of time and effort, it’s a really rewarding activity and it’s something the whole family can enjoy.
3. Use Green Cleaning Products
Looking for an easier way to make your home greener? Well, just switching the cleaning chemicals you use can have a huge impact on your household. You see, most home cleaning solutions include chemicals that are not exactly environmentally friendly.
Not to mention that the production of these chemicals is the opposite of green. Thus by continuing to support these products, you are supporting these chemical processing plants. Instead, look for cleaning products that do not include these chemicals.
The good news is that it’s actually pretty easy to find. In fact, you could just check on Amazon as they have a Climate Pledge Friendly section that helps you find climate-friendly products. And they even have a section dedicated to the home.
These products are similarly priced to normal products, so, it really doesn’t change much when it comes to your bank account.
I think everyone knew that recycling would appear on this list. Yet, while everyone knows what recycling is, there’s a really big disconnect between the people who recycle and those that don’t. In reality, the US recycling rate is only 32%.
Of course, just because you recycle doesn’t mean you do it correctly.
For example, everyone focuses on plastic bottles or soda cans, and rightfully so. But what about furniture? What about your Christmas tree? Both of these can be recycled if you go through the right channels.
Of course, many people focus too much on recycling. Have you ever considered donating your old furniture to a thrift store? Giving it a second life is far more efficient than recycling. And there are plenty of local solutions available.
Even just giving the furniture to family and friends that need it is far more efficient.
5. Install LED Lightbulbs
Another simple change you can implement in your home is just swapping out your lightbulbs. You may be thinking, “wait I already have energy-saving bulbs.” But it’s not quite that simple. Not all energy-saving bulbs are created equal.
Today, there are far more options available, which can make picking one challenging. And the best option, by far, are LED lightbulbs. These use 90% less energy than incandescent lightbulbs and last several years longer.
As a result, they can save a lot of energy and reduce the number of lightbulbs your home goes through. Not to mention a lot of them really cheap today. You can pick them up at any local Home Depot or Lowes in your area. Or, again just order them from Amazon.
And it really only takes about ten minutes and a step stool to change them, so nothing very challenging.
6. Start Composting
If you are planning on building a garden, pairing it with composting is a no-brainer. It can help you create nutrient-rich soil in your backyard and fill in for any fertilizer needs you may have. All you need to do is get a bin.
Essentially, the goal of composting is to discard organic material into the bin and allow it to decompose naturally. Then add it to help enrich the soil and help plants grow.
For example, let’s say you peel a banana. Normally, you would throw the banana peel into the garbage, but now you would throw that into an indoor composting bin.
There, it will break down and you can feed those nutrients to your garden. It just requires a little extra time to sort your garbage, but it’s worth it.
Also, this isn’t just for household waste. Even just trimming the plants in your backyard can be composted.
7. Take A Cold Shower
For many, starting the day off with a hot shower is the first thing to get motivated to take on the day. However, have you considered taking a cold shower?
A cold shower offers several advantages that many people are unaware of.
For starters, taking a hot shower requires your water heater to warm the water. That means it is using electricity to reach a set temperature, which is probably powered by fossil fuels. Thus, cold showers can help lower your energy consumption.
And it can also lower your water usage because cold showers are quicker. After all, you are in a rush to get out. There are actually health benefits as well. For instance, cold water can improve blood circulation.
There are even studies that link cold water to a higher metabolism.
Making Your Home Greener Is Not Hard
As you can see, some of the methods on this list are quite simple, while others are a bit more involved. If you are serious about making a difference, everything on this list should be achievable with some effort.
Not only can these changes help the environment, but many of them will just save you money in general. And that’s becoming more important than ever.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways you can go green. So, be sure to let us know in the comments section what steps you take!
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.