7 Unique Ways to Go Green in the Home

Jan 30, 2019 by

Kay Elizabeth Carter

Writer

 

There are a variety of ways to go green in the home, such as recycling, using less water, opting for plastic alternatives, and cutting down on energy use. While these green tips should absolutely be taken into consideration, here are seven other simple and affordable strategies that can help you reduce waste and go completely green in the home.

 

  1. Start a compost pile

Compost is like a natural fertilizer for the soil, helping plants grow, deterring pests, and eliminating the need for chemical pesticides. Creating compost is neither complicated nor expensive, and all it requires is just a few materials and the right combination of organic matter (the general rule is to have equal parts green and brown matter):

  1. Brown material—this includes dead leaves, branches, or twigs
  2. Green material—this can be composed of grass clippings, vegetable scraps, and used coffee grounds
  3. Water—this will deliver moisture needed to break down the organic matter

Once you’ve gathered your matter, add the materials to a metal bin and select a dry, shady spot near a water source for your compost pile. If you prefer, you can cover the top of the bin with a tarp to keep the materials inside moist. When the material at the bottom of the bin is dark and rich in color (this can take anywhere between two months and two years), your compost is ready to use.

  1. Repair your appliances

If you have an appliance that starts to break down (or is already broken), consider repairing the appliance instead of throwing it away and getting a replacement. Though making repairs may be more time-consuming, electronic waste (e-waste) can have negative impacts on the environment and your health when improperly disposed in regular landfills or illegally dumped.

 

If repairs aren’t an option, check to see if your home warranty or product insurance plan covers the appliance. Most warranties will completely cover repairs for appliances that have broken down due to normal wear and tear—if this is the situation you find yourself in, you’ll be able to fix your appliance, prevent material waste, and save hundreds of dollars in the process.

 

  1. Skip the bottled water

Instead of drinking bottled water, install a water cleaning system for your sink or invest in a Brita. These options will deliver cleaner water and prevent the use of plastic water bottles. You could also buy a reusable metal water bottle to take with you wherever you go. While you’re at it, invest in a metal drinking straw to cut down on the hundreds of millions of plastic straws used by Americans each day.

 

  1. Go on a walk

Cutting back on the amount of times you drive your car could save you money on gas and help reduce the environmental impacts of driving (think: fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions). The next time you’re considering driving somewhere, determine how close the destination is to your house. Could you walk or bike? If you really can’t go without your car, consider carpooling with other people or using public transportation to reduce emissions.

 

  1. Start homesteading

Homesteading is a lifestyle centered around self-sufficiency and connection with the land. If you’re interested in adopting this lifestyle, start small and make specific goals for yourself. Maybe you want to start your own vegetable garden or sew small clothing items before undertaking a bigger task like raising chickens or brewing your own beer.

 

  1. Pay all of your bills online

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to go green in the home is to cancel all of your paper bills and take them online (almost all of your service providers should provide this option). Not only will this create less paper waste, but it will help you stay more organized when it comes time to make monthly bill payments. Make a list of all the bills that you receive in the mail: cell phone bills, bank statements, utility notices, etc. While you’re in the process of transferring all your bills online, consider switching over any print newspaper and magazine subscriptions and stopping all junk mail to your house.

 

  1. Make your own household cleaners

Avoid buying chemical commercial cleaners by making your own natural cleaners at home. Try these three solutions for all-around home cleaning:

  • White vinegar—Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture onto glass and windows and wipe it away with newspaper or a microfiber cloth for a streak-free clean.
  • Baking soda—Mix warm water with a teaspoon of baking soda to remove surface grease from stove tops and counters.
  • Tea tree oil—This is a natural fungicide that can effectively get rid of mold spores and mildew in your home. Mix one teaspoon of tea tree oil with one cup of water and apply the solution to affected areas. Let it sit for several minutes and wipe it away with a microfiber towel.

 

Kay Carter is a writer from Raleigh, NC, who loves to write about home improvement, sustainability, and the latest wellness trends. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading, traveling, or practicing yoga.

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