10 Genius Environmental Home Hacks to Save the Planet
1. Reuse Your Gray Water
Gray water (used water that doesn’t contain food waste, human waste, or hazardous substances) doesn’t have to immediately go down the drain. Put a bucket in the bottom of your tub and collect shower water, save water from rinsing dishes, or keep that half empty bottle of water instead of pouring it down the sink. This can be used to water your garden or house plants and save money on your water bill. The average American water bill is $70.93 per month, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the average American family uses 300 gallons of water per day.
2. Grow Your Own Herbs
Herbs are small and hearty enough to grow on your kitchen window sill or countertop. Fresh herbs purchased from the store can be expensive and go to waste if not used within a week of purchase. Exercise your green thumb and try growing some of your own herbs. Try growing from seed or rescuing a living herb plant from your local grocery store (carefully separate individual stems and their roots, then gently replant).
3. Install Energy Star Appliances
From central AC units to refrigerators to washers and dryers, the list of types of Energy Star appliances available is long! ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers rely on to make well-informed decisions. The EPA ensures that each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance promised. In 2020 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans save more than 520 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity and avoid $42 billion in energy costs.
4. Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Lighting consumes between 8–15% of the average household electricity budget. Typically LED lamps have a lifetime of 25,000 hours – that is over 22 years if used for 3 hours per day. By switching to LED light bulbs, you can save hundreds off your electricity bill every year!
5. Wash Clothes in Cold Water
By selecting “cold” on your washing machine, you use less electricity to ensure your clothes get clean. Cold water also takes the cake for being able to tackle the toughest stains with no issues. Cold water also shrinks clothing less and ensures your clothing lasts longer. Keep a close eye on individual clothing washing instructions and watch the savings roll in!
6. Get Rid of Paper Towels
Invest in some cute dish towels and keep them for use in the kitchen instead of using paper towels to wipe up messes. They are reusable, more decorative, save the trees, and reduce garbage. There are also many reusable paper towel options available online and at many craft shows.
7. Buy Local
Reduce your home’s carbon footprint by purchasing as much food from local producers as possible. Who doesn’t like a trip down to the farmer’s market to hand-select each fresh piece of fruit and vegetable that came directly off the vine? By buying from local farmers, you aren’t contributing to additional pollution caused by long-haul trucking to bring food from other places to your grocery store.
8. Fix Broken Items Instead of Buying New
Unfortunately, we have become the ‘throwaway generation’. If something is broken, just pitch it. There are a lot of things that break in our homes that could easily be repaired with a little know-how and elbow grease. Jump on YouTube to see if there are tutorials to teach you how, enlist the help of someone with the skills you need, or look up a local repair shop online and take it there.
9. Use the Sun to Dry Your Clothes
Over the last couple of generations, the clothesline has become much a thing of the past. But hanging up your clothes outside to dry not only saves energy for the world, it also saves money on your electric bill. Any appliance that produces heat or cold uses exponentially more electricity.
10. Sell and Donate Items You Longer Want or Need
The EPA reports that Americans generate 16 million tons of textile waste a year, equaling just over six percent of total municipal waste. Instead of just throwing out clothes you don’t want, take them to a charity shop like Goodwill. Clothing that doesn’t sell at these types of stores often get sent overseas. Roughly 700,000 tons of used clothing gets sent to other countries annually, reportedly creating a big market and contributing to job growth.
Of course, clothing isn’t the only household item you can donate. Pretty much anything can be donated, however, check the website for the organization for complete details. For some, secondhand stores are their first stop when it comes to purchasing household goods, so there’s no point in throwing away something that someone else could use. You may just find a gem of your own while you’re there!
Varma Realty Group is your friend in the Greater Cincinnati real estate market. We pride ourselves in our real estate expertise and complete customer service. If you or anyone you know is interested in talking to a realtor regarding listing or purchasing a home, we would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 513-307-3599.
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