5 Small Changes in the Home That Make a Big Difference
For people who are devoted to going green in their home, they might feel like they have to take on major projects like changing all of their windows or buying new appliances that use less energy. While these are certainly great approaches, they are also expensive.
Fortunately, being eco-friendly does not have to cost a lot of money. In fact, there are plenty of simple ways to go green that add up to make a positive and meaningful impact on the Earth. Consider the following ideas:
Consolidate Your Light Bulbs
If you currently use more than one light in a room, consolidate your light sources and up the wattage on the one fixture. One 100-watt bulb will put out more light than two 60-watters and use 17 percent less energy, explains This Old House. If it’s safe to increase the wattage on your lights, making the switch can make a small but meaningful difference in your power usage.
Adjust Your Fridge and Freezer
You want your refrigerator to keep your food and drinks cold, but you might unwittingly be using more energy than you need. To determine how much power you are using, take your fridge’s temperature by placing an appliance thermometer in a glass of water overnight. The temperature reading should be between 37 and 40 degrees; if it’s colder than this, raise the temperature a bit. This can make a big difference because a fridge that is kept 10 degrees colder uses 25 percent more energy, claims This Old House. The same is true for the freezer. It should be between 0 and 5 degrees. Also, if you can feel cold air coming out of either compartment when the doors are closed, it is time to change out the gaskets.
Upgrade Your Window Treatments
While installing new windows can take a lot of time and money, upgrading your window treatments is a much more budget-friendly option. Depending on your budget, you can easily change the drapes or blinds one room at a time instead of doing all of them at once. Blinds or drapes help keep rooms cooler during the warm months by blocking the warm sun. You also can buy window treatments that are made with eco-friendly materials such as bamboo.
Keep Lights Off as Long as Possible
To save more energy in your home, challenge yourself to go as long as possible without turning on the lights in the house. Instead, figure out which rooms get the most natural light and spend time in those spaces. Raise the blinds and open the curtains to bring in as much light as you can. This way you will be able to work in these rooms without using any energy.
Recycle and Reuse What You Can
Think about all the items you recycle and throw away. Can you reuse any of these items? Instead of tossing that empty glass jar into the blue bin, reuse it to hold leftovers rather than buying new storage containers. Before putting junk mail into recycling, see if you can use the backs of the pages for grocery lists and scrap paper.