Eco-friendly home changes
In this article
- There are simple adjustments you can make today to reduce your environmental impact
- Reduce your homes energy usage by switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and adjust your thermostat
- Limit your water usage in your bathroom, garden and kitchen to save water
Looking to live a greener life? Discover easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Small steps like switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs, reducing water usage, adjusting your thermostat, planting trees, and using reusable bags can have a big impact.
As we all become more aware of the impact that humans have on the environment, more people are looking for ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. One place where you can make a significant impact is in your home. A few easy, eco-friendly home adjustments can help you reduce your carbon footprint, save money and live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Here are some simple adjustments you can make to your home to reduce environmental impact:
- Upgrade to energy-efficient lightbulbs
- Reduce your water usage
- Adjust your thermostat
- Plant trees and other vegetation
- Use reusable bags and containers
- Compost your food waste
Plus, you can make some more substantial updates if you have room in your budget:
- Install solar panels
- Get energy-efficient windows
- Use smart-home systems
- Get energy-efficient appliances
- Insulate your home
Upgrade to energy-efficient lightbulbs
LED lights are a simple, yet effective way to reduce your home's energy consumption. They use at least 75% less energy1 – and last up to 25 times longer – than traditional incandescent bulbs; those energy savings will reflect on your electric bill in the long run, with the average household saving $225 per year2 by switching to LEDs. Plus, they come in a range of color temperatures and can be dimmed, making them ideal for any room in your home.
Reduce your water usage
It’s easy to go overboard on your water usage without realizing it, but there are many easy ways to reduce your everyday consumption.
- Take shorter showers.
- Avoid baths, or only fill them partially.
- Turn the water off while you brush your teeth, shave or use body wash, shampoo or conditioner.
Kitchen and laundry:
- Only run your dishwasher or washing machine when you have a full load.
- Turn the faucet off while scrubbing or scraping dishes.
- Thaw food in the refrigerator instead of running it under hot water.
- Sweep or blow sidewalks and patios instead of hosing them down.
- Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when the pool is not being used.
- Limit plants in your yard that need daily watering.
Sustainable home tip: Low-flow shower heads and faucets are another easy way to save water in your home – they can reduce a sink’s water flow by 30% or more.3
Adjust your thermostat
If you keep your home very warm in the winter or very cool in the summer, you could be going overboard on your energy usage and electric bill. If it’s possible to adjust your thermostat by even a couple of degrees while staying comfortable, it’ll help conserve energy and lower your bill.
Plant trees and other vegetation
Planting trees and shrubs around your home can provide shade, which can help you reduce your cooling costs in the summer. Plus, trees and shrubs absorb carbon dioxide, which can help reduce your carbon footprint.
Sustainable home tip: Be mindful of how much water trees or plants need before you put them in your yard. If you’re looking for shade, there are certain types of trees that can survive with little water in Arizona, like deciduous, evergreen and southwest trees.
Use reusable bags and containers
Switching to reusable bags and containers can help you cut down on single-use plastic, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Get started by investing in reusable shopping bags, food containers and water bottles to reduce environmental impact.
Sustainable home tip: By switching to a reusable water bottle, you could save an average of 156 bottles4 per person annually – not to mention spend less on plastic bottles throughout the year! Plus, you could save about 307 plastic bags each year when you switch to reusable shopping bags.
Compost your food waste
Composting your food waste can help you reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. When food waste decomposes in landfills, it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Composting your food waste at home can help reduce your carbon footprint and provide nutrient-rich soil for your plants.
Larger energy-efficient home improvements
If there’s room in your budget for more substantial eco-friendly home upgrades, here are a few to consider that could reduce your environmental impact even more:
Install solar panels: Solar panels can help you generate your own clean energy, reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and lower your electricity bills.
Get energy-efficient windows: Replacing old, inefficient windows with energy-efficient ones can help you save on heating and cooling costs.
Sustainable home tip: While new windows are a big investment, they can help you save an average of 12% on your energy bills.5 If you’re looking to invest in long-term sustainability solutions, energy-efficient windows are something to consider.
Use smart-home systems: Upgrades such as lighting controls, home automation systems and smart thermostats can help you save money on utilities and reduce energy consumption. A programmable thermostat can help you save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature in your home based on your schedule. For example, you can program the thermostat to turn down the heat or air conditioning when you're not at home or sleeping, which can help you save on your energy bills.
Use energy-efficient appliances: When it's time to replace your appliances, consider investing in energy-efficient models. These appliances use less energy to operate, which can save you money on your electric bills and reduce your carbon footprint.
Insulate your home: Insulating your home can help you save energy and reduce your heating and cooling costs. Proper insulation can prevent heat from escaping your home in the winter and keep your home cool in the summer. Once again, it can help you save money on your energy bills and reduce environmental impact.
Tip: If you don’t have the cash to invest in more substantial energy-efficient home improvements, you could tap into your home’s equity to fund your project.
Your changes matter, big and small
These are just a few examples of how you can make your home more eco-friendly. Whether you want to start slowly or implement a handful of new habits today, it’s a step toward saving you money and helping the planet. Before deciding on any home renovations, it’s important to do your research and talk to a financial advisor if you have questions about how your investment fits your budget and goals.
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