The new year is just around the corner, and with a new year comes a new set of resolutions. Plenty of people will aim to live more sustainably at the start of 2020, and making some simple changes and improvements around the house can help you reach your goal with less effort. But just like 75% of cybersecurity issues happen from within an organization, most of our environmental issues are caused directly by us. Not only will going green help you save the environment, but you’ll be able to save on your energy bills at home, too. Use these tips to give your sustainable new year a head start at home.
Lovely lawn alternatives
Depending on how big a lifestyle change you’re willing to make, one of the most interesting places to start going green at home is with your landscaping. Currently, front and back lawns in the U.S. collectively contain almost 21 million acres of grass. While this much plant material may seem like a positive, have you considered the number of resources growing a lawn actually takes? A grass lawn doesn’t provide much in return for all that watering and maintenance. Instead, consider adding gardens or pollinator-friendly plants to create an alternative, sustainable lawn instead. More greenery can also stop your basement from flooding by diverting water away from the home. Up to 37% of homeowners have struggled with water damage, but simple eco-friendly alternatives can help mitigate this risk.
Moving indoors, another major way to go green around the house is to update your home’s appliances and utilities to more modern models that use less energy. This includes items like your water heater which likely gets little day-to-day attention. Water heating accounts for 18% of the average property’s energy use – by switching to a newer, more energy-efficient model, you’ll be able to cut down on how much energy your home uses in general.
It’s possible you don’t even need to add new utilities to your home; with a few simple adjustments and upgrades, you can maximize the efficiency of your current systems. Be sure to clean appliances and take care of them regularly to keep them running smoothly and avoid wasting energy. According to Energystar.gov, most HVAC system filters need to be changed every one to three months – doing this will help you get the most out of your current HVAC without needing expensive upgrades.
Maintain what you’ve got
There are plenty of smaller adjustments you can make to your lifestyle to go green with what you’ve already got. For example, try sticking to a more regular maintenance schedule for items you already own. Be sure to look up care guides for everything, even the items in your home you don’t think you need to maintain. For example, check up on your leather furniture; leather furniture should be conditioned about every six months. Taking care of what’s already in your home will help you go green by reducing the amount of stuff you send to the landfill. The longer an item lasts, the more use you get out of it, and the fewer resources are needed to create more items.
Reduce and reuse
Finally, when it comes to more routine lifestyle changes to go green for the new year, it’s important to focus on reducing consumption and reusing what you already own. Planning on throwing away that old t-shirt? Donate it instead, or cut it up and use the fabric to make something new. Everything in your home can have a new use after it’s reached the end of its current usefulness; it just might take a bit of creativity to get there.
Going green might be on your list of New Year’s resolutions, but it doesn’t have to be a major challenge. Following these tips can help you take small steps to create a greener lifestyle at home for you and your family.