Owning a home is a rite of passage for many Americans. But with nearly half of American homeowners living in the first home they purchased, it’s possible that yours may not be on the cutting edge of sustainability. Regardless of how old your house might be, there are a few steps you can take to embrace a greener lifestyle. Here are three simple tips that can make your home a little more eco-friendly this year.
Upgrade One Appliance
While you shouldn’t necessarily buy a brand new appliance when your current model is in good condition, replacing a worn-out model with an eco-friendly alternative can be a good way to reduce wasted energy and wasted money. Consider, for example, that a refrigerator from the mid-1980s used four times as much electricity as a modern one. If you have a major appliance that’s on its last legs, this could be a good time to upgrade so that you can benefit from more energy efficiency (and potentially save on repairs).
Switch Out Your Lightbulbs
You might not give much thought to the lightbulbs you use, but they can potentially make a big difference in how much energy you’re using (and how much you’re paying for electricity). Around 58% of Americans say they prefer LED lighting over other options, which makes a lot of sense. After all, LED lightbulbs tend to emit a better quality of light and last longer, allowing you to save money and reduce eye strain. At the same time, LED bulbs don’t waste as much energy, meaning they’re better for the environment overall. For those who haven’t paid much attention to the lightbulbs they buy in the store, this might be a good time to switch to LEDs.
The idea of using a compost bin or starting a compost pile in the backyard might seem a little far-fetched to some, but it’s become widely accepted as a great way to reduce food waste. And if you use the compost in your garden, you can expect to have some beautiful blooms when the warm weather arrives again! There are probably a number of composting programs in your local community that make pick-up and drop-off a relative breeze. While it might take some getting used to, you’ll feel good about putting food scraps to good use and may become more conscious of how much garbage you typically produce.
Although some people may feel that going green takes too much effort, it’s clear that making just a few small changes around the home can have big effects. With these tips in mind, you can start to move towards a sustainable lifestyle that requires very little extra effort.