Green Living

Water is essential to all life and the world is faced with a pressing question: How to conserve it? The solution requires a collective effort, and you can do your part by reducing the amount of water you use in your home.

The demand for fresh, clean water is increasing and there are a number of effective ways that help reduce water consumption in your home. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.

Turn Off the Faucet

While brushing your teeth, it is best to turn off your faucet while you’re doing so. In the United States, around 4 million people wear bracelets and about 75% of these people are under 18. Maintaining good tooth brushing habits is essential, but conserving water while you’re building those habits is an easy addition to the routine. If your faucet is leaking, consider repairing it or even better, install a low, high-efficient aerator to your faucet. Every drop counts and doing this can save gallons of water and reduce your monthly water bill.

Take Shorter Showers

Spending less time in the shower can save huge amounts of water. When you’re in the shower, try timing yourself. If a normal shower takes 12 minutes, see how much time you can shave off of that in the future. When you reach your goal time, consider turning off the water for activities like shaving. A more conservative effort is installing water-efficient showerheads. These cut the flow of water by up to 50% or even more.

Invest in Routine Plumbing Check Ups

The average household leak can waste thousands of gallons of water. It’s easier not to notice leaks that are outside the house. Check and fix leaks in pipes, hoses, and faucets. This helps conserve water and reduce water bills. In addition, make sure you’re tasking a professional with these checks. To the untrained eye, a serious plumbing issue may go unnoticed.

Install Low-Flow Toilets at Home

One way to cut down on water use is by installing low-flow or dual-flush toilet models. Toilets use a decent amount of water in the house. By installing low-flow or dual-flush models, you can save up to 34% of the water typically used to flush. In addition, make sure you’re not flushing your toilet unnecessarily. If you need to use a piece of toilet paper or tissue while you’re in the bathroom, chuck it in the waste bin instead of trying to flush it.

Use a High-Efficiency Washing Machine

High-efficiency washing machines can use almost 70% less water and can wash a bigger load than a traditional washer. Therefore, it’s best to limit your washing cycles to when you have a full load. In addition, try to use cool or cold water for your washing cycles. In addition to conserving water, this will help you conserve energy at home.

Consider Reusing Your Gray Water

Collecting water used in cooking, cleaning, or bathing can be a great way to conserve water. This water is called gray water and you can water your plants or lawn with it. This repurposing of water conserves water. Just be sure not to water your plants with water that has soap or industrial chemicals. In addition, don’t use repurposed water for drinking or cooking. When the U.S. spends almost three times what other countries spend on healthcare, it’s not worth risking your health just to conserve a little bit of water.

As you can see, water conservation is important. There are water storage tanks that are over 100 years old, and while these were initially built to make life easier, the convenience of having free-flowing water in the house can lead to more waste.

Have you thought about starting a gardening club in your community but didn’t know where to begin? A gardening club is a great way to get to know your neighbors and others in your community. At the same time, you can also learn the gardening process and techniques for growing plants. You also get to join up with other enthusiasts and share your passion for gardening with like-minded individuals.

What Is a Community Garden Club?

The idea behind a community or neighborhood garden club is to bring together a group of people with a similar interest. Starting a garden club within your neighborhood is a great way to meet other members of the community who also care about the environment and wish to beautify your city or town.

The basic concept behind starting a garden club within your community is to bring the local residents together. A garden club creates a form of comradery between people sharing a similar love for shrubs, flowers, and other plants.

Draw Volunteers Through Social Media

About two-thirds of marketers cited Facebook as the most important social platform, making Facebook the ideal spot for people with like talents and interests to meet and corroborate their interests. Using a social media platform like Facebook is a great way to advertise your group. Outside of the internet, you can put up signs at a local diner, laundromat, library, and even daycare centers. If it is financially feasible, you can even run an ad in the local newspaper.

When you are initiating the start-up of a garden club, it is imperative to get people interested. Creating an interest in your garden club will take a lot of effort. Therefore, you need to start with family, friends, co-workers, and anyone who shares your love of plants and gardening.

Formulate the Launch Meeting

The most successful clubs have a core group of about three to five people in them. This core group helps plan meetings and creates the essential structure of the club. The first activity the core group does is set the date, time, and place for the group’s initial launch meeting.

Formulating a unique place to meet is an important part of the setup of a neighborhood garden club. Since the United States sees 15 million lawsuits filed each year, make sure you check with your town board or a city counselor to ensure your meeting space is lawful.

The launch meeting is not the place for the election or appointment of leadership. Instead, this meeting should be about ways to advance membership. Getting input from other members of the group is one way to do this. Other members of the club can let you know their ideas about what might be helpful and useful in making the club successful.

List the Goals of the Group

The launch meeting can also include a discussion about the goals the club hopes to achieve and the values the group will abide by. Setting the goals of your garden club is a way to also determine what the priorities are.

Is your garden club going to assist neighborhood charities with landscaping and improving the environment? Will your club act as a resource for aspiring gardeners in educating them about the art of gardening? Or, is the objective of your garden club to bring others who love to garden together and make new friends? Ensure to write down what the goals of your group are. Then, go over them at each meeting to keep the group focused on the overall mission of the club.

Design a Structure for Leadership

The next step is to designate who will lead the club. A club benefits by appointing leaders who are strong and capable of promoting the ideals and goals that were established by the entire group.

During the launch meeting, you can hand out questionnaires to the members before appointing or electing the leaders. These questionnaires will aid in formulating what interests the group. In addition, it will allow a way to identify which members are appealed to the idea of leading the group.

Consistently Explain the Benefits of Gardening to Preserve Membership

There are a plethora of benefits to being a member of a garden club, and it is important to repeatedly share the benefits of gardening itself with your club each time you meet. For example, gardening is great for your overall health. Since one billion colds are caught by Americans each year, being outside, staying active, getting some moderate exercise, and breathing in fresh air routinely is an excellent way to keep your health in tip-top shape.

Reminding the members of your gardening club of these benefits is a great way to retain membership and to get more people in your community involved and staying healthy.

If you’re interested in starting a gardening club in your community, start by looking through these steps and tips. Starting a gardening club is a great way to beautify your community in an eco-friendly and healthy way.

Everyone wants to go green these days. People are worried about how they are harming the planet. It’s okay to want to do more for the planet. It may be hard at first, but there is a way to start small. What a better way to start than in and around your house? Take a look around your house. It needs a good cleaning, doesn’t it? Where do you start? If your house is a super mess, it may be hard to know where to begin. Here are some steps to follow to be on your way to a more energy-efficient, clean home this spring.

Clean Your House Of Unneeded Items

Now, some of you are not going to want to hear this, but you might need to. Clutter can take up space and make the house look dirtier than it really is. On average, there are 300,000 things in United States households. Hoarding is a real problem. It is easy to understand why you would want to hold onto some things. There might be some strong memories attached to certain items in your house. However, you need to sit down and look through everything that you want to keep.

Enlist your family’s help in throwing out things that you don’t use anymore and to separate items into three boxes: garbage, donation, and keep. Take items to a donation center in your nearest city or ask family members or friends if they’d like hand-me-down clothing and toys that you may have been storing for years. You could even hold a garage sale to try to rid of items you don’t need anymore.

After cleaning out your house, it’s time to put your efforts into making your home more energy-efficient.

Insulate Your Home

You might not know this, but sometimes houses leak air through the walls, falls, and ceilings. Because of this, you are always turning up the heat or the cool air. That leads to you losing money and using up more energy than what is needed. The biggest offender of this is the attic itself. The only way to stop this is to insulate your house. How do you do that? Go around your house and see where all the air leaks are coming from. Next, go out and buy the insulation and caulk products that you need. You might need to get a professional to do this. Insulation will not only make your home more energy-efficient, but it will help you save money, too.

Consider Appliance Usage

The appliances in your house take up space and energy. These appliances include your fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, and other things that you use for cooking and washing purposes. Now, there isn’t much you can do with the big appliances; just moderate how much you use them. If the weather is nice outside, hang your clothes outside to dry. Give the dryer a break from time to time. Cut down on how many days a week you use your washer. Sometimes, you might want to wash your clothes every other week. Run your dishwasher only when it’s full. With your smaller appliances like your coffee makers and blenders, unplug them and put them away when they’re not in use. Your energy bill will thank you for it.

Preserve Water

Now for the part of helping the planet. You use water for practically everything, but do you really need to? A trillion gallons of water are wasted each year due to running toilets, leaking faucets, and other leaks. It shouldn’t be like this, so let’s look at what’s wrong. If you have a leaky faucet, try and fix it. If you have to use your dishwater, use the light setting to get your dishes clean. It will get the job done just the same. Don’t run the water while you are brushing your teeth. Check all the leaks around your house. Also, check your toilets and get them fixed. One more tip with saving water is to not take long showers or baths.

Watch the Thermostat

Here comes another common mistake with wasting energy around the house. It’s tempting to turn up the thermostat when it gets too hot or cold. This will waste energy and cost more money. Quicken Loans suggests dropping the temperature by three to five degrees. Now, this won’t be easy to do at first. This goes especially if you don’t live alone. Sit everyone down and decide on what you want to keep the temperature on and stay consistent. Use blankets and wear warm clothes in the colder months when you keep the thermostat at a moderate temperature.

Make Recycling a Household Habit

Finally, make recycling a daily habit. Everyone talks about doing this, but not everybody commits to it. Recycled products are important across many industries; in fact, recycled metal is utilized in about 40% of steel production across the globe. Even so, we can do so much more. Start off small. There are places that will take cans and metals for money. That alone could be a great motivator. Make it a competition among your family members with prizes, like a day off from chores or an extra treat. Another tip is to insist that you start separating plastics, papers, and metals around the house. Use labeled bins to make this possible. Every little bit helps!

Establishing more energy-efficient practices in your home doesn’t have to be hard. You just need to commit to the effort. The first step doesn’t have to be huge. You can just follow these tips one step at a time to make the planet a healthier and cleaner place.

There are many ways to instill good recycling habits in your children as they grow and learn about the world. By starting young, you will be sure you’re helping your child be a good steward of the planet. Here are some tips on how to establish household recycling habits with your children.

Introduce and Explain Why Recycling Matters

Introducing your child to recycling can start before your child is in school. You can use simple craft projects using recycled materials to get your child to start recycling in a fun way. Once your child is in school, you will want to make sure your at-home recycling efforts complement what your child is learning at school.

If your child is part of the 10% of all PK-12 students attending private schools, then your child is probably learning quite a bit about recycling. Since not all children can attend private schools, it is important to set up a process for at-home recycling if your local public school doesn’t have a robust recycling program.

Set Up Labeled Recycling Bins In Your Garage

A simple way to keep up your recycling habits and improve as recycling technologies get better and more efficient is to set up recycling bins in your garage. This can be part of a green home project to make your home eco-friendlier. Start when your child is young by color-coding your recycling bins based on the common standards in your community, such as blue for paper, yellow for plastic and cans, black for items to donate, and brown for non-recyclable waste. Once your child is older, you can use the bins to encourage their reading ability by labeling the bins with words as well.

Sort Through Old Items In Your Home Together

An important part of recycling is donating items that are still in good condition but are going unused in your home. As part of your daily clean-up after playtime, you can ask your children if they have any toys they want to donate and have them put their toys into the donation bin. It is not hard to find places that take these donations; in fact, you can add to the 3.5 billion daily Google searches by searching for donation centers in your closest city or town. You can drop off your items at Goodwill or put them in donation boxes located in many grocery store parking lots.

Be Creative and Make It Fun!

You can start by crafting with recycled materials as an early way to get children interested in recycling. You could turn your donation bin into a competition or reward center where, if your child is willing to donate five items in a week, then they get to choose the next plant to go into your garden. When out on a walk with your child, you can make it a game to collect the most recyclables to put in your bins and whoever has the most gets a “Top Recycler” badge or sticker.

Show Your Kids How It’s Done

Kids imitate their parents, so if you are recycling, then they will too! Make sure to rinse out and clean alcohol bottles in private, such as the Bourbon you purchased from Kentucky, which crafts 95% of the world’s supply of the beverage. However, be sure to show your kids how to rinse out, clean, and recycle common household items in the kitchen, such as empty cans and empty juice and milk jugs. By showing your kids how to recycle and making it a common occurrence in your home, you can show your kids that you can have a good time while keeping the environment in mind.

It is important to get your children recycling at a young age so that it becomes part of their daily routine. Starting at an early age allows your child to see it as a normal and expected part of being a responsible citizen.

You need your car to get from point A to B — for instance, driving to and from work, running errands, and taking road trips. However, as you enjoy the ride, are you aware of the detrimental effects of its emissions on the environment? The good news is that there are some steps you can take to reduce the effects of the carbon emitted by your car, as discussed below:

Why Lower Your Car’s Emissions?

You may have heard that it’s a good idea to reduce your transportation-related carbon footprint. But what could lowering your vehicle emissions actually do?

  • Improve Air Quality: Increases in car emissions and temperature affect air quality. A reduction in carbon emissions will lead to improved air quality, consequently promoting better health for human beings and the environment.
  • Save Money: It costs less to fuel and operate cars that emit less (or no carbon at all) into the atmosphere.
  • Reduce Climate Change: Forest fires, droughts, rises in sea levels, and floods are some of the drastic climate change results. When carbon emissions are reduced, such climate changes will be slowed down and so will their effects.
  • Grow the Economy: From an economic perspective, clean and green energy is much better and cheaper.

With such benefits in mind, it’s clear that you’ll want to do your part. Here are some ways you can adapt to reduce your car’s carbon footprint moving forward.

Switch To An Electric Car

Cars that use diesel are responsible for producing carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other harmful gases. This is not the case with electric vehicles (EVs). Electric cars pose less risk to the environment since they are designed to emit little or no greenhouse gases. Switching to an electric car reduces its carbon footprint and saves you a lot in fuel prices, especially if you take long trips weekly. If your current vehicle is on the outs and it’s time for an upgrade, consider making the switch to a hybrid or a full electric vehicle.

Embrace Car Maintenance

Some maintenance might seem inconsequential, but it’s actually an essential part of keeping your vehicle as eco-friendly as possible. Repairing faulty oxygen sensors does not seem like much, but it can enhance your car’s fuel efficiency by up to 40%. Keeping the air filters in good condition helps the car burn less gas, consequently reducing pollution. By taking your car in for a tune-up on a regular basis, you can keep it running as efficiently as possible.

Limit Long Trips

You may be itching to explore areas outside your hometown, but limiting your driving can go a long way in minimizing carbon emissions from your car. The more a vehicle travels, the more gasses it releases into the atmosphere. RVs are found in about 11% of all homes in the U.S. headed by 35 to 54-year olds, but that doesn’t mean you should haul a trailer across the country whenever you please. If you must take that long trip, you can opt to use one vehicle if you are doing it with other people. It wouldn’t break a bone to postpone or cancel a trip you had planned just for leisure. You will realize its benefits in the long run.

Drive Slower and Smarter

Driving slower and smarter reduces gas emissions and minimizes the chance of accidents. It is estimated that about 50,000 Americans die on U.S highways annually. Therefore, you can see how dangerous it is to drive fast and recklessly. Keep away from hard accelerations and fast braking to enhance your gas mileage and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.

Find Alternate Forms of Transportation

You don’t always have to drive always whenever you want to go somewhere. Even if you have a reliable car like a Subaru, research shows that approximately 96% of Subaru vehicles sold in the last ten years are still on the road today. They are good vehicles, but cars from a decade ago won’t be equipped with eco-friendly features. Embrace alternative forms of transportation, such as biking or walking, when traveling for short distances. You’ll get more exercise, get a chance to see your neighborhood through new eyes, and do your part to protect the planet.

The transportation sector is the number one source of carbon emissions, which adversely affect the environment. If car owners are not responsible enough, the global climate will be worst in the next few years. Therefore, as you drive that car, think of its impact on the environment. Try to follow the above-discussed ways and research more on how to reduce your car’s carbon footprint.

As you stay home this winter, you might be inclined to fixate on necessary home improvements. Whether you want a functional home office or you’d like to invest in smart technology to keep your property secure and comfortable, it makes sense that you’d like to make your home the best it can be. But if you live in an area that’s prone to snow and other major weather patterns, you might need to start focusing on an improvement that’s a little more practical and a little less exciting: roof replacement.

A properly ventilated roof can last more than 20 years, but that doesn’t mean your property is guaranteed to be protected. When you live somewhere that’s vulnerable to hurricanes or tornadoes, you need to make sure your home is properly prepared. After all, weather plays a role in around 21% of all car crashes — but strong winds and floods can do even more damage to your domicile if you aren’t careful.

Your roof is an essential barrier that protects both structural elements and the interior possessions you hold dear. Of course, it needs to be strong — particularly if you live in a spot that experienced one of the 1,520 tornadoes that occurred in 2019 alone. But what if you also want your roof to be as eco-friendly as possible? You might care about durability, but does that mean you can’t care about the planet?

Fortunately, in this case, you can have both — as long as you choose wisely. Materials like wood shingles aren’t necessarily the best option here, as wood needs to be replaced frequently and isn’t fire-resistant. Clay and slate can be viable choices, as they’re highly durable, but they can also be expensive and may not be the right option for every type of roof.

Undeniably, one of the most attractive options for both storm-proofing and sustainability is the metal roof. The Metal Roofing Alliance reports that consumer interest in metal roofing is on the rise, particularly among homeowners living in areas prone to hurricanes. Metal roofs can often withstand winds of more than 140 miles per hour and provide additional protection against flying debris, hail, and fire. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael in 2018, homes with metal roofs remained standing due to the wind resistance these roofing systems provide. And because metal roofs typically won’t lift away from the structure or leak during a hurricane, that means the structure will be far less susceptible to damage. There are also methods that can make a metal roof even more wind-resistant, such as using more clips and fasteners or changing the dimensions of the roof to accommodate a narrower width or heavier gauge.

Of course, durability isn’t the only reason to choose a metal roof. It’s also one of the most eco-friendly options available, as it’s made almost entirely out of recycled materials and can be completely recycled once it’s finally lived out its usefulness (which can be anywhere from 40 to 70 years, according to State Farm). The fact that metal roofs can last more than three times as long as traditional asphalt roofs means they’re inherently more sustainable, but the use of metal materials can promote further sustainability. It’s also a highly energy-efficient material, which means you can reduce your cooling costs and energy waste — allowing you to lead a greener life without even trying.

That said, metal roofs don’t come cheap. They’re definitely an investment, so it’s not generally recommended that you opt for a metal roof if you plan to move in the near future. But if you think of this roof replacement as a long-term investment and want to remain in your home for as long as possible, this eco-friendly material can reduce your environmental impact and keep your home protected in the event of a natural disaster.

It’s true there’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to roof replacement. But if your concerns are to stay green and to stay safe, it’s nice to know there are viable options at your disposal.

When it comes to living a more eco-friendly life, most of the advice you’ll get is about using less plastic, conserving energy, and reducing your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, that means water conservation is often left out of the picture. If you’re struggling to find ways to use less water at home, here are a few tips that can help.

Utilize Low-Flow and Low-Flush Appliances

One of the best things you can do to aid in water conservation at home is to invest in low-flow and low-flush options for your appliances. Even though 34% of recent home buyers were looking to avoid renovations with plumbing, this is one renovation that will seriously save you in the long run. Low-flow showerheads and low-flush toilets can make a world of difference when it comes to using less water in your home. If you’re a homeowner and you’re looking for ways to be more eco-friendly, this is a home improvement project you should definitely put on your list. Better yet, make it part of the bathroom remodel you were already in the middle of planning.

Turn it Off!

Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of owning our own homes. If you’re living in one of the 42.6 million rental housing units in the U.S., there’s no need to fret. There are still ways you can conserve water! One of the simplest ways to use less water in your rented apartment or home is to simply turn it off when you don’t need it. You might not be able to shut off water to your entire apartment, but it’s pretty easy to turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth. In addition, consider keeping a pitcher of water in your fridge for easy access to an ice-cold beverage. Not only does it keep your water frosty, but it saves you the trouble of keeping your faucet on until the water gets as cold as you want it to be. Conserving water can really be as simple as finding ways to keep the faucet turned off throughout the day.

Install a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels might not be suitable for collecting water intended for indoor use, but they’re a boon when you have a garden that needs watering and you want to cut back on your water usage. And if you’re big on DIY projects then this is the perfect water conservation plan for you. While it’s possible to purchase a rain barrel, you can just as easily make one for yourself. All you’ll need is a barrel with a lid and an attachment for your gutters that redirects rainwater into the barrel. Once you have your barrel, cut a small hole or a few small holes in the top. This will allow water to collect in your barrel while keeping the critters out. After you’ve set up your gutters to redirect water into your barrel, simply wait for the next rain! Once enough water collects, you’ll be able to use it to keep your garden growing.

Share Your Knowledge

It feels good to know you’re contributing to a more eco-friendly environment with your actions. But keeping your knowledge to yourself can end up doing more harm than good! For instance, let’s say you love succulents. When a friend asks you how to properly water theirs, sharing your knowledge about watering every two weeks or so can help them learn to care for their plants properly. The same concept applies to water conservation. If you have knowledge and tools to help you with water conservation, chances are there’s a friend or neighbor who could use your help. Sharing your findings on social media or even at your next community meeting could help your entire neighborhood be more eco-friendly and conserve more water in the long run.

Conserving water is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to living a more eco-friendly life. But with these tips, you should be on your way in no time at all.

greener life

If one of your goals for this year is to lessen your impact on the environment, you’re setting a great and very achievable goal for yourself. There are many small (and big) ways that you can consciously be more environmentally friendly this year. Here are a few examples of how you can start being greener today.

1. Shop Local

Making an effort to shop at small local businesses can greatly lessen your impact on the environment. When it comes to classic retail items like clothing and home goods, shopping locally will mean that the products aren’t transported long distances, and smaller businesses often have less of an environmental impact than major retailers. With food items, like fruits and vegetables, shopping locally comes with the added benefit of the food being fresher and having fewer preservatives in it. Not only is it better for the environment, but it’s also better for you. When you can speak with the farmers who you’re buying produce from, you can learn more about your food than you could from food transported halfway around the country (or world).

2. Compost

Composting is a great way to be more eco-friendly. Compost is made from the breakdown of organic materials, such as food scraps, and can be used as a great fertilizer for your garden. If you have the space for a compost pile, there are many great guides on what you need to start one as well as the required maintenance for one.

If you don’t have space for a full compost pile, you have a few options. There are products called compost tumblers that are space-saving and can even make the composting process easier. If you have no outdoor space, like if you live in an apartment, you may still be able to compost. In some areas, you can sign up for community compost where you get your compostable scraps picked up on a regular basis and eventually get back some of the finished, compostable product. Make sure to research the options in your area.

3. Conserve Water

Conserving water is a great way to be eco-friendly. When it comes to water conservation, there are many different actions that you can take. Here are a few examples:

    • Go Low-Flow. Low-flow versions are available for things like toilets and shower heads. So make sure that if you need to replace something that dispenses water you opt for a low-flow option.
    • Fix Your Faucet. If you have a faucet or pipe that is leaking, you could be wasting up to 90 gallons of water every day. If you notice any issues, don’t wait for them to get worse — get them fixed right away to avoid wasting more water.
    • Collect Rain Water. Collecting rain to water your garden is a great way to not use more freshwater than necessary. If you live in an area where it rains regularly, place a barrel outdoors, preferably under the spout of your gutters. This will help it collect as much water as possible during the next rainstorm. If you aren’t expecting rain for another few days, cover the barrel to ensure the water doesn’t evaporate.
    • Ditch Your Lawn. Although you may love the grass in your lawn, the grass is notorious for needing a lot of water to look as green as it’s meant to. If you find yourself having to supplement your grass with extra water, it may be time to replace it. If you want to go synthetic, one square foot of synthetic grass saves up to 55 gallons of water per year, which is a great option for areas experiencing drought. If you want to stay natural, you have many options. If you want to keep the green appearance, try clover for sunny areas and moss for shady spots. You can also plant wildflowers, ornamental grasses, or any other ground covering plant if you aren’t concerned with keeping the appearance of grass.

4. Only Buy What You’ll Use

If you want to live a lower waste life, you have to think about what you will actually use in your day to day life and what will end up sitting in a drawer for years before eventually being thrown away. This applies to all aspects of your life from clothing to food to beauty products. If you don’t have an immediate use for the item or if you already have something extremely similar, you probably don’t need whatever it is that you have. For example, if you love skincare, make sure that you only purchase products you’re going to actually use. Some pharmaceutical creams have great active ingredients, but these ingredients become inactive after some time, leaving only preservatives in as little as one year. Pay attention to everything you buy and ensure that you actually need it before bringing it home to decrease the amount of waste you produce.

5. Check Your HVAC System

Being environmentally friendly doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out modern conveniences like heating and air conditioning. Instead, it just means you should be smarter about how you’re using your HVAC system. For example, if you feel like the effectiveness of your HVAC system isn’t as good as it usually is, you should get it checked out. There could be something wrong with your system that impacts its ability to heat or cool your home, meaning you have to crank it up in order for it to work the way it used to. You should also make sure that you are being realistic in your expectations for your HVAC system to avoid turning it on too high and wasting energy. AC units, for example, need to use 20 BTU per square foot of space they cover, so you’ll have to ensure that you have a unit that is up to the job of cooling your entire space or lower your expectations of how cool your space will be.

When you’re trying to be more eco-friendly, you don’t need to completely change everything you’re doing. Instead, by implementing small changes, you can still live a greener life.

How do you lead a greener life? Let us know in the comments below!