Most of us are aware of the threat that climate change poses to our everyday life and future generations. However, only a few of us take responsibility for the current state of the world and admit that our own actions can hugely impact on the warming processes that our planet is currently experiencing.
While it is often too easy to assume that the small changes that we can make in our own lives will make little difference in the grand scheme of things, this is no excuse to not make your home and your life as eco-friendly as possible.
The world’s population is finally starting to listen up and acknowledge the damage that we are causing the planet every day through the burning of carbon-rich fossil fuels and producing too much non-recyclable plastic that ends up in our oceans, destroying wildlife and changing the chemistry of the waters.
However, many of us assume that by making our lives eco-friendlier, we must make unwelcome and impractical sacrifices, but with modern technologies and the current global interest to try and save our planet, it is much easier than you imagine. Even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference, and the more people that make these changes, the more of an impact it will have.
To make it even easier for you, we have put together this simple guide that explains 13 easy ways to make your life and living space that much more eco-friendly. By enacting these easy changes, you can rest assured that you are working towards a brighter future and providing a safer world for generations to come.
1. Use LED Bulbs
Around the world, many different countries are swapping to LED bulbs as they have been proven to be a lot more energy efficient than regular bulbs. For example, research that was completed by the US Department of Energy found that light-emitting diodes (known as LEDs for short) use around 75 percent less energy than a regular bulb and last around 25 times longer.
Therefore, while some people have been put off of using LED bulbs because of their slightly higher market price, in the long run they will help to both save the world and save you some money.
2. Compost Your Scraps
It doesn’t matter how carefully you plan your food or how much of an efficient eater you try to be, you are still bound to have scraps of food that end up going in the bin after a meal. While many of us simply just throw these into the trash, if you want to lead a more eco-conscious lifestyle, then you should have a bin in the kitchen to store them ready for composting.
Recent research has found that food waste that ends up in landfills is one of the main causes of the creation of methane. While methane isn’t as widely produced, it contains a lot of carbon, and it is considered a greenhouse gas like carbon dioxide.
However, there is three times as much carbon in methane than there is in carbon dioxide, so it is a dangerous chemical that we should avoid over-producing at all costs. The best way to do this is to compost our scraps of food to prevent decomposition and reduce methane emissions.
3. Stop Using Plastic
Globally, around 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, while around only 10 percent of it goes on to be recycled. Instead, it is estimated that around 7 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, which is broken down into smaller pieces over the years, and kills off a lot of sea life.
A study looking at fish in the North Pacific found that they ingest around 24,000 tons of debris from plastic in a single year alone. It is estimated that the US statistics for plastic water bottles are even worse, with 80 percent of them getting thrown away where only 20 percent of them can be recycled.
Therefore, it is essential that you try to cut down or even stop using plastic entirely. Many of us are guilty of using fresh plastic water bottles every day, which is not sustainable in our current climate. Therefore, you should invest in a reusable bottle that you can carry around with you, ensuring that you stay hydrated while also protecting the planet.
4. Install Solar Panels
One of the best ways to make your home eco-friendly is to have solar panels installed. This is an even more beneficial investment for people who live in sunny states, such as Los Angeles, as it can help to save the planet while also saving you some money. Solar installations in Los Angeles have become very popular in recent years, and the solar panels provided by Semper Solaris offer the highest quality in green and efficient technology. It is no surprise that they are known as one of the best solar companies in Los Angeles, as Semper Solaris offer quality work from start to finish and can provide you with a service that is suited to your needs.
While globally, people are much more aware of the threat that global warning poses to our planet, some US states are being more proactive in making necessary changes. This is particularly true of the state of Los Angeles, which is one of the greenest cities in the entire country. Around 14 percent of LA’s energy is created by renewable sources, such as solar panels and wind power, and Los Angeles was one of the first cities across the nation that introduced curb recycling back in 1989.
It is currently known as having the highest recycling rate than any other US city of its size. Therefore, if you live in Los Angeles, it is important that you immerse yourself in this environmentally friendly conscious city and consider investments such as solar panels.
5. Fix a Leaky Faucet
You may be surprised to know that the leaky faucet you have in the bathroom that drips through the night could be wasting (and costing you) gallons of water every day. Therefore, you should call your local plumber and get the problem fixed as soon as possible. There really is no excuse!
6. Unplug Electrical Items You Aren’t Using
While modern life is made up of different electrical items that we rely on every day for our professional and personal needs, it is important that we don’t waste energy by leaving items plugged in if we aren’t using them.
Admittedly, while it is easy to forget that our cell phone or laptop has been left charging for a few hours, it is important that we unplug as soon as we can. This is such an easy way to contribute towards saving the planet, and while it may not feel like much difference is being made, think how much of an impact it would have if everyone in your street starting unplugging, never mind the entire world.
To make this even easier for you, if you have multiple electrical items that you could unplug when you leave the house, then use a power strip so that you don’t have to unplug each item individually, and instead you can just unplug and plug them back in all at once. It will literally take you a few seconds but will transform how much energy your home uses.
7. Install Energy Efficient Windows
If you want to do your bit towards saving the world and wouldn’t mind saving yourself some cash in the process, then you should consider getting energy efficient windows installed.
Energy efficient windows include double or triple glazed windows that can significantly reduce the amount of energy you are using which will help to save the planet and help you save on your energy bill. You can also get the correct type of windows based on where you live with the correct insulation depending on your climate.
8. Dry Your Clothes on the Line
While it is tempting to use a clothes dryer to ensure that our laundry is dried quickly and easily, you should avoid using it wherever possible and instead hang your clothes out to dry.
If you live in a sunny state and have access to some outdoor space, then this is perfect for you because hanging your clothes out on the line is a much eco-friendlier way to dry your clothes and will make them smell fresher for longer.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that a single dryer uses more energy than a washer, refrigerator, or dishwasher. Therefore, if you want to reduce your household energy use by up to a third, then you should try line drying your clothes.
9. Add Some House Plants
House plants are not just a cheap and easy way to add some color and decor to your home, they are also good for the planet and atmosphere.
While they do require some commitment, care, and attention in order to keep them alive, they provide more oxygen in your home while reducing some levels of pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide. The soil that is found in house plants has been proven to clean the air indoors and can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide.
10. Turn Off Your Lights
It is important that you turn off lights if they are not needed. Many of us walk out of the room and leave the lights turned on behind us. But it is easy enough to remember to turn them off! British research that has been carried out by Imperial College London has found that a significant amount of carbon dioxide can be reduced by switching off the lights.
While you might think that turning off the lights can make much of a difference, if everyone in the world turned off the lights that they weren’t using, then it will have a huge impact on our overall global energy usage.
11. Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
More people are starting to grow their own food from home in order to cut down on their carbon footprint. Growing your own food cuts down on your cost of living, while also eliminating any emissions created through the transportation of food from to your local store and then from the store to your home. This is a great way to save money on your grocery bill while doing your bit for the future of our planet.
12. Reuse Shopping Bags
Whether you use paper or plastic bags, you should invest in reusable bags and take them with you every time you visit the grocery store. Even if you have made the switch from plastic to paper, research has found that you must reuse your paper shopping bags at least three times in order to compensate for the damage they can have on the environment.
In many parts of the world, including the UK, initiatives have been put in place where shoppers are charged for plastic bags in the hope that this encourages them to bring their own reusable bags with them when they come shopping. So, either have a folded-up bag in your purse or some stored in your trunk, and you will never have to use a paper or plastic shopping bag again.
13. Insulate Heating Ducts
It is estimated that around 30 percent of the air that moves through your home and through your house’s duct system is lost due to leaks you probably didn’t know were there. Therefore, you should insulate the heating ducts in your house so that you save money and energy when trying to heat up your home. You may be surprised at how much this can significantly reduce how much energy your home uses.
While it can sometimes feel like the small changes you can make to your home and lifestyle to try and reduce your carbon footprint won’t make much of an impact globally, it is important that you make these changes and encourage those around you to do the same. These easy changes are essential if we want to reduce the threat that climate change poses to our planet.
Here are some more ways to make your house eco friendly.