Each day we hear more news about ever growing landfills, ice caps melting, and strains on the electricity grids. You may think that there’s little you can do about it, but every little bit adds up. When everyone works to live more sustainably it has a seriously big impact on improving our environment.
A sustainable home is a happy, healthy home. Here are 7 things you can start doing today to make your home more sustainable.
R, R, R
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – These three Rs are the basis of being more sustainable in regards to waste generation. Reduce refers to using less in general so as not to waste food or materials. It also includes buying less and choosing items that are either in bulk or don’t have packaging so less materials are used overall. Reuse is the acting of repurposing things rather than throwing them out. Recycle when certain materials like glass, plastic and paper are processed, broken down and turned into new products.
In addition to the three Rs you can add a C for composting. Food waste and yard trimmings account for 28% of all municipal waste created by homes, schools, hospitals and businesses. Many of these items can be composted instead. You can compost at home, and many larger cities now have composting facilities where yard waste can be deposited.
Leverage Technology to Lower Electricity Use
For every problem there is a solution, and technology is giving us more ways to solve sustainabilityissues around the home. Programs like ENERGY STAR make it easier than ever to find appliances, tools, and electronics that use less energy. There are also new products hitting the market everyday that are geared towards helping you consume less energy in general. A few products to consider include:
- Smart Powerstrips
- Kill-a-watt Meter
- CFL Light Bulbs
- Nest Thermostat
Living sustainably is an ongoing effort, and technology is your long-term partner. Just as the products above are today’s gold standard, energy saving technology is sure to keep growing and improving.
Responsible Electronic Use and Disposal
Technology has been a huge blessing for energy conservation – but it can also be a burden on the environment. Electronics and batteries contain materials that can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of correctly. In addition to checking with your local waste collector on proper disposal, make an effort to use rechargeable batteries and future-proof devices.
Teach Your Kids About Sustainability
One person can’t do it alone in a home that includes an entire family. Make sustainability a group effort by getting your kids involved and teaching them the importance of conserving energy and wasting less. Set goals for lowering energy usage and waste as a family. Incorporate a reward system where kids get a small treat each time a goal is met. You can even talk to their teachers to see if curriculum is offered at school. If not, check out ENERGY STAR Kids for fun online lessons.
Properly Set Your Systems
The biggest energy consumers in your home are the systems that heat and cool the air and water. If they aren’t set properly and maintained you could waste hundreds of dollars a year and many more kilowatt-hours of energy. If you don’t yet have a programmable thermostat now is the time to invest in one. Take a few minutes to set it up so that the HVAC runs at around 78° F in the summer and around 70° F in the winter while you’re at home. The water heater, which can account for as much as 25% of your electricity bill, should be set at just 120° F.
Low Impact Landscaping
Water conservation is an important aspect of living sustainably. One of the biggest water consumers in the home is your landscaping. There are a few fixes that can dramatically reduce your yard’s water needs. 1.) Use a programmable sprinkler system that waters during the cooler parts of the day. 2.) Use native plants that are able to survive with little assistance. 3.) Xeroscape a portion or all of your yard.
If it’s time to get rid of stuff that’s taking up space in your newly sustainable house Dumpsters.biz can help. We provide affordable dumpster services that include waste separation for recyclables. Check out our local rates online!