With energy costs skyrocketing in many areas around the world, more homeowners are looking for ways to “green” their homes and save money. Besides cutting down on utility bills, going green benefits the environment for future generations by reducing carbon footprints. It can also improve your home’s overall value, which can be beneficial if you are hoping to cash in on your investment when the housing market recovers.
If you are looking for ways to green your home, here are 5 easy ways that you can get started – and pay yourself back this year.
1. Reduce Leaks Around Doors And Windows
One of the biggest culprits of home energy loss (and waste of precious resources) is that of air leaks around doors, windows, and other seams in the structure of your home. Take the time to do a walk around your home with a thermometer and not the change in temperature in specific areas. This is where you start. Seal up windows, cracks around electrical outlets, and switches with caulk. Install sweeps and sealing tape around doors.
2. Plant A Vegetable Garden In Your Backyard
Give your home curb appeal and reduce the amount of time you have to drive to the grocery store by planting a vegetable garden in your yard. Repurpose landscaping elements like rocks or railroad ties by creating a garden space. Then start seedlings outdoor in early spring to be planted when the warmer weather comes. You’ll enjoy healthful meals for a good part of the year, while improving the oxygen levels around your home.
3. Install A Blanket Around Your Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters have a tendency to run more often in basements and utility rooms, which are typically drafty. To green your home, you can install a low cost hot water insulting blanket in a couple of hours to reduce heat loss and your electric or gas bill. Or consider moving your hot water heater to a more central location in your home such as a hallway or bathroom closet.
4. Switch To Natural Cleaning Products
A great way to green your home and make your home clean and safe for your family is by changing from store-bought cleaning products to natural cleaning methods. Chances are, you already have a few things in your home that can be used for cleaning. Try using baking soda to remove odors and stains in carpets, sinks, bathrooms, and laundry. Mix white vinegar with water for a grease-busting glass and surface cleaner. There are many ways to make your home eco-friendly for pennies.
5. Create A Home Recycling Center
Another easy way to green your home is by setting up a recycling center, instead of generating so much trash that takes up landfill space and costs more to manage. Simply pick up a set of stacking bins from your local home improvement store, label them “glass”, “cans”, “plastic” and “paper”. Then use them for gathering these items that you use, and when the fill up, make a donation to your community recycling program.
Going green doesn’t have to be overly complicated or expensive to manage. The idea is to be smart about how you use the resources you have so that the next generation have something to look forward to.