Green living isn’t limited to big projects like installing solar panels. There are simple and affordable ways to go green. The best part: Green living may also save money and make your home more comfortable. Here are three suggestions:
Use green products: All that seems “green” isn’t necessarily so; “green labels” aren’t regulated. So always check ingredients of cleaning products, paint, sealers, and even windows before buying. Many well-known manufacturers now offer green products (particularly house paint) with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some VOCs can be damaging to human health.
Reduce reuse recycle: It’s not just a slogan; there are lots of ways to make easy, everyday changes that can have an impact:
Wherever possible, purchase products and materials made from recycled materials.
Use reusables, such as washable cups and plates, instead of paper or foam, and washable rags instead of paper towels. Also reuse-don’t toss-plastic containers, glass jars, and paper or plastic bags.
Add compostable leftovers from meals to a compost pile for richer soil and a reduction in food waste. But check what’s compostable and what isn’t. Try:Sustainable Baby Steps
Find home products, like flooring, porch posts, countertops, cabinets, doors, and light fixtures at salvage yards and Habitat for Humanity ReStores.
Insulate and energize: Green homes are energy-efficient, and there are many energy savvy products available now to make your home green-many of which can be installed with tools you already have. Consider:
- Having boilers/furnaces professionally cleaned.
- Insulating water heaters and hot water pipes.
- Looking for Energy Star labels on appliances and electronics, such as TVs.
- Installing energy-efficient lighting and programmable thermostats.
- Checking attics and home exteriors for leaks and torn insulation.