Earth Day is celebrated around the world on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It is a day to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds us each day and remember why it is so important to protect our planet. This year, we encourage you to take inventory of your home and consider ways that you could make changes towards a “green home.” Even small changes towards a more environmentally conscious home make a difference. Below are a few of our favorite “green home” upgrades that can easily be incorporated into any home.
Design Around Natural Light
Ask yourself, do you often find yourself reaching to turn on lights throughout your home on a sunny day? Perhaps there are ways you can reconfigure the most trafficked areas of your home to allow more for natural light. Not only will this reduce the amount of electricity you use, but exposure to natural light is known to have several health benefits including mood-boosting. Now that we’re working from home more often, we enjoy setting up our desk near windows or on the back porch.
Gardening and Composting
Growing your own food is a great way to transition to a more green home and get the whole family involved during meal-time or for weekend outdoor activities. It also encourages your family to be aware of the foods and chemicals that go into your food and body. Additionally, composting is a great way to become more aware of your household’s food waste. Though these are often seen as large, consuming projects, both gardening and composting can be done on small scales to make it manageable for your family. We recommend starting small by replanting scallion stems or microgreen which grow quickly and can thrive on a simple indoor window ledge.
Reduce Paper Product Usage
A simple swap to make around the house is trading paper products for reusable fabric materials. This includes paper towels, napkins, cotton face pads or wipes all of which can be replaced by great reusable fabric versions.
Replace the lightbulbs throughout your home with LED bulbs which are more durable, can last up to 25 times longer and use up to 85 percent less energy. Although this may be a slightly more expensive choice, LED bulbs do not need to be replaced as frequently and their energy efficiency can help reduce your utility costs resulting in a green home.
Energy Star Appliances
When purchasing new appliances, be sure to look for products that have received an EnergyStar rating. Energy Star is the trusted, government-backed symbol for energy efficiency helping consumers save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices. Most major manufacturers meet Energy Star requirements so it should be easy to find products that match your home’s style and needs for a green home.