It’s not hard to be more sustainable in your home this year to combat climate change, with some small changes like a compost bin or some bigger ones like installing solar panels. You can see a difference in your carbon footprint right away! Moving or staying put, these eco-friendly changes will improve the way you live.

Here are 10 ways you can make your home more environmentally friendly:

1.Saving lighting energy

One of the simplest sustainable house upgrades you can make is to upgrade your home’s lighting, which offsets a significant amount of energy consumption. LED lights consume up to 90% less energy than traditional bulbs (saving the typical customer $225 per year). Other small improvements to your home’s lighting can also save you money on your energy bill.

Pulling drapes over your windows during the summer months when you need to keep your home cool will help your air conditioner work more efficiently. When choosing curtains, keep in mind that bright colors will reflect the most light from entering your home. Keeping your home cool can save you more energy than keeping it bright, even if you’ll need to use your lights more often with curtains.

Consider your climate when selecting where to put windows and how big they should be if you’re designing your own home. In the winter, those who live in cooler climates can use the sun to heat their homes through south-facing windows. Skylights, glass doors, and windows may also help to save money by naturally lighting ; just remember to cover them when the weather becomes hot.

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2. Apply 3R principle (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle)

Reduce, reuse, and recycle is a slogan we’ve all heard, and it should apply to home improvement as well. In most cases, new building and renovations generate a lot of garbage. Many homeowners are unaware that furnishing a home using reused or recycled materials may help to reduce waste while also saving money. Consider recycling materials if you’re renovating a room in your house. Materials that have been repurposed or recycled are still extremely durable and are available in quantities and costs that may surprise you.

Use washable cloths instead of paper towels. Make napkins, kitchen towels, and rags out of old garments, tablecloths, or fabric scraps.

3. Seal windows and doors to avoid energy lost

According to the US Department of Energy, 30 percent of house energy is lost via windows, and a lot of hot air escapes through drafty doors in the winter. Energy-efficient windows may be a solution for you if your house has high electricity bills during hot or cold months. These windows are designed to keep your home’s warm or cooled air inside.

Here’s an easy test to see if you have a drafty door or window: Light a candle and place it near the window or door gap you suspect is drafty. If the flame bends, it indicates that air is entering or leaving your home through a window or door.

4. Use solar energy

One option to take use of solar energy is to install solar panels on your roof. In recent years, many household solar gadgets have become more affordable and simple to install. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the cost of solar panels has dropped by more than 70% in the previous decade.

5. Use Eco friendly paint for your home

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are man-made substances that are used and synthesized in the manufacture of paints, medications, and refrigerants. These compounds are discharged into the air as gasses and contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens that can harm humans and the environment in the short and long term.

VOCs are now largely found in older or cheap items. If you’re doing a home repair work with paint, be sure you get one that doesn’t include these compounds.

6. Use compost bin

Compost trash allows you to transform waste into organic material that may be put to soil to help plant growth. Over 30% of what we throw away is made up of food scraps and yard waste. Therefore, finding a method to minimize, reuse, or recycle this garbage can have a significant influence on the environment.

7. Plant a tree

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and pollutants, making them excellent natural air filters. They supply us with cleaner oxygen and fresher air in exchange.

Trees help to promote soil health and minimize erosion.

A garden may help you relax, relieve stress, enhance your heart health, lower your blood pressure, and relax your muscles. Having your own garden delivers all of these advantages and more.

Pollinators, such as bees, are the essence of a healthy environment. Even a few areas of pollinator-friendly plants or flowers in your garden can provide valuable habitat for species that would be in danger.

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8. Use Energy-Efficient Appliances

Home appliances, such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, air purifiers, and humidifiers, will account for 20% of your total electric bill. If you’ll be replacing any of the following appliances soon, look for energy-efficient versions, such as those that are Energy Star certified. An ENERGY STAR-certified appliance uses 10 to 50 percent less energy per year than its non-energy efficient version.

9. Eat less meat

Reduce your meat consumption because livestock is one of the most significant polluters of the environment. And increase your fruit and vegetable consumption.

Most plant-based products emit 10-50 times lower greenhouse gas emissions than animal-based products, therefore eating more cereals and vegetables is the environmentally responsible choice.

10. Unplug any electrical appliances when not in use

Even though an appliance appears to be turned off, it is still consuming energy. “sleep mode” power accounts for around a quarter of all residential energy usage. When your cable box, laptop, or even your speakers are turned off but plugged in, they may use almost as much power as when they are turned on.

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