No man is an island. While it may seem like you are insulated from the outside world when you are in your home, you're not. The things you do in your home and the choices you make can have a big impact on the environment, which can then have a big impact on others in your community and in the world. Whether you recycle or not, whether you buy local foods or not, whether you choose natural cleaners or not -- all these decisions can have a big impact on your family and on the environment.
There are many ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint in your home, helping to do your part to protect the environment and make the world a better place for everyone. Here are the top 5 ways that you can green your home:
Use Solar Lighting
The energy used to power our homes is not a renewable resource -- but solar energy is. You can choose to add solar-powered lighting to your home where possible, such as for outdoor lighting or for some indoor lamps, or you can install solar panels on your roof to harness even more solar energy. The more solar power you use, the less conventional energy you use, and the fewer natural resources you use.
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Energy Star appliances are designed to use 10 to 50 percent less energy than traditional appliances. By replacing just one appliance, such as your refrigerator or stove, with an Energy Star model, you could reduce your electricity bills and reduce your carbon footprint. By replacing all your appliances with energy-efficient models, you maximize your potential for energy and cost savings. Bonus: You'll even get a tax break for it.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
There are many fluctuations in temperature throughout the course of a day. When you are constantly turning the thermostat up and down to try to get your internal temperature to adjust to what's going on outside, you waste a lot of energy. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can easily keep the temperature in your home constant, helping you to reduce energy usage and to save money.
Install Low-Flow Toilets
A single flush of the toilet can use up to 3.5 gallons of water. That's a lot of waste every time you have to visit the potty! You can cut back your water usage by installing low-flow toilets. These models use only 1.6 gallons per flush, cutting your water usage by more than half. By making this simple switch, you can save dozens of gallons of water per day, reducing your home's environmental impact.
Grow a Garden
Buying food that are locally grown helps you to reduce your carbon footprint because the food does not have to be shipped to you from half way around the world. If you grow the food right in your own backyard, you minimize that footprint even more. By growing your own food, you can also control the use of dangerous pesticides and other chemicals, helping you to get healthier food and reducing the use of agents that are toxic to the environment. Also, when you have a garden, you can compost your kitchen waste to create a natural fertilizer. You get a healthier way to nourish your food and you reduce the waste of your household.
Finding ways to green your household can not only help you to create a healthier atmosphere for you and your family, it can also help you to reduce your overall environmental impact. That can have far-reaching implications for your health, as well as the health of your community and -- when enough people work together -- the world.
Author: Amber Satka writes on financial topics, and much of her research can be found at her app site: carloancalculator.org. Amber is a former office manager and current mother and writer.