Do you want to have a “green home” right about now? Below are some green living tips that you can undertake almost immediately in your respective rooms in your home without much costs incurred. To start off you can look at your…
Lighting For Your Rooms
If the bulbs you use are the old incandescent style make a note to replace them with CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). CFLs use 75% lesser electric power and lasts 10 times longer. But CFLs contain mercury that is hazardous to us.
Therefore the safer option will be LEDs with their much longer life span; better brightness; faster lighting up speed – achieving their full brightness in under a microsecond.
However regardless of what lighting, turn them off when you leave the room or if you are not using them.
Turn Off Your Computer At The Main Switch
Do not leave your computer on standby. This also applies to all appliances in the house as even in standby functions they still use power aka phantom power! Besides that, connected appliances, especially old TV sets, also pose a small but real threat of causing households fires. Implementing this measure will make give you both a green home and a safe one!
Adopt Water Saving Measures
Do not leave your water tap running when washing dishes or your face. Fix that dripping tap that you have been putting off. Adopt water-saving measures in your laundry washing like washing a full load of laundry at each time, and reducing the frequency of washing by re-wearing clothing like jeans and many more… Water is too precious and expensive to be wasted like that!
Buying Local and In Season Vegetables and Fruits
Check your refridgerator. Did you buy vegetables that are produced locally and in season? They are often cheaper and fresher! Buying local is also equivalent to reduction in carbon footprint as these greens and fruits need not be transported over longer distances as compared to imported greens.
Some green-living tips to consider here includes growing your own vegetables and organic composting. Home-grown vegetables are fresher and healthier! You do not need a garden for herbs like mint, coriander; they can be grown on pots at your window sills.
For those with backyard, spinach and tomatoes can be grown concurrently with composting with recycling of grey water for the plants.
Your Cistern Should Have A Dual Flushing System
Most toilets nowadays have a dual flushing system – half flush or full flush. You do not always need to use a full flush for “small businesses”. Your cistern can also be modified to reduce the fill each time by putting a brick in the bottom. All these green living tips will save your household thousand of litres – dollars annually!
Look Out For Dripping Nozzles Or Non Water-Saving Shower Heads
Replace any dripping nozzles or those old style wide spray shower head to those water saving ones. An immediate green living tip is to reduce your shower time from maybe 15 minutes to 5 minutes and also ensure that no one spends too long in there.
Lower The Temperature Settings On Your Water Heater
Do not use excessive heat to heat up the water; for each 10˚C lowered, 3 to 5% can be saved on the utility bills. An ideal setting for the heater is around 55˚C.
For seasonal countries, the insulation of the heater and pipes should also be checked and fix any defects to save you money in the long run.
Replace Chemical With Organic Cleaning Products
Do you really need all those chemical products for your green home? Purchase those that contain environmentally friendly ingredients and dispose of those that are not. Your culinary ingredients like white distilled vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice are great and natural substitutes.
Vinegar acts as an effective fabric softener; baking soda is a natural deodoriser for your smelling clothing – add a quarter cup to your rinse cycle to remove odors and as a softener. Lemon juice removes grease effectively and disinfects as well.
Throw those pesticides away
Instead of using harmful chemicals or traps to control household pests like cockroaches and even for some people lizards (though I dont find them an issue :P), you can consider some natural repellants from Mother Nature.
Eggshells like those featured here are wonderful for repelling lizards. After cracking the eggs, take the shells and place them in locations where lizards are frequently spotted and watch them do their job. Replace them after every 4 to 6 weeks until the problem is solved.
For cockroaches, the leaves of the plant Pandanus latifolius can be used to repel cockroaches as they do not seem to like their aromatic smell.
Put a bundle of them in your drawers and cabinets and they will keep the cockroaches away. Replace a new bundle after the old bundles start to wilt to maintain the effectiveness.
Sort Out Your Rubbish For Recycling
Separate the recyclable items like paper, metal and plastics and drop them into recycling bins. This green living tip also promotes the growth of eco-friendly industries and green communities if you do as a community!
When Was Your Car Last Maintained
A well-maintained engine will ensure efficient burning of fuel. The tires of your car should also be inflated at the correct pressure to prevent “drag” that can increase fuel consumption by 10%! Your car boot or trunk should not be your storeroom! A heavy car means more fuel consumption – more expenses!
Plan Your Trip And The Mode Of Transport
Consider the distance and the people going before you drive your car. Carpool or take public transport if possible. For trips in the neighbourhood, walk or cycle instead of driving to save on fuel and even lose a few kilos! Goodbye to gym memberships! These green-living tips are both practical and eco-friendly.
Look At Your Furniture
Make sure that the merchant that you purchase your furniture from uses sustainable forests for their material and do not use any finishings and adhesives that contain any VOCs or formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, which can be found in factory-made furniture. However to do all this might be a tall order especially if your merchant is not willing to reveal any trade secrets.