Seven ways to save the environment at home
Last updated 1/18/2020 at 12:49am
FALLBROOK – With the new year come all sorts of New Year's resolutions: for many people becoming more aware and environmentally conscious is one of them. Being eco-wise is good economics in the home, finances and the earth. Besides recycling, there are simple things people can do to play a small part in taking care of the planet.
Reduce energy use
Coal and oil are quickly disappearing because they are being used at a faster rate than they can be replenished. So shut electronics all the way down or unplug them completely instead of putting them on standby mode. They actually keep leeching energy while not in use.
When it's time or when you can, replace appliances for Energy Star-labeled ones. This change is helps a home have consume less, thus saving homeowners more money.
Use natural resources
If possible, opt for renewable energy sources. Consider solar panels. These are now made more affordable. Check out Tesla's solar roof. Or why not line dry clothes instead? Or air-dry dishes. Or use the rake instead of a blower. Sure, these will take some effort, but it'll be worth it.
Tone down the temperature
Producing the perfect temperature will have to consume energy. Tune up the heating system regularly. Make sure to have proper insulation too as it can reduce the cost of heating and cooling throughout the year. Wash clothes in cold or warm instead of hot. Or use a smart thermostat that automatically drops the temperature when no one is home.
Turn the lights off
Lighting can contribute to 20% of an energy bill. Keep the lights off when no one is in the room. Don't turn on lights at all for as long as possible, especially during the day. Open the curtains and let the natural light in. It is also a good idea to switch to a compact fluorescent bulb or LEDs. These types last 3-25 times longer and can help save around $75 each year.
Make every drop count
Only 3% of all the water is freshwater – 1% is available for drinking while the other 2% is locked in icecaps and glaciers. Everyone depends on water for life and with all 8 billion people relying on it, it only makes sense that they must conserve water. So, make sure the home is free of any water leak. Learn to suds up in under 10 minutes. If possible, opt for a low-flow showerhead and fittings to faucets.
Practice conscious consumerism
Somewhere halfway between Hawaii and California is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of plastic, floating trash that's now twice the size of Texas.
Repurposing glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen can help minimize waste. Choose cloth rags over paper towels. Opt for reusable items versus disposable plastics.
Lessen landfill problems by not buying more. If something is broken, see if it can be fixed before throwing it away. More people are becoming into buying secondhand items as they are cheaper too.
Plant more trees
If possible, plant new trees or herbs in the garden. Not only will it make the garden beautiful and purify air, but growing produce will save the family some cash.
These efforts may only be a dot to paint the bigger picture, but it's good to start somewhere. A whole lot of people doing a little bit adds up to a whole lot to heal the planet. As the saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
This article first appeared on Broadpoint Properties' website, https://servingsandiegocounty.com.