Being environmentally conscious doesn’t have to be hard or expensive and little changes made here and there can really make a big difference at the end of the day. Here are some simple things you can do to celebrate Earth Day at home, everyday.
Lower your water heater temperature
The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that most homes set their water heater temperature at 120. This not only reduces the chances of scalding but also reduces mineral build up in your water heater and pipes. It also saves you money! “Set too high, or at 140ºF, your water heater can waste anywhere from $36 to $61 annually in standby heat losses and more than $400 in demand losses. ” Find more information here.
Swap out your bulbs
When one of your incandescent bulbs burns out replace it with more efficient LED or CFL bulbs. According to the Department of Energy, compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, LED and CFL bulbs “typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescents, saving you money.” They save you even more money when you consider that they “can last 3-25 times longer” too.
Change the way you clean
Swap out your chemical heavy cleaners for something a little more simple…and inexpensive. Have you met Vinegar? It seems like every time we turn around there is a new use for vinegar. Now, when it comes to combining household ingredients we want to make sure you understand you can’t just toss stuff together all willy-nilly! Some combinations can, frankly, be deadly. Not quite ready to start concocting your own cleaners? Here’s a list of retail cleaners compiled by the folks at New York Magazine of “expert” favorites.
Turn Kitchen Scraps into Compost
It only takes a few resources and a little extra work to turn kitchen waste into pay dirt. It might seem a little daunting but it really is easier than you think and the benefits are well worth the work. According to the National Resource Defense Council “compost adds nutrients and organic matter back to soil, which benefits agriculture, reduces our reliance on synthetic fertilizers, diverts methane-producing organic materials from landfills, and improves soil’s water retention capacity so you don’t need to water as much.” Whew! That’s a lot of benefits! Here is more information about setting up your own composting area and a list of what should and shouldn’t be tossed into the pile!
We’ll post more tips for celebrating Earth Day at Home the rest of the week. Be sure to check back!