Going green begins at home and there is always something more we all can do to reduce our impact on the environment. Here’s a checklist of green practices and methods that anyone can implement at home.
Turn off all unused lights. Doing this systematically from room to room is an easy way to do it, and it can save as much as 20% off the household electric bill every month. Changing out incandescent lights for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) will help reduce energy costs even further.
Wash clothes in cold instead of hot water. There are now cold-water detergents available that can clean clothes just as effectively as when hot water is used. The energy used for heating water for the typical laundry load can comprise as much as 90% of the washing machine’s consumption. By using cold water, electric costs can be reduced and clothes last longer as well.
Gas or electric clothes dryer can be made to run more efficiently with periodic cleaning of the lint filter. A study conducted by Energy Star has shown that a clean lint filter can take as much as $34 off the energy bill every year.
A greener option than using a dryer is to simply hang the clothes from a clothesline or a clothes ‘tree’. A good one will cost only a few dollars and can be used for years. There are also indoor drying racks that can be used to dry clothes even when it is raining.
Keep heat sources away from the fridge. Vents, stoves, dishwashers, and other heat producing appliances and fixtures can force a fridge to work harder than usual. By keeping the exterior of the fridge cool, significant reductions in the electric bill can be realized.
Homebrew cleaning solutions such as hot water and vinegar are just as effective as commercially available products, and they are better for the environment as well. There are also newer cleaning solutions available that have much less harmful effects on the environment.