With so much information on the Internet and in the news, it is almost impossible to be unaware of the terrible impact human activity is having on the planet. A lot of the advice we hear is on the topic of composting trash, switching to an electric car, installing solar panels or renewable heating technology. But for most people, these changes are not affordable, which can be disheartening. If you want to reduce your negative impact on our planet, the key is to make small changes to your everyday life which are sustainable. To get you started, here are seven simple steps to an eco-friendlier home you might want to consider.
1. Use a cooler wash cycle
With the exception of very strong stains, there is no need to wash clothes in hot water. Often, warm water is more than enough to clean clothes, but in some cases, just a cold wash will get your clothes clean and possibly in better condition as heat can fade colors and damage fabric. When you consider that up to 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat the water, it is easy to see why opting for a cooler wash is a smart move.
2. Avoid the dryer
Lots of people use drying machines out of habit now, but with a bit of planning and some pleasant weather, you can often get a better result by air-drying clothes on a line or rack. Your clothes will last for longer and you will reduce your energy usage.
3. Switch to LED bulbs
If you are using incandescent bulbs, an easy change to make is to switch to LED bulbs. These bulbs use less energy and last a lot longer, so you will be helping the environment, saving money, and changing bulbs less often.
4. Swap to an eco-friendly mattress
You may not be aware that most mattresses are manufactured using toxic chemicals, which can lead to health issues, and materials that are unethically sourced. Replacing a standard mattress with a mattress made with sustainable and organic materials proves that eco-friendly living is sustainable.
5. Install a smart thermostat
Home heating contributes a huge amount of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, so anything we can do to minimise wasted heat is great. Smart thermostats, for example, enable you to control your heating from wherever you are in the world via an app. You ensure that you are never heating an empty home, and with thermostatic radiator valves you can control temperature on a room-by-room basis.
6. Start (or increase) recycling and composting
A lot of people have recycling bins in their home, but there is always more we can do to ensure that items are being recycled correctly. Another change you can make is to bring in a compost bin which will turn leftover food into fertiliser for plants. This reduces how much waste you produce which then has to be processed.
7. Choose natural cleaning products
There are plenty of natural cleaning products which are not only as effective as the chemical versions, but also better for the planet and your family’s health. You can buy them at a store or make your own with household ingredients.