Live an Eco-Friendly Life: Environmental Awareness at Home
Creating more space for an efficient home is great for the environment — but it can also stand to benefit your checking account. A house that uses less energy is a house that will save you money! And in many cases, an environmentally-conscious home is a safer one as well. Your lights will burn cooler, and new energy efficient appliances can connect to you via the cloud, alerting you if problems arise.
Migrating to a greener home is also a good way to introduce kids to the benefits in the process. From earth-friendly cleaning supplies to no longer using plastic bags, each measure you take can be a teaching moment that educates them about what happens to products we use every day after we’re done with them.
Even if you think your home is too old to become energy efficient, you can still take some simple steps to make it eco-friendlier. And it really doesn’t take a ton of effort. Start with these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to consuming less energy. You just may find yourself with a lower monthly energy bill and a happier planet.
How Does Going Green Help Save Energy?
Getting in on going green has never been easier. New, energy efficient technologies are making their way into our households now more than ever. Take a look at these simple ideas to help reduce your home’s energy consumption:
Install a smart thermostat. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree can create significant savings each month. You probably won’t even feel the difference! Better still, if you invest in a smart thermostat, you can regulate the temperature in your home to be comfortable when you’re in it and when you’re away crank the heat down to really save you some cash.
Get with LED lights. Try swapping out your traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-friendly bulbs, including LED lamps. These little efficiency lovers use up to 80% less energy than standard bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer. According to a recent poll, lighting your home accounts for just about 10% of your monthly energy bill. Those are savings you’ll really notice over time!
Power down with power strips. Even when your appliances are turned off, they quietly drain power. It’s called standby power, and it accounts for 5-10% of residential energy use. Use power strips with switches to cut power to the appliances you’re not using by turning off the power strip’s switch and you're on your way to more savings.
Let the sun shine in. If you’ve got energy-efficient windows, opening the blinds during the day and letting the sun heat your living space can significantly reduce your heating expenses. And natural sunlight feels so good! Just ask your cat. If your place needs a little thermal TLC, get your place ready for winter to help keep the warmth in and the light too.
How Does Changing Your Eating Habits Help You Reduce Your Carbon Footprint?
Getting into food habits that are good for you and the environment is easy. Make simple adjustments to your daily routines, like eating less meat, and composting. Here are some ways changing these habits can help to reduce your carbon footprint:
Grow your own grub. From pulling up a patch of lawn in the back yard for gardening to raising chickens in your very own coop, get your kids’ hands dirty and plant vegetables you and your family can enjoy all summer long. And you’ll soon discover the beauty of farm fresh eggs, too. But remember to check with your local and state authorities to be sure chickens can be raised in your neighborhood. Children learn best by doing, and they stand to inherit these skills which they may take with them into adulthood.
Keep canvas bags in the car. With an ever-increasing number of towns and cities across the US banning the use of plastic bags, there’s never been a better time to jump into environmentally friendly bags. Reusable, recyclable and smart, some grocery stores are actually offering a discount when you bring your own bags. And they’re also a great way to show kids how easy it is to make small changes that can have a big effect on the world around them.
Start a compost pile. Composting kitchen waste can reduce your need for water, fertilizers and pesticides in your garden. And, by producing less waste you’ll reduce your waste expenses. And that compost pile is a great place to put grass clippings, biomass from your garden and even those fall leaves.
Plan a few meatless meals per week. Let’s face it: meat is expensive. Pulling the reins in on consuming meat can help you sock away a few extra bucks each month. Plus, the health benefits are big. Planning meals high in vegetable proteins like beans and lentils can widen your culinary skills and decrease your consumption of animal fat. Better still, a diet high in fruits and vegetables can help to reduce health issues, too.
How Can You Reduce Water Consumption In Your Home?
From halting those slow drips to being more mindful of where you’re wasting water in your home, there are many ways to reduce your water consumption and save on that monthly bill too!
Turn off the tap. Did you know that running the water while brushing your teeth is one of the biggest ways we waste water? If you’re brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day — seven days a week — you’re letting that tap run water down the drain for a total of two hours per month. And that’s not even taking into account the lost heating costs if you’ve got the hot water running. Simply turning off the faucet when you don’t need the water can be a no-brainer saver. Reduce the amount of water your home consumes and still keep those teeth pearly-white!
Full loads only. Keep energy and water consumption down by only running your dishwasher and washing machines with full loads. Using eco-friendly cleaning products can further reduce the impact these appliances have on your local water reclamation or septic system. And swapping out older models with high-efficiency appliances can save you even more on monthly utility bills.
Stop the drops. A leaky faucet or toilet can waste a lot of water and cost you more money than you might think. A quick fix can be a long-term saver; every drop you stop is money in the bank. Here’s some food for thought: 10% of US homes have leaks that waste at least ninety gallons of water per day. Stop those drips and save.
Getting your home into a better, more eco-friendly state is a process. Investing in appliances and smart home technology can look like a costly venture. But the savings — in home energy bills and in the amount of utilities that your home consumes — can help you and your family to live a healthier and more energy-efficient life. While you’re making these adjustments to your home, get in touch with your American Family Insurance agent and learn about the ways you can bundle your insurance and save. Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make and it deserves absolutely the best protection.