When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, one of the first things that comes to mind may be the color green. Green food, green clothes, green decorations – even green beer. But this St. Patrick’s Day, why not add another ‘green’ to the list – a green home. Creating an eco-friendly home can actually be simple when making just a few changes at a time.
Cleaning: Introducing green cleaning products to your home is one of the easiest adjustments to make. In fact, many of your common house-hold products can be replaced with every-day items like white vinegar and baking soda. Plus, commercial environmental friendly products have lowered in price and increased in availability over the last decade. For a list of suggested eco-friendly commercial products, visit GoodGuide.com (products are rated on a scale of 1-10). And if you would like to give DIY cleaning solutions a try, Wellness Mama has a great resource library for beginners.
Gardening: From using all-natural fertilizers and pesticides to simply planting a new tree, the spectrum is wide when it comes to green gardening. If you’re unsure of where to begin in your yard, HGTV has compiled a list of 10 small way to create an eco-garden. Whether you do one step or implement all 10, you’ll be making a positive contribution to your home and environment.
Lighting: LED and CFL lighting is no longer considered ‘new’, but there has been a surge in the last few years of product offerings and affordability. When updating the lighting in your home, don’t forget about your outdoor lighting – especially if you keep lights on at night for security. Head to Energy.gov to see the comparison between traditional incandescent and the new energy-efficient options and how they will impact your overall energy usage.
Temperature Control: As you may know, setting your thermostat just a few degrees lower in the winter/higher in the summer is one of the most effective ways to save energy in a home. And now, programmable thermostats have made this energy-saving step even easier. Simply program it to drop/raise the temperature when you are sleeping or away from home, and you no longer have to worry about changing the temperature manually throughout the day.
Smarter Power: Did you know that many of your electronics continue to draw power even when they are not in use? Yup – even your phone charger continues to use power when not in ‘use’. Smart power strips prevent this by detecting if a device is in use and consequently turning off the power supply if the device is not active. Want to learn more? How Stuff Works goes into more detail on how these new power strips work to save you energy and money.