10 Tips to Make Your Home More Sustainable

Sustainable Home

Making your home more sustainable is easier than you might think. Here are 10 easy tips to help you along the way:

1. Use a low-flow or high efficiency Shower-head

Using a better showerhead can save you thousands of gallons of water a year. Not only is it better for the environment, it’s better for your water bill. Shower heads are designed for conservation while still providing good water pressure, a marked improvement over Seinfeld-era low-flows.

2. Use a device to recycle water in your bathroom

You will be able to take used sink water and inject it into your toilet. More water savings.

3. Compost your food-scraps

We’ve discussed composting a number of times, but it deserves another mention. All produce can be composted at home, and areas that offer industrial composting will take all organic matter, including meat-scraps and compostable products.

4. Sign up for green power from your utility company

Most utility companies now offer options to derive your energy from green and renewable resources. If they don’t, than band together with other members of your community to insist upon the option. Green energy, at the moment, is more expensive. But the greater the supply and ready availability, the cheaper it will become. It’s better for the earth, but it’s also better for homegrown energy production and national security.

5. Replace your old light bulbs with CFLs and LEDs

Massive energy savings, greater longevity (i.e. less waste) mean greener homes.

6. Buy better appliances

Better washing machines, better dishwashers and better water heaters use less energy and provide better quality than their ancestors. Go one step further: turn down the heat on your water heater, use no-heat dry in your dishwasher and use only full loads to maximize efficiency.

7. Use better outdoor lighting

Many outdoor lighting systems can be recharged with solar rechargeable batteries. Use a timer to make sure your lights are only on when you need them. Lights are also more efficient. CFLs and LEDs can provide comparable lighting quality at a fraction of the energy usage, and thus, price.

8. Drive Smarter.

Invest in hybrid or electric vehicle technology and watch the gas savings pour in. Take your foot off the gas pedal! Driving at the posted speed limit will save you hundreds in gas every year (as well as speeding tickets).

9. Grow your own food, buy locally and avoid takeout wherever possible

Dollar menus might seem cheap, but the nutritional value you get from a fast food restaurant can’t compare to fruits, vegetables and whole grains you would consume if you made your own lunches and dinners. Plus, if you reuse tupperware and bags, you are saving on the packing material that otherwise would find it’s way to the dump. Your body will thank you, your wallet will thank you and the planet earth will thank you as well.

10. Walk, bike and use public transportation.

It makes you feel better…trust me. And saves thousands of tons of carbon emissions every year.