Making better choices for the planet starts at home, and even small changes can add up to make a big difference. Here are 10 easy changes that will help make your home more eco-friendly, not to mention saving you time and money too!
1 - Wash your clothes in cold water
Did you know that up to 90 per cent of the energy used by a washing machine goes into heating the water? By using the cold setting on your machine you’ll reduce carbon dioxide emissions, save energy and money. It will also preserve your clothes for longer as hot water is tough on fabric. Reserve warmer settings for tough stains only.
2 - Use up leftovers and scraps
With the cost of groceries soaring, it makes sense to use up all the produce you buy and avoid food waste. Make a list of everything you have in your pantry and fridge and base your meals around that before going shopping. Make soups or pasta bakes with veg that’s past the best-before date, and save leftovers in glass containers in the fridge for lunch the next day.
3 - Swap out your old lightbulbs for LEDs
While they may be more expensive than conventional light bulbs, LEDs will save you money in the long run. They last longer, are eco-friendly, use less electricity and overall will make your home more environmentally friendly.
4 - Switch the TV off occasionally
Consider having a screen-free night once a week. Not only will you conserve energy and save money, you can rediscover the joys of connecting with friends and family through shared meals, reading books, making jigsaw puzzles, playing board games or charades.
5 - Upgrade your blinds and curtains
Using heavier curtains or block-out blinds is a great way to keep the heat out in summer and the cold air out in winter. A great alternative to running fans, heaters and air conditioners, they will help maintain a consistent temperature in your home and make it more eco-friendly.
6 - Invest in a water filter
We all know plastic bottles often end up in the ocean or in landfill, not to mention buying bottled water is expensive, so it can be worth investing in a water filter. Whether it’s an under-the-sink, whole-house, faucet or jug filter, your home will instantly become more environmentally friendly.
7 - Avoid using the tumble dryer
While dryers are a necessary evil at times, they are one of the biggest energy hogs in the home. Save it for times when you really need it, and line-dry your clothes, towels and bedding whenever possible – it’s cheaper and gentler on them too.
8 - Phase out plastic
Buy loose fruit and veggies instead of those wrapped in plastic, look for eco-friendly alternatives to cling wrap, phase out your old plastic containers gradually, and set up a subscription to a home toilet paper delivery.
9 - Buy pre-loved furniture
While it’s hard to resist the allure of cheap, mass-produced furniture, older preloved furniture usually lasts longer. If you need a new dining set, bed or coffee table, scour your local auction houses, second-hand furniture stores or check out Facebook Marketplace. Alternatively, buy furniture made from recycled wood or other materials.
10 - Save on electricity
Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room, and open your curtains and use natural light wherever possible, avoiding turning on lights unless you really need to. Keep plenty of candles around too – they give a nicer ambience and are much cheaper!