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13 (Simple) Ways To Go Green At Home

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13 (Simple) Ways To Go Green At Home

We know that the choices we make every day impact the environment. We’re witnessing the negative effects of this on a global scale. But what about the positive effects of our choices? What about all those micro-decisions — shortening a shower by two minutes or carpooling with a co-worker one day — that add up to meaningful change?

The surprising news is that you don’t have to go big to go green. Here, we rounded up 13 minor tweaks with major environmental benefits that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

Hang curtains.

Window treatments that offer full coverage from summer’s warm days and winter’s icy winds (which can creep in even when windows are closed) give a helping hand to your HVAC system so it doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

Grow indoor plants.

Adding houseplants helps improve your home’s air quality by reducing levels of pollutants, dust, and carbon dioxide. While you’re at it, grow a few herbs as well. This helps lessen the long-haul trucking-in of produce and your own home-to-store transportation to buy it.

Take shorter showers.

Did you know? If every American shortened their shower by five minutes every day for a month, we could save trillions —trillions! — of gallons of water.

Swap light bulbs for LEDs.

Energy efficient LED bulbs use less electricity (better for the environment and your monthly bill), plus they last longer so you don’t have to replace them as often.

Brew drip coffee. 

Pod coffee makers are certainly convenient, but those plastic pods accumulate. Consider investing in a quality drip coffee maker; you’ll get more cups of java out of it and consume less plastic.

Hand-wash your dishes.

You don’t have to do this all the time, but skipping the automatic dishwasher once or twice a week reduces your water consumption and your peak energy demand on the grid.

Use cloth for spills.

Paper towels are handy, but it’s just as easy to use old towels or t-shirts as rags and reusable linen napkins instead of paper napkins.

Install a smart thermostat.

Not only are today’s smart thermostats so advanced that they learn your habits and usage patterns to auto-adjust temperatures from room to room, even when you’re not home, they’re also affordable.

Wash clothes in cold water.

A standard washing machine spends most of its energy heating up the water. But cold water launders clothing equally as well. It also uses less energy and helps preserve the quality of fabrics.

Clean the dryer filter.

Getting rid of built-up lint on your dryer’s filter improves its efficiency — not to mention it only takes a few seconds to do.

Or line-dry clothes.

Air-drying your clothing doesn’t require much additional effort and it’s often as effective — and with delicates, more effective — as the dryer.

Pay bills online.

This is a super simple way to pay bills in a timely manner while also cutting back on paper waste.

Dust refrigerator coils.

You want the fridge to run at the optimal temperature to keep food cold, so make it a point to regularly dust underneath to remove loose dirt or debris that could be hampering its efficiency.


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Still not sure where to begin? Start with our Home Energy Score to see what you can do to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

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