Making Your House More Environmentally Friendly
2020 has arrived, and now is the perfect time to prepare your home for the new year. There is also increasing importance on being environmentally friendly as the new decade rolls in. It is entirely possible to prep your home for the new year while remaining eco-friendly without much difficulty. With these tips and tricks, you can easily get your house ready for 2020 while doing your part to be kind to the planet.
Clean the Yard
If your home has a yard, it may need some attention. If winter storms have knocked down branches or dislodged plants, collect and properly dispose of yard waste. Fallen branches or downed trees can be ground up and turned into mulch while uprooted plants can be tossed into your yard waste bin.
Clearing your yard of debris not only improves your yard’s visual appeal, but it also eliminates shelters and food for pests. Many unwanted critters use fallen greenery to survive and this makes your yard and by extension your home, attractive to pests. You do not want termites, cockroaches, or any other pests making their way into your house, so it is in your best interest to keep your yard clean.
Make 2020 the year you say goodbye to single-use plastics such as plastic utensils, straws, and single-use water bottles. Replace your single-use plastics with reusable alternatives like glass tupperware, metal straws, and washable utensils. Buying a refillable water bottle will even save you money in the long run, as the cost of a refillable bottle is less than buying a single-use bottle every day. You can also swap paper towels for rags and trade paper napkins for cloth napkins to cut down on single-use waste even further.
Smart Temperature Control
Turning on the heat or air conditioning in your house uses a significant amount of energy. Stash blankets or sweaters around your house so you can grab one instead of running the heat when your house gets chilly. When your house becomes warm in the summer, consider turning on a room fan instead of flipping on the air conditioning.
It is also an efficient idea to install a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats come with a variety of features, but most will learn your habits so that only the rooms you are in are heated or cooled while you are in them. Some smart thermostats can be controlled through an app and track how much energy you use. Smart thermostats are expensive, but their energy-saving features result in a lower energy bill ensuring the upfront investment pays off over time.
Many homeowners still use old incandescent light bulbs and are unaware that there are better options. Incandescent bulbs are cheap and readily available, but CFL and LED bulbs are worth the extra cost. LED and CFL light bulbs are far more energy-efficient, shine brighter, and last longer than incandescent bulbs. A single LED bulb has a general lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours while an incandescent bulb will last for between 1,000 and 2,000 hours.
Ditch the Chemicals
Chemicals have become pervasive in recent years, but 2020 is a good time to ditch harmful chemicals for natural alternatives. Harsh cleaners can be replaced with vinegar, baking soda, and a bit of effort. Instead of spraying a canned air freshener, toss aromatic foodstuffs like cinnamon, apples, cloves, and citrus in a pot with water to simmer on the stove. Add baking soda to your toilet bowl, let it sit for an hour, add a cup of vinegar, let the mixture sit for an hour, and then flush to clean your toilet bowl with natural ingredients. Use a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar to clean windows and mirrors without toxic chemicals.
The new year is the perfect time to prepare your house for the coming year. Make 2020 the year you go green by cleaning the yard, dumping single-use plastics, reducing your energy usage with a smart thermostat, opting for longer-lasting light bulbs, and exchanging harsh chemicals for natural alternatives.