No, we don’t mean painting your home green. We all want a pristine, fresh home, but can we be eco-conscious about it? Check out these top ten ways to be an environmentally friendly home owner.
1. Switch To A Greener Cleaner
Bleach is the most commonly used chemical to clean homes, mainly because it works so well. But, did you know that bleach is considered a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency (1991). It can be harsh on hair, skin, and eyes, and misuse can result in illness, injury, or worse. If not handled properly, bleach can be very dangerous. It can also wreak havoc on the plants and animals in your backyard and in the waterways when it is flushed away. However, there are several bleach alternatives that are better for you and the environment. These include baking soda, fermented white vinegar, citric acid, borax and microfiber cloth, you may occasionally have to add elbow grease, but they’re still more eco-friendly in the long run.
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If you want to go completely chemical-free, consider a natural home that uses plants to clean the air. These types of rooms need a bit more time and effort to maintain, but once a balance is struck, they can be a safe place for your family and friends to enjoy.
2. Switch To A Radiant Heater
It’s always a toss-up as to whether having a heater can even be considered green at all. On the one hand, the less energy you use, the greener you are. On the other, a radiant heater allows you to use your space for more months out of the year. The principles of green living involve conserving electricity and getting the most out of what you do have. Not having to rely on electricity to heat up the space every cold day and making the best use of your comfy radiant heat is definitely a good thing.
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3. Harnessing The Sun
When you want to conserve energy, but you also want to use your hot water to it’s fullest potential, what’s the best way to go? The answer is definitely a solar heating system. Solar-powered water heaters use a series of tubes that absorb heat from the sun to warm the water after it passes through the system. Harnessing the sun’s power won’t only save energy, it will save you money on your energy bills each month. While switching to a solar heater involves an initial investment, the returns will be worth it in the end. Heat from the sun is renewable, and it will always be free.
4. Install A Ceiling Fan
Natural ventilation is a great, green option, but may not be that productive in all climates. If you live in an area with warmer air, or in an area where the air only needs to be moved a little, a ceiling fan is the greenest way to go. Ceiling fans use minimal energy because they don’t actually generate any coolth: they move thermal energy from the air and transfer it into the cooler air spaces. While ceiling fans are electric for the most part, they consume much less energy than their counterparts, air conditioners. To make sure you get the most from your ceiling fan, be sure to maintain it properly by cleaning dust from the blades and checking it beginning of every season for good air flow.
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5. Use A Robotic Floor Cleaner
Robotic floor cleaners are one of the simplest, quickest, and most inexpensive ways to clean your home. You can make your home instantly eco today if you want. Most are ready to use out of the box, and only require that they be plugged in or charged before use. There are also battery operated cleaners on the market, if you want to conserve even more energy. Robotic floor cleaners are eco for a number of reasons: first, they reduce the amount of dust in your home. Second, they reduce the amount of times you’ll have to clean and change your vacuum cleaner filter. Third, they are time saving rather than a traditional sweep of the floor, and cost less than next to nothing to run.
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6. Clean Your HVAC Filters
Another way to ensure that your indoor air utilizes less energy is to keep your HVAC filters clean. A dirty filter doesn’t work as well as a pristine one, causing your HVAC to work harder more often and your cleaning methods in the home to be less effective. Cleaning your filters is generally very easy, so there isn’t much reason not to keep up on this task. Vacuuming the pre filters is a minimally involved process, so is dusting the exterior vents. You should vacuum both of these once a month, or when the season changes. You should also remove and clean the entire HVAC contents once a year, and occasionally replace the filters. No matter what type of filter you use, keeping it in tip-top shape will ensure that the rest of your equipment runs smoothly and the air you breathe fresh and healthy.
7. Add A Timer To Your Lights
Most lights are running more often than they need to, which consumes unneeded energy and costs you more money than it’s worth. Energy Authorities recommend you turn the light off every time you leave that room or space, which should be sufficient so long as your lights are sufficient in number to your room’s area. However, turning lights on and off daily can be a hassle. This either leads to your lights running unnecessarily, or your electricity costs suffering. Adding an automatic time clock to your lighting system is the best way to make sure your lights get the best usage without consuming unneeded energy.
8. Fix Your Cracks and Draught Areas
Eco-conscious home owners know that the simplest and cheapest way to conserve comfort and energy is to fix their building’s cracks and draught areas to make the home more comfortable. Fixing cracks keep comfort in and debris out, and also discourage heat from escaping out. Sealing comfort in means you’ll use less energy heating your home during winter. Keeping debris and dust out means you’ll use less energy vacuuming your home. More clean air staying in your space means using less air cleaners to clean it. Your best bet is checking roof tiles, windows seals, floor and wall joins and subfloor cavities, which will seal heat in and trap draughts from the ventilation, which means even less energy consumption and cost.
9. Add A Living Windbreak
Sealing cracks and draught areas can cut down on debris and heat loss, but that’s not the only thing that can help. A living windbreak can be planted around some or all of the building. Windbreaks come in many different forms. Anything from local flora, small shrubs, medium height hedges and tall trees to fit your land’s boundaries will do the trick. If you want to be extra-eco, you can even plant your own native garden to attract local birds, frogs, bees, a living eco system. Living windbreaks not only provide privacy, they also make your home eco-friendly by lessening the amount of climate extremities and helping to keep out debris that need energy to filter out. Not to mention that they provide relief from heat, harsh winds, EMFs from power lines and whatever dirt and dust they may be blowing around.
10. Install A Water Tank
If you’re after the ultimate in conservation and eco-friendliness, a water tank is the way to go. Having your water partially or fully captured will provide savings and sustainability, and keep the water from going down the storm water drain. On top of all of the eco benefits, there are sustainable ones too. A water tank will help keep your water bill down, and lessen loss of precious water into the ocean. You’ll be able to water the garden and flush the loo more often. A water tank will also extend the amount of time you can shower and bathe, because of the amount of water saved or even turn your garden into an oasis that’s watered year-round.
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BONUS! Shop Eco
Don’t forget to keep things eco when you shop! There are lots of ways to shop eco-friendly, from the food to the decor, you can be an environmentally conscious shopper. There’s no need for wasteful ‘brand’ plastic bags and plastic containers. You can invest in reusable bags, and ceramic serving ware and plates that won’t otherwise clog up landfill. You can buy through online as an option to conserve fuel, energy and time. You don’t have to buy disposable decor to make the place look homely, just get creative with the home decor you already have. Try to find locally sourced and humanely treated food to serve your family, and use organic if your family really can afford it, all to help our local farmers.
(Image: Hand Made Carry All Bag by yours truly! Circa 1977 and still in use today ♥)
How Do You “Eco” Your Home?
These are just the top ten ways to be an eco friendly home or office owner. What are some of your best tips for maintaining your home or office space while keeping the environment on your mind? I encourage you to have conversations about Eco Friendly projects at your place and share or ask questions on the Mitey Fresh Facebook page, other people may well be wondering the same thing, and I will do my best to answer them there. Or please call me directly on the land line 02 9986 3432.
Towards healthier living, Carol Parr ♥♥
Together we bring about healthy indoor environments and create rooms that provide calmness, healthy sleep, relaxation and restored energy for you and your family, create workplaces that provide ideal personnel attendance and elevated productivity.
By returning indoor spaces to more natural conditions, we strengthen you and your family and your personnel’s mind, body and spirit. It’s nice that it also sustains our planet’s ecology, you’d agree.
PS: Check out our latest enterprises here: www.facebook.com/MiteyFresh/
EPA, 1991, R.E.D. FACTS Sodium and Calcium Hypochlorite Salts, (Online). Available: https://www3.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/reg_actions/reregistration/fs_G-77_1-Sep-91.pdf [November 8, 2017]