Tuesday, February 27, 2024

How to Save Energy and Reduce Waste at Home

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There are many changes you can make to reduce the environmental impact your home and your daily life has on the planet. Even simple adjustments like using green cleaning products, finding ways to reuse your kitchen scraps, or locking your windows shut, can lead to less waste and energy savings. Whether you just bought a house in Miami, Los Angeles, or anywhere in between, here are some great ways to save energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money all from the comfort of your own home.

Energy-efficient, modern home photographed from the driveway

Reconsider your grocery shopping habits

To reduce waste and save energy at home, adopt eco-friendly grocery shopping habits.

“Subscribing to a milk delivery service with reusable glass bottles, reusing bags at a bulk grocery store, and selecting glass or metal packaging can make a tremendous difference in reducing our consumption of plastics,” says Lyons, CO-based BrightHeart Decor.

 These simple adjustments in your grocery shopping routine can make a significant difference in promoting sustainability at home.

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Save energy with LED lighting

In addition to upgrading the look of your home’s interior, changing up the lighting can make your home more efficient. LED bulbs are much more energy-efficient than other alternatives, and incorporating them throughout your home is an easy way to conserve energy.

“The easiest DIY way to save energy is to install LED lighting and click the thermostat one to two degrees up or down,” according to Edge Energy “Another way to conserve energy is to get an energy audit and do basic installations of any cost-effective retrofits.”

Reduce your household’s consumption of water

A common area of waste in many households is water usage. The average US household consumes over 300 gallons of water per day, and much of this is unnecessary. If you’re looking for ways to save water, simply being mindful of when the water is running unnecessarily can go a long way. 

“Try cutting down on your daily water usage at home by saving six liters of water a minute by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth,” suggests Bamboodu, an online store that specializes in eco-friendly products. “Use natural biodegradable cleaning products that don’t contain chemicals, and install taps and showers with automatic shut-off.”

Use smart home technology to save energy and avoid expensive repairs

We all know that technology has made our lives easier, but it can also save money by reducing energy waste. Sensors on home appliances can not only prevent food and energy waste, but also alert homeowners to potential issues that could prove costly if missed.

Smart homes enable homeowners to save energy and money by automatically regulating lights and thermostats using geofencing and motion sensor technology,” says Agile Home Automation. “Leak detectors can notify homeowners of problems before they become costly repair situations. Freezer and refrigerator sensors can notify homeowners if a door is not closed properly, or if the unit is beginning to fail before the food is ruined.”

“Using automation for lighting, temperature control, and window coverings is the most cost-effective way to reduce waste, and manage and save energy use in your home,” adds Brad Smith, president of Audio Video Design. “Today’s products sync with circadian rhythms and the astronomical clock for personal and precise customization.”

Be friendly to the environment (and your pocket) by going solar

With recent improvements in solar technology, saving money on electricity with solar panels is easier than it’s ever been. Take advantage of clean energy and save yourself some money in the process.

“Homeowners can install solar on their roof or property and pay no more than they were paying for electricity before, and hedge against rising electric costs while making the planet a cleaner place to live,” says Madison, NJ -based Green House Solar. “Not only will solar save energy, but it will also increase the resale value of your home.”

“Homeowners can save energy and get a greater return on investment by pairing their solar system with a smart home system,” adds  Freedom Forever, a Temecula, CA-based company that combines solar and smart technology. “These systems enable homeowners to schedule when appliances consume electricity, allowing you to use more of your solar power and send less to the grid.

Two story house with solar panels

Find ways to save and reuse your produce

A great way to prevent food waste is by getting the most out of your produce scraps. Get more out of your veggies by using the scraps for a homemade vegetable broth.

“To make the most of your produce, save your vegetable scraps,” says blogger Nutti Nelli. “Once you fill up a half-gallon of scraps, bring five cups of water to a boil and add your veggie scraps, one teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of black pepper, and simmer for one hour. Drain the scraps, and now you have four cups of vegetable broth to use for cooking, soups, curries, or stews.”

Think twice about the cleaning products you’re using

When it comes to eco-friendly cleaning products, the first thing that probably comes to mind is biodegradable products. While these are great, you can go a step further by eliminating plastic packaging entirely. 

“Save space and eliminate plastic from your cleaning routine when you use USDA certified biobased products,” says Beyond Clean Products, a company that specializes in eco-friendly cleaning products. “Consider incorporating detergent sheets and auto dish tabs that are 100 percent plastic-free.”

Keep windows locked to avoid any air leaks

Whether you’re running the AC during the summer or heating your home in the chilly winter months, the last thing you want is to run up your bill because of air leaks. Locking your windows not only secures your home, but also the air inside it.

“Keep your windows locked to save energy in your home, says Home Energy Saving Solutions. “The lock is not only for security, but it also keeps the window close-packed and creates a seal along the weather-stripping of the window. An unlocked window is an open window.” 

Recycle your leftover household paint

If you’ve got leftover paint lying around after a recent home project, you may be wondering how exactly you’re supposed to get rid of it. Product Care Recycling cautions against simply throwing old paint in the trash.

“A fresh coat of paint can give your home new life,” they say. “However, leftover paint, like other hazardous household products, does not belong in the trash. It should be recycled to avoid contaminating our soil and water sources and to divert landfill waste.”

Enrich your soil and decrease landfill waste

Whether you already have a home garden or just want to help the environment, composting is a great way to get the most out of your food waste. The planet will appreciate it and so will your plants.

“Composting is one of the most impactful actions you can take to both reduce household waste heading to landfills and create an ultra-nourishing natural resource that your garden will love,” says Sustainable Jungle, a website that shares sustainability tips and tricks. “Some cities even offer discounts on composters to help encourage this community supporting activity.”

backyard garden full of vegetables

Use dimmable indoor lighting

Home lighting is another area where energy waste can take place. Since most light bulbs operate at full capacity when turned on, you may end up using more energy than you need to keep your home lit, especially during the day. Dimmable lights give your home a more natural glow, saving energy in the process.

“One of the most effective ways to reduce your electricity bill is to install a lighting control system or smart lighting,” says TSP Smart Spaces. “We’re all used to running our lights at 100 percent, but the reality is that not only do we not need to use 100 percent of the energy of a bulb all the time. Dimmable LEDs create a much more enjoyable living experience, and natural lighting that costs 20 to 50 percent less to run compared to regular switches.”

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