Here are five simple approaches you can take to make your home eco-friendlier this fall and winter. You will not only reduce your environmental impact but also save money at the same time.
Shopping for your wardrobe
A few simple changes will make going green when shopping for your wardrobe much easier.
Clean out your closet and rediscover clothing you already have. Only buy the things you truly need. Invest in high-quality clothing you love that will last a long time instead of buying more pieces you will not wear much. Learn simple fixes like sewing up holes and replacing buttons. Get creative and recycle worn clothing into new items, like turning ripped jeans into shorts for next summer.
Check out your local vintage and second-hand stores to save money and buy green.
Choose eco-friendly fabrics
Choose natural materials like cotton over fabrics like polyester. Synthetic fabrics create microfibers that pollute the water when we do laundry.
Green home renovations
Next time you need to do a home renovation, go green!
Smart devices allow you to control energy and water use in your home when you are away. For example, you can control the heat, lighting or sprinklers remotely. This helps your home become more efficient.
Solar panels are installed onto your roof and convert light from the sun into energy for your home. This reduces your electricity consumption and you can even sell it back to the grid. Check your municipal and provincial government’s websites for incentives to make environmentally friendly upgrades to your home and to find out what types of upgrades qualify.
Cleaning and disinfecting
Cleaning means removing germs and dirt from surfaces while disinfecting means actually killing the germs. Using environmentally friendly cleaning products can be better for your health and the environment.
Hand-wash with soap and water
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, liquid castile soap, which is made from plant oils (avoid palm oil) is both environmentally friendly and effective for removing viruses. When done properly, washing your hands with it is more effective than hand sanitizer because it removes all impurities from your hands and dissolves virus’s fat membrane, while sanitizers only work on some germs and do not work on dirty hands.
Hydrogen peroxide and hydrogen bleach can be used for disinfecting surfaces and is better for the environment (and your hands and fabrics and surfaces) than chlorine bleach because it breaks down into water and hydrogen.
Remove grease and dirt from the surface you want to disinfect.
Let the hydrogen peroxide (3-5% concentration) sit on the surface for five minutes.
You do not need to rinse it.
Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, handles, phones, desks, keyboards, remote controls, faucets and sinks.
Replace your light bulbs with LED bulbs
LED bulbs only use 1/3 of the energy of fluorescent and incandescent bulbs and last 80% longer. They only waste 5% of the energy they use as heat while converting 95% of it into light. Because they use less energy, they are better for the environment and will save you money. Their long lifespan also helps the environment and your wallet because your light bulbs will need replacing less often and create less waste.
Energy- and water-efficient appliances
Using high-efficiency appliances is not only better for the environment but also saves you money. Next time you need to replace an appliance or lightbulb, choose one that uses less water or energy.
Some common examples of appliances that have a more environmentally friendly version are:
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