Top down view of eco friendly houses with solar panels installed on roofs

How Homeowners Can Easily Turn to an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Posted by Valka Yoga on

These days, more people than ever are thinking about how they can modify their actions to “go green” and make a positive impact on our planet. As a homeowner, you have many ways to turn your existing property into a beacon of energy efficiency that will set a great example for your neighbors. Here are some tips from Valka Yoga to help you become more eco-friendly. Trust us: it’s easier than you think!

Eco-Friendly will Benefit Your Wallet

Even though helping to keep Mother Earth in good shape should be reward enough, certain eco-friendly changes to your home can actually save you money – and that doesn’t just apply to free grants! By turning off the lights when you leave the room, unplugging appliances that you don’t need, and switching your light bulbs to LEDs, you can save money on your monthly utility bills. Many of these strategies to go green can also be carried over into your workplace, including going paperless and digitizing documents, as well as stocking the office with reusable pens and using multi-purpose machines in lieu of several machines that all require extra power.

A larger project that can save you even more money involves installing solar panels on your roof. Take a look at the average price of solar panels. Although they may cost more upfront, solar panels will save you a ton of money over time by skipping the electrical company and using the power of the sun to light and heat your home instead. If that weren’t enough, the addition of solar panels can also increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell. The best-case scenario would be to purchase a home that already has solar panels or other energy-efficient appliances installed.

Take Small, Eco-Friendly Steps for Your Health

There are many things you can do to make your home eco-friendly and healthy. For instance, Good Housekeeping suggests ditching the harsh chemical cleaners and stick to green options. Or, you can make healthy cleaning supplies at home. If you want to completely toss out the chemicals, switch to microfiber cloths, which can make dusting and cleaning your home a breeze. And while you’re at it, bring a little Mother Nature indoors with some houseplants, which can help purify the air you breathe, as well as some artwork or framed photos of nature.

You can also drastically reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on how often you drive. This could be your commute to work or your trips to the store. Taking public transportation or riding a bike are options, and so is walking. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that has a high Walk Score, taking this route is certainly doable and advisable. Not only will your fuel consumption drop, you’ll get in some steady exercise as well.

All these little steps can quickly add up.

Be Smart About Appliance Usage

While you may be careful not to turn on unnecessary lights, if you don’t have energy-efficient appliances, then you may still be wasting the same amount of energy. For instance, old refrigerators can have leaking coolant and, as HomeServe notes, older dishwashers can use over 10 gallons more per load than newer models. And hand washing dishes can use up to 27 gallons, which is more than 20 gallons over new models. If it has been over 10 years, then now may be the time to look for an upgrade.

Automated systems within your home can also do wonders to help the environment and keep your utility bills manageable. Think about your thermostat. If you keep it at the same temperature every day, even while you are at work, then you are wasting energy. Invest in a smart thermostat that will adjust the temperature throughout the day and save valuable resources.

If an appliance breaks down or is not as efficient as you wish it were, then you should dispose of it, but you must be careful when doing so. When you do, Appliance Repair Experts suggests contacting an e-waste removal service because they will properly dispose of the appliance in such a way that it does not negatively impact the environment.

Compost to Combat Climate Change

Compost is essentially organic, biodegradable materials that are combined and used for a variety of purposes, including natural fertilizer for the garden and flower beds. When you compost food scraps and other usable materials that would otherwise be tossed into the trash, you reduce landfill waste as well as omitting the need for artificial fertilizer. When you consider everything else involved – including fuel usage of garbage trucks to transport trash to landfills and the production and packaging of store-bought fertilizer – your carbon footprint is vastly reduced over a period of time.

You can even compost at the workplace. As with other strategies to go green at work – like using reusable pens, recycled paper, and multi-purpose office machines instead of multiple machines – encourage composting food by setting up a bin in the breakroom. You may be surprised how quickly employees will embrace these strategies.

Make Proper Repairs

If you really want to help the environment, then you may want to have a contractor come to the house to inspect your home and recommend fixes to aid energy efficiency. A big issue is older and cracked windows. While you may not realize it, in the winter, these cracks allow heat to escape and your heater has to work harder to heat the home, which wastes energy. If you have this issue, invest some money into having new windows installed.

Air conditioners may need periodic maintenance as well to maintain maximum energy efficiency. Simple work you can do in this regard includes replacing clogged filters as well as old coils and fins. Not only will you save energy, but you will pump more air into the house during the summer and live more comfortably. 

Living the Eco-Friendly Life

Becoming more eco-friendly takes a little work, but it’s not nearly as challenging as it seems at first glance. In fact, working on your home to make it more sustainable, healthy, and environmentally sound ends up being a win-win for everyone involved.

Valka Yoga provides beautiful, functional and ethical yoga mats and gear that inspire a regular practice. Shop online today or contact us for more info!  

Lifestyle Minimalism Sustainability

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