Have you just moved into your brand-new starter home? First and foremost, congratulations! Between boxes to unpack, ceiling fixtures to install and furniture assembly instructions to decipher, you likely have quite the to-do list ahead of you. Amid all the chaos, don’t forget to ask yourself one important question: have you factored eco-friendly living adjustments into your future plans?
A recent survey found that around 20 percent of the United States’ total carbon emissions come from residential energy use. The good news is, you can take an active role in protecting the environment and bringing this statistic down by making a couple of home-improvement adjustments.
In addition to promoting a healthier climate, sustainable homes often yield financial benefits as well. Energy Star estimates that you could save anywhere from $105 to $627 on utilities each year through participating in basic green initiatives. All that said, are you ready to start your eco-friendly living approach? Here are a few beginner initiatives worth investing in:
Reduce Fossil Fuels with a Geothermal HVAC Pump
While it’s expensive on the frontend, $9000 – $40,000 for installation, a geothermal HVAC system can save roughly 30–60 percent in annual heating and 20–50 percent in annual cooling costs. Unlike most electric HVAC systems, a geothermal unit exchanges the temperature underground with the temperature of your home to funnel heat in and out. While it does require some electricity, most of its power is harnessed naturally from the earth.
Compost the Leftover Food Scraps
Recycling is one of the most popular ways to reduce a home’s waste volume. However, this can be taken a step further through consistent composting. All non-animal-based food scraps should be combined with yard trimmings and moistened with water, creating a compost mixture. You can then use the result as soil or fertilizer for your lawn. Each person who composts could save roughly .45 pounds of waste daily, translating to a collective 27 million tons per year. Check out this guide from the EPA to learn more about how to start your at-home compost pile.
Choose Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs and Fixtures
When you leave a room, do you remember to turn off the light switch? The lights and bulbs you purchase for your home, while seemingly insignificant, can also dramatically affect your eco-friendly footprint. In 2019 alone, American homes consumed over 75 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power. Instead of draining energy usage, research and purchase efficient lighting for both interior and exterior fixtures to reduce energy consumption by 25–80 percent, keeping in mind that these bulbs often last 2–3 times longer than conventional lights.
Landscape with Native Plants
Even if the lawn of your starter home is small, you can transform a patch of grass into a colorful, vibrant oasis. Before landscaping, research the local native plants in your area and find a nursery specializing in local indigenous varieties. Native plants ultimately require less water, fertilizer and pesticides, decreasing water run-off and enhancing air quality.
Use These Simple, Yet Effective Eco-Friendly Living Tips ♻️
These initiatives are simple but can make a tremendous long-term impact. When you consume less energy, both the planet and your bank account will thank you for your eco-friendly living accommodations. It all makes a difference, and the future of this earth depends on it.