7 Products That Will Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly
There is a growing trend toward environmentalism. If you are among the many people who are working toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle, you might feel overwhelmed by the number of products claiming to help. It pays to do your homework before you start shopping for environmentally positive products.
1. LED Light Bulbs
There are plenty of reasons to turn to LED bulbs over traditional incandescent ones. For starters, they last a really long time - up to 25 times longer. That means you won't have to replace them every year or so. You'll save money on the cost of replacements, plus the time you don't have to drag out a ladder for those ceiling fixtures. Then there are the energy savings. According to Energy.gov, LED bulbs use about 25% of the electrical energy of a similarly bright incandescent bulb. That's a lot less power you'll be drawing to keep your home illuminated.
2. Replacement Parts
Not many things will last forever. You should expect to get a useful life out of most products you buy. A growing trend among manufacturers that falls under the broad category of planned obsolescence is to make products that are truly disposable. Repairs on them cannot be done. That generates a lot of waste, which runs counter to the environmental principles of reduce and reuse.
Counter this trend by looking for items that can be repaired if something goes wrong. Small fixes can often lead to a prolonged lifespan of consumer products. There are many examples for replacing small parts for things you use everyday. A perfect example is your eyeglasses. Do you really need a new frame, or would lens replacement serve the same purpose? Apply that thinking to the many things you have, keyboards can have their keys replaced, a broken leg on a table can be repaired. By fixing or replacing the small parts of your belongings promotes a less-waste lifestyle.
3. Smart Appliances
If you are replacing appliances in your home, consider investing in smart models. These will offer benefits like turning lights on and off while away from home, checking the refrigerator contents without opening the door or adjusting the water heater settings based on usage patterns. At the very least, shop for Energy Star qualified units for the most energy-efficient designs and features.
4. A Programmable Thermostat
If you aren't interested in a Wi-fi connected home, a programmable thermostat can still offer great environmental benefits. Most people realize that adjusting the thermostat a few degrees can help conserve energy and save on heating and cooling costs. Not everyone remembers to adjust it when they head out to work for the day, though. You are human, after all. A programmable thermostat takes that task on. Simply set it to run around your schedule and your home will be comfortable when you get out of bed in the morning or walk through the door after a long day.
5. Surge Protectors
Electronics that are plugged in will draw a slight amount of energy even when they are powered down. Avoid this unnecessary drain by using surge protectors. When you aren't using the devices, simply flip the switch and everything will be shut completely down. This minimizes waste without interfering with your comfort or convenience.
Increasing the amount of insulation in your home is one of the easiest ways to make it more environmentally friendly. You will use less energy for heating and cooling interior spaces, which results in a lower overall carbon footprint. Recycled insulation products and those manufactured with renewable resources will have the biggest impact. Places in your home that may benefit from an extra layer of insulation include:
- exterior walls
Sealing cracks around windows and adding storm doors over any wooden exterior doors will also help reduce energy use.
7. Faucet Aerators
Water conservation is an important part of reducing your environmental impact. Faucet aerators are a simple solution that can cut down how much water you use on a regular basis. They incorporate air into the water as it leaves your faucet heads. This creates a more powerful stream with less water. Most simply screw on to the end of a standard faucet, making them a simple and affordable solution to excess water use.
Small changes can have a big impact. Remember that reducing waste is a key factor in helping the environment, so look at repairing items before replacing them. When you do need to replace items, shop for products that will help you conserve natural resources.