Earth Day is a time to appreciate the planet we have and think about how we can do our part to keep it thriving and beautiful. The theme for Earth Day 2021 is Restore Our Earth. The task ahead might seem daunting, but if everyone does a little bit, it all adds up to a big change.
You can go green in your home without spending a lot of money. Even better, over the long run, you’ll save money, too. Here are a few ideas.
Some of the changes you can make in your home will save more than you realize and cost less than you expect. Others will require larger financial investments but will also help the environment and your wallet at the same time.
LED Light Bulbs
When it’s time to change light bulbs, choose LED options. You can find them in every style and wattage. Yes, the cost is greater upfront but you’ll buy fewer bulbs over time because they last years longer than standard bulbs. Plus, they use 75 percent less energy so you’re saving on your electric bill, too.
The first type of leak that comes to mind should be pipes. A slight drip might not seem like a lot of water, but it adds up quickly. That’s water being wasted unnecessarily and a higher water bill for you. The other kind of leak is the kind that lets hot air into your home in the summer and cold air in during the winter — causing your HVAC system to work overtime. Seal cracks around windows and doors and when you can, upgrade to better windows and doors with tighter seals.
Go Low Flow
You’re already turning the water off while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and doing your best to limit your water use. While those are great ways to reduce the amount of water you use, you can put your plumbing to work to help you out with a few upgrades:
- Low flow shower heads produce great water pressure while using less water.
- Newer dishwashers use less water than old styles when you’re ready to upgrade.
- Low flow toilets use less water with each flush.
This isn’t technically an upgrade in your home, but it’s an upgrade in the products you choose for use in your home. Where possible, replace throwaway items with reusable or less wasteful options.
- Buy cloth napkins instead of paper napkins.
- Get cloth towels and ditch the paper towels.
- Use containers that can be washed and reused for food and pantry items instead of using plastic bags.
- Add a low flow bidet attachment to your toilet to use (and buy!) less toilet paper.
Next time everyone panic buys all the paper products in a store, you’ll have less to worry about because you already have what you need at home.
Lawn and Garden Upgrades
You can turn your lawn and garden into an eco-friendly haven without spending a lot of extra cash.
Start a Compost Pile
Want to help your vegetables, flowers, and/or fruit trees grow and thrive? Give them nutrient-rich help with compost made of your own trash — produce scraps, lawn waste, egg shells, and coffee grounds to be precise. Many coffee shops even offer their old coffee grounds (for free) to help you keep your compost pile going or if you need help starting one! You throw out less trash and make the outside of your home even more beautiful.
Choose Native Plants
Ready to put in a new flower bed? Go with native plants. They can handle the climate better and require less water and fertilizer to help them thrive. Plus, native plants encourage the native ecosystem of bugs and other wildlife to flourish and thrive. The National Audubon Society has an online native plant finder that helps you find the right plants based on your zip code.
Watering your plants, trees, vegetable garden, and more uses a lot of water and doesn’t help your water bill each month. Why not try collecting rainwater? The only upfront expense will be the rain barrel. After that, let Mother Nature help you even when the weather is beautiful and there’s not a cloud in the sky.
Going green doesn’t have to be expensive, and in the long-run, it will save you money. Whether it’s the planet you’re worried about or your expenses, making small eco-friendly changes can have a big impact in multiple ways. You can make a difference on Earth Day and all year long.