There are lots of benefits to taking the steps towards a greener home: green choices directly impact the health of our planet and ourselves, outputs become more sustainable, and, in many cases, there are even cash savings to be had.
You don’t need to replace your roof with solar panels (although that is also an amazing initiative!) to make a difference. Here are three easy ways to make your home greener in 2019.
Invest in a Nest Learning Thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat can be purchased on Amazon or at any home improvement store for around $300. It’s definitely an investment up front, but the return on investment can be substantial.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is the first thermostat to be ENERGY STAR certified. It learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around your schedule, adapting to your presence in your home and as the seasons change. Just use it for one week before it “learns” your routine, and it will build an automatic schedule to program itself. Nest’s Auto-Away function uses sensors, algorithms and even your phone’s location to ensure your thermostat is turned off to save energy when no one is home.
Since 2011, the Nest Thermostat has saved billions of kWh of energy in millions of homes worldwide, and independent studies have shown that it has saved users an average of 10% to 12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. The Nest app allows you to access your thermostat from anywhere, so even if you forgot to turn off the AC before going on vacation for a week, you can do it via your mobile device.
Water Efficient Showerheads
Showering is one of the leading uses of water in our homes, accounting for almost 17% of our indoor water use. New “efficiency” showerheads have been proven to help you conserve water and save energy — while not sacrificing the enjoyment of your morning shower!
Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute. The average household could save more than 2,900 gallons per year by installing WaterSense® labeled showerheads. And since these water savings will also reduce demands on water heaters, households who install these showerheads will also end up saving energy. In fact, a household could save enough to power its television use for about a year!
Use Home Depot’s efficiency audit to calculate your potential savings, based on the number of people living in your home. You can also use this calculator to look at the impact that changes to your light bulbs, appliances, or windows can also have on your energy outputs. It’s pretty interesting to see the environmental and financial savings you can earn just by making a greener choice.
Natural Cleaning Products
When you use chemicals to clean your toilets, sinks, tubs or run your dishwasher or washing machine appliances, these chemicals are eventually rinsed down the drain. They eventually make their way to a waste water treatment facility where some of the chemical contaminants can be removed before the water is then pumped back into our rivers, lakes and oceans. The keyword here is “some”, because not all contaminants are able to be removed, and as they make their ways back into our bodies of water they can greatly affect our wildlife and environment.
Companies specializing in natural cleaning products, like Natura Solutions, utilize plant-based enzymes and natural surfactants to create effective, environmentally-friendly cleaning alternatives. Specially formulated, PH-neutral and biodegradable solutions ensure that your surfaces and stains are still being cleaned effectively, but in a way that is a safer choice for both members of your household, and the environment as well. You can make greener choices by replacing your laundry detergent or your pot & pan pre-soak, or even the solution you use to wash your car. All of these products are biodegradable, non-toxic and contain active enzymes to break down dirt, grime and even help treat waste water.
You don’t have to make dramatic changes in your household to have a greener footprint in your home. It’s all about making smarter, more environmentally-conscious choices, which can even decrease your water and energy bills in the end. It’s a win-win choice!