5 Ways Your Home is Ruining the World

Home is where the heart is, but your home is heartless if it isn’t making serious efforts to become more green. There are simple steps you can take to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions produced by your household, and often they will save you money in energy bills as well as help save the environment. When we think of eco-friendly, we often think of recycling or using compost heaps. But there are changes you can make that are as simple as using a different setting on your washer. Some of the changes you can make in the home start with the way you think about products. Realizing where things come from is a large part of understanding how you play a part in pollution. You can also identify pollutants by having a better understanding of how nature interacts with the basic structure of your home. You can begin to play your part by starting with the easier tasks for saving the environment and thus gradually starting to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.

  1. Plugged in Appliances

    We have more electronics now than we ever had in history. With iPhones, plasma TVs, laptops, DVD players, and stereo systems, a lot of energy consumption begins where the plug meets the wall. Even when you aren’t using the item, the plug continues to draw energy, which adds up to more than you may think. The average American pays an entire extra month’s worth of electric bills per year in the amount of energy drawn from plugged in appliances. Worse, the energy-draining makes up 1% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, which is comparable to the combined annual production of dozens of power plants. You could save the world and your wallet by simply unplugging items when they aren’t in use.

  2. Inefficient Use

    You can greatly reduce your carbon footprint by being more sensible in using your appliances. For example, washing your clothing in cold water so that you don’t waste energy that is used to heat the water, or waiting until the dishwasher is absolutely full before running it. Using ceiling fans instead of automatically knocking down the thermostat a couple degrees helps. Simple choices like this waste less energy.

  3. Poor Insulation

    If your home is poorly insulated, you’re basically air-conditioning the outdoors. Air escapes through cracks in the house, through roofs and floors. Plus, any air that leaks into your home can be a source of pollutants. The moisture in air that gets where it shouldn’t be can cause mold. Investing in an air barrier can help control your ventilation and save the environment.

  4. Not Utilizing Windows

    If you built your home without regard for the sun and window placement, you did yourself a great disservice. By having windows that face the sun, you can harness heat in
    the winter without having to turn on the heater. Install curtain panels that you can close during the summer to keep your home cool. Using nature to your advantage is
    always better than using man-made energy.

  5. Cheap Furniture = Deforestation

    In your quest for furniture or building materials, go for used products. Reupholster a chair from an antique shop or buy bamboo product. When you buy new furniture, consider the fact that it could have been produced because of deforestation. American consumerism and a lust for new furniture is causing deforestation in other countries, particularly in Laos. Less trees means less carbon dioxide conversion to oxygen, causing greenhouse gases.

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