7 Ways to “Go Green” at Home
There are small actions we can all take to reduce waste and pollution. Start by examining your water usage, heating habits and choice of cleaning products. Here are seven things you can do to become more environmentally friendly.
1. Use water wisely
Avoid wasting water unnecessarily by turning off the faucet when you’re not using it; for example, do not let the water run while brushing your teeth. Also, it’s better to take a shower, which consumes about 50 liters of water, instead of a bath, which uses about 170 liters.
2. Heat with moderation
There’s no need to overheat the inside of your home to feel comfortable. Ideally, the temperature should be between 16 and 22°C depending on the room, its insulation and your indoor activity. For an optimal performance of your heating sources, you should thoroughly clean the radiators and electric baseboards and check the chimney flue. Finally, you can also install a programmable thermostat that allows you to control the heating in your absence.
3. Manage electricity consumption
One of the key things you can do to save electricity is turn off the lights when leaving a room. Do not leave the TV, computer or other equipment idle, as they consume about 10% of your electricity. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, as they consume much less energy. In addition, use low temperatures when doing your laundry and regularly defrost your freezer. Finally, do not hesitate to change your appliances that are more than ten years old – the new standards are more economical and environmentally friendly.
4. Detergent, soap, shampoo… Make the right choices!
It’s no secret that all laundry detergents, even those that are considered environmentally friendly, are harmful to the environment. However, with simple changes, it’s easy to improve our impact on the environment. Consider diluting each capful of detergent, soap or shampoo; the result will be just as good, and you will be doing your part for the environment. Opt for powdered soap instead of liquid soap, and for the more adventurous, you can make your own environmentally friendly laundry detergent or soap.
5. Consume respectfully
In Québec, like elsewhere in the world, product labels now certify the ecological quality of products. Before making purchases for the home, such as furniture, cleaning products or food, make sure that your purchases are environmentally responsible by checking their origin. Consider biodegradable packaging such as cardboard or paper, or recyclable packaging made of glass or metal instead of plastic.
6. While cooking
It’s also important to be “green” in the kitchen. If possible, choose natural gas rather than electricity, as it is a more environmentally friendly option. Reduce cooking time by placing a lid on your pots, which will help to save energy. And finally, choose local and seasonal products whenever possible.
7. Protect your home
Throughout the year, and especially in winter, it’s important to protect your home. To avoid heat escaping, insulate doors and windows. If they need replacing, do so; otherwise, use thick curtains that will help to conserve heat. Place transparent plastic film on your windows if necessary and check the weather-stripping on your doors.
Becoming more environmentally friendly at home is not hard – you simply need to be aware of the different options and take action!
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