Creating a “healthy home” doesn’t mean you have to throw out the whole enchilada and start over with eco-EVERYTHING! No, no... There are small changes you can make today that cost little to nothing, or, even better, that will actually save you money. Here are 5 easy places start:
1. Get rid of junk mail: Did you know the average adult in the US receives 41 pounds of junk mail a year?! How annoying is that? Not to mention the dinosaur telephone books or Restoration Hardware “catalogs” (more like set of encyclopedias) that seem to magically show up at your door! Get rid of the junk by registering your address on DMA Choice and the National Do Not Mail List. There are other sites that enable you to opt out of credit card offers, like this one. And, c'mon it’s 2016… Consider getting your magazine subscriptions on your iPad or other digital device.
2. Save energy (and $): Instead of cranking your thermostat up in the winter, or down in the summer, set it at a comfortable temperature (for most people between 68-72 degrees F), and leave it. No touchy. Studies show that this method saves energy, and therefore saves you money. Of course, if you live in a temperate climate, turning your thermostat off completely for a season is the optimal way to go! We also love Nest and other eco-smart home technology tools that are easy to install.
3. Let there be light:
Indoor: We’ve all heard it before, but changing your lightbulbs to energy-efficient ones, such as halogens, LED’s, CFL’s, or incandescents not only uses 25%- 80% less energy than a traditional light bulb, but also can last up to 25 times longer! Many of these light bulbs have added safety features of not being hot to the touch and not shattering as easily, so if you’re in baby-proofing mode, there are a handful of bonus benefits...
One of our favorite tools that works like magic (kids love it!) for turning lights on/off from anywhere in the house is this wireless remote control kit for outlets! You can also use this to turn other appliances on/ off. Who doesn’t love being able to turn on the xmas tree lights from your bed?! Amirite?
Outdoor: Solar lights make so much sense for outside use, whether you want string lights or porch lights, and there are more options than ever! A quick Amazon search will provide you with many inspiring options.
4. Don’t go chasing waterfalls: In California, we’ve been hit with a major drought for years and have been forced to figure out ways to be more water savvy. Regardless of where you live, water is a finite resource that we all must cherish more. Besides the obvious, “don’t leave the water on while you brush your teeth!” rule, here are some other easy ways to conserve water, time, and money:
For your lawn or garden, consider installing a watering timer. They’re easier to install and use than you think! A drip system for your garden will also help reduce water waste.
Succulents and native plants are so hot right now, and require little to no watering. Forget the time- and water-intensive garden and boost your green thumb ego by planting those bad boys everywhere!
Set your washing machine and dishwasher to “quick wash” or “eco-mode” settings. For most day-to-day washing, you’ll be surprised by how thorough those settings clean. You can always adjust it back to “pots and pans” when needed. ;)