Earth Day is just three weeks away. Do you celebrate? Our planet may be the perfect environment for humans, but unless we protect it, we can and will cause serious, irreparable damage. Protecting our planet starts with being conscious of the impact we have on the earth and implementing small changes to become more eco-friendly. Not sure where to start? Here are 50 simple tips and tricks for being more eco-friendly in every room of your home this Earth Day and beyond.
1. Cook outdoors
When you use your oven frequently, your air conditioning system has to work harder to cool your home. Now that it’s springtime, take advantage of the great Florida weather and grill some delicious meals outside.
2. Ditch the paper towels
Swapping out paper towels for a reusable option like washcloths is an easy way to save money and help the environment.
3. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full
Rather than running your dishwasher every time a few dirty dishes accumulate, wait until it’s full. This will save you both dish soap and water – a win-win!
4. Pack your lunch in an insulated bag
If you bring your lunch to work, skip the brown bag and opt for an insulated and reusable option.
5. Bring your own cup to the coffee shop
Love to get coffee when out of the house? Bring your own mug! Not only is this better for the environment, but many coffee shops will give discounts to customers who bring their own cup.
6. Carry a reusable water bottle
It’s no secret that plastic is terrible for the environment, and if you reach for a brand new bottle of water multiple times throughout the day, you’re only contributing to the issue. Consider investing in a reusable water bottle made from eco-friendly materials.
7. Compost your kitchen scraps
Food waste is a huge issue in the United States and beyond. Instead of letting your food scraps end up in a landfill, start composting your leftover food scraps to start a garden.
8. Use manual kitchen appliances
Making small changes, like opting to use a manual can opener instead of an electric can opener, can go a long way in saving energy.
9. Save leftovers
If you’re guilty of throwing away leftovers, try getting creative and repurposing the food. In many cases, leftovers can be frozen and used later for soups, stews and the like.
10. Invest in quality cookware
Rather than using disposable pans when cooking, invest in quality cookware that can be used for years to come.
11. Use environmentally-safe beauty products
Did you know your shampoo, soap, makeup, and other beauty products could be harming you and the environment? To be more eco-friendly, opt for brands that only use natural ingredients like these 32 natural beauty products.
12. Fix leaky faucets
Even a small leak can cost you around $60 extra each year on your water bill — not to mention, a leaky faucet is terrible for the environment since water is going to waste.
13. Take shorter showers
We all love long, hot, relaxing showers, but these aren’t the best for the environment. Try to limit the amount of time you spend showering or try turning off the water while you scrub your hair, lather soap or shave.
14. Install a low-flow shower head
If shorter showers aren’t an option for you, try installing a low-flow showerhead. This way, you can linger and still enjoy a lengthy shower, while using less water.
15. Install a low-flow toilet
While you’re at it, install a low-flow toilet, too! Toilets use around 27% of a home’s total water consumption, but the addition of a low-flow toilet can lessen the amount of water used.
16. Invest in an energy-efficient vent fan
Is your bathroom properly ventilated? If you rely on a vent fan to reduce moisture levels in your bathroom, invest in an energy-efficient vent fan to save money and energy.
17. Buy eco-friendly bathroom products
From soap and towels to toilet paper, nearly every bathroom product has an eco-friendly option.
18. Use all-natural feminine hygiene products
From organic tampons to menstrual cups, there are lots of eco-friendly options for feminine products available today.
19. Unclog drains with homemade products
Unclogging a stubborn drain in your bathroom? Skip the store-bought products, which can damage your plumbing and harm the environment, and opt to make your own unclogging solution from all-natural products.
20. Use a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic is destructive to the environment, and the overuse of plastic toothbrushes only contributes to the problem. Fortunately, bamboo toothbrushes are both inexpensive and environmentally friendly!
The Living Room
21. Swap fluorescent light bulbs for CFLs
CFL light bulbs save significantly more energy (and money!) than traditional lighting.
22. Use paint with low VOC content
Did you know many of the paints we use in remodeling contain harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can jeopardize our health and the environment? Next time you’re renovating, check the label on any paint you buy.
23. Recycle old magazines and newspapers
Paper is one of the easiest things to recycle!
24. Buy rechargeable batteries
Rechargeable batteries are a more eco-friendly option than disposables. If you do need to dispose of old batteries, make sure you do so properly.
25. Have your air conditioning system professionally serviced
Your AC provides your home with the comfort you need, but it can’t work efficiently if it isn’t maintained by a professional every now and then. Find a local, reliable HVAC company and ask about air conditioning maintenance services.
26. Buy houseplants
Houseplants add beauty to your home and can remove harmful toxins the natural way.
27. Unplug your electronics when not in use
Even when you’re not using them, electronics that remain plugged in can suck energy, raising your electricity bills and wasting energy in the process.
28. Upgrade your insulation
Without good insulation, the cool air created by your AC can seep through the walls of your home, wasting energy and decreasing your comfort.
29. Utilize blinds and fans
Used in conjunction, blinds and fans can make your home comfortable while reducing energy usage.
30. Get away from your electronics
Put down those electronics, get outdoors, and save energy in the process!
31. Sleep with an extra layer of clothing in the cooler months and vice versa
Instead of turning your thermostat up in the cooler months, try sleeping with more layers.
32. Purge your closet
Have extra clothes you never wear? Donate them to someone in need instead of tossing them in the trash.
33. Set a timer on your TV
For those of us who like to fall asleep with the TV on, set a timer so the device won’t be on all night.
34. Use power strips
From phone chargers to reading lamps, these electronics can suck energy even when they’re not in use. Try plugging these into a power strip and nixing the power when you’re not using them.
35. Buy organic bed linens
Chic, comfortable and eco-friendly!
36. Buy sustainable clothing
Many designers and clothing companies are recognizing the importance of ethically sourcing materials for textiles.
37. Buy pre-loved clothing
Want to update your look on a budget? Go the pre-loved route via consignment shops, thrift store, or host a clothing swap with friends.
38. Invest in an e-reader
This is an easy way to save paper and free up space while still enjoying your favorite reads.
39. Enjoy natural light
Lucky enough to have windows in your bedroom? Let the natural light in when you can, and ditch the light bulbs!
40. Invest in a sustainable mattress
The average mattress contains toxic chemicals and flame retardants, which are both a threat to you and the environment.
Extra Eco-Friendly Tips and Tricks
41. Cover your pool when it’s not in use
This will keep it clean and stop water from evaporating, reducing the need to refill it.
42. Get all of your errands done at one time
If you’re going out to run errands, make an effort to plan the most efficient routes to get there. This will save you time and cut down on the amount of gas you use.
43. File your taxes electronically
Save paper and file your taxes the quick and easy way!
44. Clean out your car
Carrying extra weight around in your car? This can make your car less efficient, using more gas as a result.
45. Use beeswax or soy candles
These options are better for your health and the environment.
Heading to the grocery store? Bring your own bags. Reusing bags is an easy and convenient way to help the planet.
47. Consider clean energy options
Solar, wind, hydropower and more — there are lots of clean energy options available today, and many of them are now cheaper than using traditional energy methods!
48. Use essential oils
All-natural essential oils have a variety of uses and are eco-friendly.
49. Plant trees
Besides providing us oxygen, trees naturally clean the air, provide shelter for wildlife and prevent soil erosion.
50. Remember the 3 R’s
Reduce, reuse, recycle!