Although the news about pollution, climate change and habitat loss can be overwhelming, every step you take to go green helps the environment. The steps don't have to be large to make a difference. Recycling paper instead of throwing it away saves trees, reduces air pollution and conserves water. Within a weekend, you can finish a few other household projects that will make your home more eco-friendly, save you money and positively affect the environment.
Change Your Light Bulbs
If you can unscrew five incandescent light bulbs and replace them with compact fluorescent ones, you can reduce greenhouse emissions by using less electricity. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, switching only five light bulbs in every home would be like taking 10 million cars off the roads. You can also save money around the house by turning off electronics when they aren't in use, turning off lights when you leave a room and turning down the thermostat a few degrees in the winter. (See Reference 1)
Install Rain Barrels
In many cities, rain water caught by gutters flows into the sewer system and can cause sewage spills. Saving some of this water in rain barrels not only reduces the strain on the sewer system, but provides you with water for your garden rather than using fresh water from the hose. Rain barrels can be made from wine barrels or large plastic drums, or you can purchase them through your local environmental group.
Make Natural Cleaners
Many cleaners we use in our homes contain toxic, corrosive and flammable ingredients and are considered household hazardous waste (HHW) products by the EPA (See Reference 4). When these chemicals wash into streams during disposal or when you pour them down the drain, they can harm fish and other wildlife. Many of the cleaners you use on a regular basis can be made using a few household ingredients such as lemon juice, salt, vinegar and baking. (See Reference 3)
Fix Leaking Faucets
If your home has one leaking toilet, you could be wasting more than 200 gallons of fresh water every day. Add another 10 gallons a day for every leaking faucet. Once you identify the source of a leak, a home repair manual can guide your through the repair steps. To save even more water, consider replacing your standard toilet with a high-efficiency toilet that uses only 1.3 gallons per flush. (See References 1, 2)
After working in scientific research for more than 10 years, Tammie Painter began her writing career in 2008. Her articles have appeared in "Northwest Travel," "Herb Companion" and "American Gardener." She has published four books, including "Simply Soft Cheese" and "Easy Preserving." Painter has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Portland State University.
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