The Fifth Column 

Painless Ways to Live Greener at Home

Painless Ways to Live Greener at Home

As nice as it sounds to “save the environment,” making these life changes can seem overwhelming once you realize what you’re in for. Some environmentally friendly products may cost more than the usual, and other practices (like never using throwaway dinnerware) are simply too inconvenient for a busy lifestyle. But by breaking down the process, striving for a smaller carbon footprint can be quite simple.

Go Paperless

Instead of getting a bank notice in the mail or reading paper magazines, you can request online versions of the same. You can also give old newspapers to a recycling center or donate magazines to doctors’ offices so someone else gets use out of them. Also, try doing your taxes online by requesting the documents be emailed to you. This also saves you from having to go through piles of papers as you try to make sense of your finances.

Start a Compost

With garbage piles taking up as much of the world as they are, we hardly need more incentive to dispose of biodegradable waste properly; every little bit counts when keeping it from joining a pile on trash mountain. Using a compost bin, either your own or a community one, is a common yet effective way to dispose of organic materials (ex: kitchen scraps) so they can serve another purpose.

Cut Back on Heating

While it can be a great feeling to return to a toasty warm house in the winter time, letting the heat run for hours on end in an empty home wastes your hard-earned money, as well as burns potentially environmentally toxic fuels for no immediate use. There are apps available that allow you to adjust your thermostat while on the go so you can save your wallet and Mother Earth at the same time. Although it’s not quite as “painless” as other options, replacing your furnace with a heat pump can heat your home more efficiently by moving heat rather than generating it.

Keep the HVAC Maintained

In addition to the extra money and energy used to reach optimal temperature in a faulty HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system, going too long without having it serviced could result in mold spores, dust, and other potentially harmful particles constantly floating in the air. This often happens when the filter gets too full. Just replacing your filter regularly and keeping your ducts clean makes a big difference for your system’s efficiency as well as your health.

Get Handy

It may seem like that steady drip-drip-drip from your kitchen faucet isn’t using much water, but the constant loss adds up to gallons. If you can, repair the leak as soon as possible to prevent further waste and especially if you live in a drought risk zone. Learning other basic handyman skills will enable you to keep your home and vehicle running more efficiency, saving you money in the process.

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