Share this handy infographic with all the members of your family to get them into the habit of making green choices every day. From turning off lights when you leave a room, to hanging your clothes to dry, there are so many ways to be a little more eco-friendly in your home and daily life. These 20 House Rules for Green Living are just a few basic ideas to get you started on making your home as green as possible and save you money at the same time!
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1. Always recycle cans, bottles & paper products - Be sure to make recycling easy with bins both inside and out. You can also try a garbage challenge to see how little garbage your family can produce per week. Don't forget the shampoo bottles and toilet paper rolls! Because bathroom recyclables are often forgotten, it is a good idea to put a small recycling bin in there as a reminder.
2. Compost food waste - Composting is an easy way to add nutrients to the soil to encourage and restore plant growth that will also reduce your garbage production.
3. Reduce your meat & dairy consumption - The production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than ten times the fossil fuel input as one calorie of plant protein. Try having meatless Mondays and try other calcium beverages such as almond or coconut milk for drinking and cereals.
4. Don’t hold the fridge door open too long - Don't waste energy by holding the door open to decide what you eat. Keep a list of items on the fridge door to help you remember what's inside if needed.
5. Use the microwave instead of the oven for small meals - Try not to fire up the oven for single serving meals or to warm up food that can easily be done in the microwave.
6. Only use reusable containers, wraps & bags for packing food and drinks - There are more reusable options than ever before, and they will all save you money in the long run!
7. Don’t let the taps run when brushing or washing up - You can save tons of water by simply turning off the taps and filling the sink with a bit of water for washing your face rather than letting it run. If you must let it run, don't turn the taps on full blast.
8. Reduce your time in the shower - Save yourself time and water by reducing unnecessary time in the shower.
9. Hang clothes to dry when possible - You clothes and towels will smell even better when you hang them outside to dry. If it's too cold or wet, you can also use an indoor rack to dry what you can to reduce dryer time.
10. Wash with cold water settings - Heating the water uses energy that you can save by using cold water detergents and settings.
11. Full loads only - Avoid half loads to save energy and water. Your machine may have smaller load settings, but be in mind it still wastes energy. If you can wait for a full load, save the power.
12. Power down and unplug your electronics - There is no point to leaving your devices plugged in and drawing power when they aren't in use. It only takes a second, and you can significantly cut back on energy costs. Also be sure to use energy saving settings if available.
13. Use reusablebags when shopping - Always have reusable bags handy for shopping and be sure to stock up on reusable produce bags to avoid using the disposable kind at the store.
14. Print paper double-sided & go digital when possible - Send emails and pay bills online to reduce paper waste. If there is something you must print, get recycled paper and print it double-sided. You can also try reducing the font size to save sheets.
15. Walk, ride a bike or take a bus when traveling short distances - Don't bother starting the car if you aren't going that far to save emissions. It's better for you to get some exercise and will save gas. Be sure to car pool if you must drive.
16. Use natural and earth-friendly cleaners - Cleaning supplies are often made with harsh chemicals that are harmful to the planet, so opt for natural homemade solutions or ones that are certified earth-friendly.
17. Collect rain water for watering plants - A water butt can collect tons of perfectly good rain water for those dry days.
18. Let natural light in, instead of using lights when possible - Simply opening your blinds or curtains instead of turning lights on can save energy and cut costs.
19. Use energy efficient lights & turn them off when they are not in use - It can be a hard habit to break but turning off the lights when you leave a room is so important and will save you money.
20. Set timers for heating & cooling - There is no sense having your heat or cooling cranked during the main hours of the day when no one is home. Set timers and you'll save a ton on your energy bill.