Published April 1, 2023
There might be as many as two trillion planets in the observable universe. And as far as we can tell, there’s only one that can actually sustain life: ours. That’s why it’s so important for us to take care of this place—there are no other options. In honor of Earth Month, this article gives you nine easy ways to make your home a little more eco-friendly.
- Turn off the Water
Let’s say that you’re brushing your teeth, washing your hands, or cleaning the dishes. Well, there’s a pretty big chunk of time when the water is running but isn’t really in use. You’re scrubbing or brushing or working up a lather. But you’re not actually using the water in an active way. So, whenever that happens, turn off the water. That conserves a ton of H2O and helps make sure there’s plenty left over for future generations.
- Use The Dishwasher
Do you have an energy-efficient dishwasher? A load of dishes in the washer only uses about 3 gallons of water as compared with about 27 gallons when you wash the same amount of dishes by hand. Those numbers will obviously vary based on your dishwasher. But the message remains the same; the dishwasher uses far less water, especially if it’s modern. (It also sanitizes them much better.)
- Turn off the Lights
We all get a little forgetful from time to time. Sometimes we forget to turn off the lights when we leave the house or certain rooms. And sometimes we turn on the lights during the day when we don’t actually need to. So, be sure to turn off your lights when they’re not truly necessary. It saves a lot of energy and helps with your utility bills, too!
- Check Your Thermostat
There’s nothing like cranking the air conditioner on a hot day. But instead of turning your place into an icebox, try setting your thermostat to 78. You’ll probably still feel quite comfortable, while conserving our precious resources. Likewise, during the winter, many people like to make their place nice and toasty, but you might find that you sleep even better if you set the thermostat to 65 right before you go to bed.
- Reuse Items
Those plastic bags they put your groceries in at the store? Save them up and take them with you to use the next time you do your shopping. A lot of restaurants are using sturdier containers these days for takeout—these can be a cheap and surprisingly durable alternative to Tupperware. Old newspapers and empty cereal boxes could be great for wrapping presents or letting your kids go wild with a craft day. If you get a little creative, you’ll probably find a ton of ways to reduce waste.
- Limit Single-Use Items
We’ve all been to parties or picnics where they use paper plates and plastic cups. That’s okay—these items are convenient and definitely have their place. But it’s important to keep in mind that these single-use items go straight into a landfill when you’re done with them. It’s so tempting to use disposable plates and utensils at home after a long day at work (believe us, we hate doing dishes, too), but when you have the option to use real dishes…do it for the planet!
- Get a Water Filter and a Reusable Water Bottle
Do you own a water filter pitcher, like a Britta? These do a great job of purifying your tap water and eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles (and they can save you quite a bit of money over the long run). While you’re at it, grab a sturdy, reusable water bottle and fill that up before you leave the house. It takes about 450 years for plastic to decompose, so the fewer disposable plastic water bottles you use, the better.
- Try a Vegetarian Night
We love a good burger as much as the next person…but did you know that meat isn’t very environmentally friendly? Cows, for example, create lots of methane, which contributes to global warming. It also takes an astounding 1,847 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. But here’s the good news. Going vegetarian for just a few days per week can really add up! Click here for some delicious vegetarian meals that the whole family will love.
- Make the Most of Your Footprint
It’s okay to use some of our planet’s resources. But try to show respect for those resources by really making the most of them. For example, we all have to wash our clothes. But when you run the washing machine, try to make sure it’s full. The same goes for the dishwasher. Instead of running it every single night no matter what, run it when it’s at capacity. And have you thought about setting up a carpool to get your kids to school and practice? It can make the most of each trip in the car (and can help take some stress off your plate if you rotate driving responsibilities with other parents).
- Get the Kids Involved
Teaching kids about why it’s important to protect our planet is the first step in making sure they’ll make eco-friendly decisions as they grow up. Visit the library and check out some books that make learning about the environment fun. Or join in the Earth Day celebrations at the Children’s Museum or the nature center at Eagle Creek on April 22nd. And then talk with your kids to see how many different ways they can come up with to make a difference in their daily lives at home.
The planet gives us the water we need to drink, the air we need to breathe, and the temperature we need to thrive. In other words, it really takes care of us. The least we can do is take care of it right back. So, try to conserve water and energy and look for ways to reduce waste—there are plenty of ways to make an impact without even leaving your home!Tags: Earth Day, Earth Month, eco-friendly tips