We’re already at the end of January, so this seems like a good time to ask: how are your resolutions going? Have you dropped them already? If you have, you aren’t the only one! Would you still like to make some greener choices this new year? Going green in 2019 is not difficult to do! To prevent you from getting overwhelmed, why don’t we start with 4 small changes you can make right now.
Look at Your Laundry
We spend a lot of energy on clothes. Washers and dryers are two of the highest energy consumers in your home. Giving a little thought to how you do your laundry can make a difference in your energy use this year and green up this necessary chore. The Energy Department has great tips for this. Here are two that are especially helpful:
Mind your load size: Your washer uses the same amount of energy no matter the size of the load (even if it uses less water for smaller loads), so make sure you only run your washer when you have a full load. But be careful to not over-stuff your load, because that will mean a longer time to dry in your dryer. Your dryer takes significantly more energy per load than your washer, so using only as much time as necessary is best. Though it’s not practical in January, consider adding an outdoor clothesline to your yard in the Spring and Summer. An indoor drying rack will also do the trick for these winter months if you have the room.
Use dryer balls: wool dryer balls are affordable, eco-friendly and chemical-free tools for cutting down your dryer time. They separate your clothes while they tumble in your dryer, allowing the air to move between items dry everything faster. You can make them yourself if you have natural wool yarn!
Clean Out Your Fridge
When was the last time you thoughtfully organized your fridge? Now is a great time to take a look at your refrigerator, clean it out and get it organized. First, do a little research to find out what really needs to go in the fridge and what probably doesn’t need to be regularly stored in there (like, for example, soy sauce, ketchup and mustard). Then think about decluttering and getting rid of stuff you don’t need (or is expired, or that one pickle jar that only has one pickle in it). Finally, organize your space so that you prioritize your regularly used items and move them toward the front, while less used items go to the back. This reduced the amount of time your refrigerator door stays open while you are getting things out of it or putting things away.
Think About Rearranging
Check to see if your furniture is blocking your radiators or vents. Especially in the winter time, warmth that is trapped by your furniture does little to help warm up your room. Even if you can’t rearrange your space, moving your furniture six inches or so away from the vent can make a big difference and will reduce how hard your system is working. Here is a bonus tip: if you’ve got hardwood floors, consider putting down a few more rugs, especially during the winter. They can store heat and keep your house warmer.
Try a Different Cleaner
Have you been to the detergent/cleaning aisle in the grocery store lately? There is a whole market dedicated to making detergents and house cleaning products biodegradable and more environmentally friendly. Take a look and consider replacing just one product in your home this year. You’ll be surprised by the quality and power of this new generation of cleaning products, which are often the same price as traditional cleaners! If you are feeling adventurous, you can go DIY with all sorts of recipes for effective cleaning solutions.
You don’t have to uproot your whole life and routine when you choose to live a little greener. These quick-start solutions are easy to adapt and, we hope, will lead to other easy choices for you as you go through your year. If you stick with it, you might just surprise yourself with how many changes you’ve made and even how much money you’ve saved on your energy consumption. Good luck to you and your greener 2019!
Want to take your Green 2019 one step further with beautiful and efficient solar panels for your home? Reach out to us today for a free energy audit and an evaluation on how solar panels can make a significant difference in your energy consumption and utility bills.
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