Greening Your Home – Top 5 (easy) Tips for a Smart Home

Thank you to Direct Energy - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c for sponsoring today’s post, and encouraging me to share tips for a smarter home!

Greening Your Home :: Five Little Homesteaders

Earth Day is right around the corner.  We celebrate it on April 22nd and it is a great time of year to think about how to “green” your home and your life.

I know that every year I try to set new intentions for living a greener, more environmentally friendly life.  Some of these changes come easily and others are more difficult.  (I STILL have trouble remembering to carry my reusable shopping bags from the car into the grocery store.)

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to 5 easy things that we do to live a greener life and share some ideas that we plan on implementing in the near future.

Greening Your Home

1.  Compost

Greening Your Home :: Five Little Homesteaders

It makes me sad when I think about all the easily compostable trash that goes to the landfill.  We compost so much of our trash and it is incredibly rewarding.  Less trash to the landfill and rich compost to enrich our gardens.  It’s a win-win!

The blog Small FootPrint Family has a wonderful list of 100 things you can compost - http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/100-things-you-can-compost .  I also have a blog post on how we implemented our 3-bin composting system.  Composting is good for the environment and good for your gardens!

2.  Recycle

This one is certainly not new.  I remember talking about recycling as early as elementary school.  However, I am still FLOORED when I learn that there are people who don’t recycle.  Recycling saves a lot of trash from hitting the landfill and allows us to make better use of our earth’s precious resources.

In our home, we have a small recycling bin in our laundry room that gets filled during the day and then dumped into our larger, outdoor, bin each night.

Here’s a great site that will help you learn what can and cannot be recycled.

3. Reuse

Greening Your Home :: Five Little Homesteaders

Like recycling, reusing items instead of sending them to the landfill is not a revolutionary idea but it is something that is easy to forget about.  As I mentioned above, I often have trouble remembering my reusable grocery bags.  When I do, and end up with piles of plastic grocery bags, we reuse them.  We use them as trash bags in our small trash cans.  They fit perfectly!

When planting seedlings, there are also lots of things you can reuse.  Recently I’ve heard a lot about reusing those little plastic k-cup containers to plant seeds.  I like to use toilet paper tubes and yogurt containers, as well.  Bottom line, before you throw something away, think about how you might be able to reuse it.

Here’s a list of 49 smart, money-saving creative reuse ideas - http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/smart-moneysaving-creative-reuse-ideas-122566 .

4.  Plant and Grow Organic Gardens

Greening Your Home :: Five Little Homesteaders

If you’re a follower of this blog, it should be no surprise to you that I advocate for planting and growing organic gardens.  There are so many benefits to doing this.  Plants and greenery support our environment and ecosystem.  They teach our children about caring for the earth and it’s beings.  They also make sure that you and your family have a constant supply of fresh fruits and vegetables that are pesticide free.

Organic gardening is an easy and smart way to green your life (literally and figuratively!).  Here’s a post I wrote on getting started with raised bed gardening.

5.  Programming our Thermostat

Greening Your Home :: Five Little Homesteaders

Do you have a programmable thermostat?  They are a great way to easily control your energy usage and make sure you are heating and/or cooling efficiently.

The one we have is pretty basic but you can buy ones that are WAY fancier and allow you to control your thermostat via your smart phone and/or internet.   Direct Energy - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c is running a campaign right now where they are teaching people about ways to have a smarter home and showing them how they may qualify for a Honeywell Smart Thermostat - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c .

Click Here to Learn More About How to Save Money and Create a Smart Home - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c

These are just my top 5 EASY ways to go about greening your home.  There are many other things that you (and I!) can do.  Here are some additional ideas:

  • Save On Hot Water – make sure your water heater isn’t heating your water above 120 and install an insulated water heater blanket.
  • Stop Phantom Loads – This is when electricity is being used by appliances and electronic devices even when they are shut off.  Make sure you unplug any devices/appliances that you can or plug them into power strips that are easy to switch on and off.
  • Seal cracks in your home.
  • Install insulation.
  • Upgrade windows.
  • Upgrade your lighting.  It used to be all about CFLs but the new thing is LEDs.  While CFLs have a lifespan of 10,000 hours, LED lights have a lifespan of 50,000 hours (!), use about 1/3 the energy of CFLs and do not contain mercury.

What other ideas do you have what would you add to my list?

For even MORE ideas, check out Direct Energy’s Facebook page - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c .

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Full disclosure: this article is financially supported by Direct Energy - http://r.linqia.cc/6a8f16c

 

Standard, legally required, Endorsement Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

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