How to Make Your House the Most Eco Friendly it Can Be

You don’t have to go to the extremes to start making a difference in your home!

Beautiful house plants making your home the most eco friendly it can be.

If you are looking to make your home as eco friendly as possible similar to apartments near Washington, there are so many options you can pursue to achieve this goal. There is always the option to install solar panels or smart meters, or even limit your use of heating and air conditioning. Though, these are not cheap or ideal options. So, how can you make your house the most eco friendly it can be without having to go to the extremes?

Of course, you are most likely familiar with the typical tips of taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. However, there are actually more eco friendly habits and products you can develop that are just as easy to incorporate into your home!

Here are some of the places you can focus on making your house the most eco friendly it can be:

  • Eco Friendly Changes for Your Kitchen
  • Making Your Bathroom More Eco Friendly
  • Miscellaneous Eco Friendly Changes You Can Make for Your House
A beautiful outdoor vegetable and herb garden, created with recycled materials in an eco friendly effort.
Having your own home garden to harvest vegetables and herbs is a great eco friendly option! Image courtesy of WDET.

Eco Friendly Changes for Your Kitchen

The kitchen is where most waste happens, so what can you do to make your kitchen more eco friendly?

It can be intimidating thinking about all of the waste that you produce in your kitchen, because it is quite a lot. This also makes it intimidating thinking about the ways in which you can make your kitchen more eco friendly. It doesn’t have to be though, because if you start small you don’t have to get overwhelmed!

Utilize a Water Filter: Depending on where you live, the tap water may not be all that reliable to drink, so you opt for plastic water bottles. However, that is not an eco friendly practice. So, what can you do to get rid of the waste of plastic water bottles in order to be more eco friendly? Use a water filter of course!

Water filters come in all forms from refillable pitchers to attachments directly on your kitchen sink. While they tend to be on the pricey side, you will most definitely save money in the long run by investing in one of these options instead of continually buying plastic water bottles!

Reuse Your Water: This one may be a bit more on the advanced side, but is not too difficult of a practice to begin. When rinsing vegetables or boiling pasta, you waste a lot of water that is still good! What you can actually do is reuse this water that you are basically wasting. Thankfully, there are lots of practices for reusing water.

To start small, place a bowl under the faucet when you are washing off your vegetables. When you are finished, take the bowl of water and use it to water your plants! This is just one example of how you can reuse your extra water.

Plant Your Own Vegetables and Herbs: For any plant lovers, this could be a really fun activity with an added eco friendly twist! By actually planting your own vegetables and herbs, you are reducing all of the waste that comes with purchasing easy to grow food. Say goodbye to the plastic container holding tomatoes and the plastic bag holding the basil, because you won’t be needing them anymore!

Get a Compost Bin: What exactly is a compost bin? A compost bin is a place where you can put organic waste so that it goes back into the environment, rather than to a trash dump. Getting a compost bin seems like a difficult and expensive task, but it really isn’t! You can find compost bins on Amazon and even places like Walmart and Target. If you feel counterproductive buying a compost bin, there are dozens of ways you can create your own compost bin!

Socks hang drying on a clothes line to create a more eco friendly house.
Utilizing a clothes line or hang drying your laundry is a great eco friendly alternative!

Making Your Bathroom More Eco Friendly

Simple adjustments to your bathroom can have a great eco friendly result.

Making eco friendly changes to your bathroom is a great place to start if you are still not sure what practices are best for you and your home. Eco friendly bathroom practices can be really simple and have a great impact.

Eco Friendly Toothbrushes: If you think about it, toothbrushes are actually a huge form of waste and harmful to the environment. Most of the time, they are made of plastic handles and plastic bristles, and they only last about three months. Thankfully, there are now eco friendly toothbrushes that are affordable and easy to find. Most of these toothbrushes are made out of bamboo or recycled plastic, and some are even reusable with replaceable bristles!

Start Using Natural Cleaning Products: Most cleaning products are made out of harmful chemicals that are not good for you or for the environment. When you wash away these products, they are just going into the water supply. So, by purchasing natural cleaning products, or better yet, making your own, you are not only doing good for your eco friendly home, but also your health. Sometimes all it takes is some vinegar, baking soda, or lemon juice, and they work just as well!

Buy Rags or Make Some: Speaking of cleaning products, it is important to be mindful of what you are using with your cleaning products. It is not very eco friendly to be using paper towels to clean up all of your spills and to clean your windows. Why create waste when you are trying to clean?

Instead of purchasing paper towels just to throw them away, buy reusable cleaning rags that you will be able to wash and reuse for years! Even better, if you do not want to purchase cleaning rags, you can make some! Use old bath towels, t-shirts, or bed sheets to create rags that will be durable and extra eco friendly.

Hang Dry Your Laundry: Your dryer is actually a huge source of energy waste, but it doesn’t have to be. Hang drying your laundry is a great alternative to using your dryer. Even if you don’t have access to a clothes line, you can still buy a drying rack, as they come in all shapes and sizes! Hang drying your laundry can actually be more efficient during the hotter summer months, drying your clothes quicker than the dryer.

Woman thrift shopping in an effort to keep the things she brings into her home as eco friendly as it can be.
Shopping second hand apparel at thrift stores is a great way to take your eco friendly practices from your home into other areas of your life!

Miscellaneous Eco Friendly Changes You Can Make for Your House

The kitchen and bathroom are just the beginning, here are more ways you can enhance your home in an eco friendly manner.

Why just stop with the kitchen and bathroom? Every room in your house can become even more eco friendly than it already is. Here are just a few more options you can pursue for your house to be the most eco friendly it can be.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs: Here is a super simple tip that you can implement in every room of your house! Switching out your old lightbulbs from incandescent or CFL to LED light bulbs is a super simple switch. Not only are they cheaper and last longer, LED light bulbs are actually better for the environment than CFL light bulbs.

Of course, if you choose to switch to LED light bulbs, make sure you don’t throw away light bulbs that are still working or that you still have! Throwing away perfectly good light bulbs is not a great eco friendly practice.

DIY Your Own Home Decor: Home decor is another place where there is an unnecessary amount of waste when there doesn’t need to be. You can reuse old paint or lumber to create signs or artworks that you can put throughout your house. Even use old books for a cute DIY decoration! Possibilities are really endless with creating home decor, and Pinterest is always a great source of inspiration for those unused mason jars.

Shop Second Hand Apparel: Another way to make your home eco friendly is by thinking about what you are purchasing and bringing into your home. Buying new clothing is not just wasteful in production, but also in all of the packaging that it is coming in. When possible, always do your best to buy clothing through second hand apparel shops.

A great bonus to shopping second hand is that a lot of older and “vintage” styles are coming back into style. So, not only will you be practicing eco friendly habits, you will also be fashionable. Why would you want to pay $50 for a brand new “vintage” crewneck sweatshirt when you can go to a thrift store and get it for only $5?

While this is not a definitive list, you can find your own ways that work best for you to make your home the most eco friendly it can be. The most important thing to do is to take the first step, which you are already doing by thinking of ways you can help!

Dean Pinnell

Dean Pinnell is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Communication and Fiction Writing.
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