When you look at all the drastic and often very damaging changes that the planet is going through thanks to humans’ daily habits, it’s not unusual for many of us to feel overwhelmed and often a little bit guilty. Maybe like many, you simply didn’t realize just how harmful some of your regular habits were to the environment, or it’s not something that you have given much thought to up until now. Either way, don’t feel guilty – there are many ways in which you can make a positive change and live a more environmentally friendly life, starting from today. No matter how large or small, any change you make is a step in the right direction.

When it comes to living an eco-friendlier lifestyle, one of the best first places to start is around your home. There are many environmentally friendly updates that you can make to your home, regardless of your budget or needs. We’ve listed just a few ideas that you might like if you want to make your place a greener one.

#1. Introduce Greenery:

One of the best ways to go greener is obvious – just add more greenery around your home! House plants don’t just look pretty, they are also great at clearing toxins from the air and will help not only the environment in and around your home, but can also have a very positive effect on your overall health. Even if you live in a small apartment, there are many suitable plants that you can grow indoors, or you might even want to think about starting and maintaining a balcony garden – you could even use it to grow your own fruits and vegetables.

#2. Make Some Minor Repairs:

Upgrading your home to become more environmentally friendly doesn’t always include big changes and improvements. In fact, sometimes all it takes is some time to fix a few minor repairs that you could have been putting off for some time. Leaky faucets, for example, will waste a huge amount of water over time – and you may not even be realizing it since you’re so used to the dripping. But one leaking faucet can waste up to six liters of water per day – add that up for every faucet in your home that’s leaking, over a few weeks – you could fill several baths!

Another key repair to make is in the sealant around windows and doors. Sealant that has come loose or is missing in places could be causing drafts – leading to your home’s heating and air conditioning systems having to work harder when you’re using them to keep the place at the right temperature.

#3. Keep Up with Regular Maintenance:

When it comes to important appliances and systems in your home, keeping up with regular maintenance is absolutely key. Regular, scheduled professional maintenance will allow your home’s heating system in particular to continue running efficiently, ensuring that it’s not working any harder than it needs to be to get the results that you need. A poorly maintained heating system, cooling system or appliance will use up extra energy and along with being bad for the environment, can also cause some damage to your bank balance. Check out a reputable professional suited to the task – We Care are an Orange County based heating, cooling and solar company offering a range of services including maintenance for your home’s heating and cooling systems.

#4. Switch to Solar Energy:

If you’ve got the budget to make a larger eco-friendly improvement to your home, then solar panels are a fantastic investment. Not only are they much better for the planet than conventional grid energy, but solar panels can also be a great money-making opportunity for you as you can sell the energy that you generate back to the grid, making money on your electricity rather than paying it out.

Solar panels are one of the best investments that you can make on your home, as not only will they certainly guarantee a return on your investment over the years, they can also add a substantial amount of value to your property should you plan to sell in the future. And, the energy that they generate is completely clean and renewable – in addition, the sun is set to shine for the next few billion years, so you won’t have to worry about running out. And, they require very little maintenance – some regular cleaning will suffice – and have no moving parts, so are not subject to wear and tear.

#5. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products:

Another small change that you can make around the home which will have a large impact on your carbon footprint is to make a switch to eco-friendly cleaning products. Many cleaning products that you can get today are filled with chemicals and toxins that although do the job when cleaning and making your home spick and span, can cause a substantial amount of damage to the environment and even your own health. And, when you rinse these cleaning products down the drain, they go into the water supply, which will then require more energy to purify.

The good news is that environmentally friendly cleaning products are on the rise, and there are many more options to choose from these days as manufacturers begin to realize the importance of making this switch. Or if you like, you can even make some of your own cleaning products very cheaply and easily from products like bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and lemon juice.

#6. Get into a Habit of Switching it Off:

It can be easier than ever to leave electronics plugged in and switched on when you’re not using them. Many of today’s electronic devices like your television, laptop or PC will go into ‘standby’ mode, so that it appears to be off and you may not think that it is actually using electricity. However, when in standby mode, many electronics are actually still being supplied with a small trickle of energy that over time can add up. So, get into a habit of switching electronics off at the mains when not in use, or invest in a smart plug socket system that will cut the power automatically for you after a certain amount of time. And, make sure that you are switching off all lights whenever you leave a room – these small changes can quickly add up and make a big difference.

#7. Manage Waste Wisely:

Last but not least, getting better at waste management is a great change to make in your home if you are trying to be more eco-conscious. You could start off by simply making sure that any products you are throwing away go into the right recycling containers – however, bear in mind that a lot of recycling still ends up in landfills today, so get creative if you can. Before you throw something into a recycling can, ask yourself if you could recycle it yourself instead! You may be surprised at the uses that you can find for different items, for example, glass bottles can be used for vases or for food storage in your kitchen, and old clothes can be cut up and used as cleaning rags.

Which of these eco-friendly upgrades are you planning to make to your home?

If you live in the Rochester or Finger Lakes Region of New York, you’ll find professionals to help you at www.FindTheHomePros.com