8 Eco-Friendly New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home
By Nimfa Joyce Pascua
Keeping your home eco-friendly doesn’t only benefit the environment, but also yourself. In order to live comfortably in your own home while saving energy and reducing electricity consumption, which help fight global warming, we’ve listed down some simple, inexpensive tips you can easily do at home in the New Year.
- Let In More Natural Light
Open your windows or curtains and let the sunshine in, which can lead to decreased electric lighting energy cost by as much as 75%. Not only that, but natural light also prevents depression by spreading positive energy in the house.
Natural light also keeps your space healthier by reducing mold and mildew growth. It also reduces eye strain and makes spaces appear larger and wider.
- Place Houseplants Around the House
Houseplants such as the spider plant, bamboo palm, snake plant, and aloe vera help reduce odors and purify the air inside the house.
Plants, in general, also decrease the cases of a sore throat, dry skin, dry cough, and flu. Studies also suggest that plants in your home or workplace can help improve your memory, concentration, and productivity.
- Collect Rainwater for Watering Plants
Rainwater is sustainable and renewable.
Collecting rainwater for your houseplants not only reduces your water bill, but it’s also good for your plants; rainwater is 100% soft water, therefore it promotes pure hydration.
Aside from using rainwater for your plants, you can also use it for washing clothes and flushing the toilet.
- Use All-Natural Cleaning Solutions
Natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar, baking soda, lemon or citrus juice, salt, and cornstarch are as effective as the ones sold in the supermarket.
Vinegar acts as a disinfectant that can be used in cleaning windows, appliances, and ceramic floors. It can also be used as an all-purpose cleaner when mixed with water and put in a spray bottle.
Baking soda, on the other hand, is a great deodorizer you can put inside the refrigerator, trash can, laundry, or your shoes. Baking soda, together with vinegar, is an alternative cleaning agent you can use to clean the toilet, bathtub, or sink.
Lemon juice can be mixed with baking soda to scrub dishes, surfaces, and stains. Just be careful when using lemon juice: it has natural bleaching properties that can damage the items you’re cleaning.
Lastly, cornstarch has moisture absorbing properties that help remove bad odors and clean stains on windows, carpets, stuffed animals, and clothes. It can also be used as a face cleaner; it removes grease spots on the face and serves as a treatment for oily face and hair. It’s also an effective cure for skin irritations, baby rashes, sunburns, and insect bites.
- Install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL)
It’s better to use CFLs instead of incandescent light bulbs: CFLs last 8-10 times longer and use 75% less energy compared to incandescent light bulbs.
Furthermore, CFLs produce 90% less heat while delivering more light per watt. For example, a 25-watt CFL emits 1800 lumens compared to a 100-watt incandescent lamp that emits 1750 lumens. This not only reduces carbon monoxide emission but also saves money in the long run.
- Go Paperless
Paper comes from trees, which take years to grow. If possible, go digital to save paper. Instead of reading newspapers or books, read e-books, listen to audiobooks, or visit news sites such as Yahoo News, Google News, etc. Always save your documents or files in a flash drive to reduce paper printouts.
Subscribe to paperless billing, and pay your bills online as well.
- Unplug Appliances Not in Use
Save energy and keep away from paying hidden energy costs of plugged appliances not in use: always check if you’ve unplugged cell phone chargers, TVs, DVD players, computer speakers, microwave ovens, and printers, among others, when you’re not using them.
- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (3Rs)
Reduce the use of bottled water, paper cups, and plastic bags that can end up in landfills and may contribute to global warming.
Reuse bags, glass jars, scrap papers, and anything still useful. Donate old books and magazines to libraries.
Recycle plastic bottles, papers, beverage containers, cardboard boxes, paper bags, and styrofoams into Do-It-Yourself (DIY) crafts.
Art: Chesser Ramos, Brian Josue Pejo, and Jean Elijan Troy Pabilonia