Saving The Planet On A Budget: Five Cost-Effective Ways To Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly
Going green doesn't require going broke. There are a number of ways to make your home more environmentally-friendly and substantially reduce your impact on the environment without breaking the bank. Even more expensive methods, such as converting your house to solar power, can pay for themselves over a long enough period of time.
Solar Chargers for Your Mobile Devices
A simple and inexpensive way to dabble in the world of futuristic green technology is with miniature solar chargers. These panels are mobile, fit in any ordinary window, and covert sunlight into electricity just like full-scale solar power plants.
Because of their small size, they can't generate a substantial amount of energy. However, they can certainly be used to top off your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices. Plus, their small size means you can take them with you to work to keep your devices alive throughout your shift. Every little bit helps the environment when it comes to disconnecting from the traditional power grid.
Install Solar Panels on Your House
If you want to take your environmentalism a step further, you can install solar panels on the roof of your home. Depending on where you live, modern solar and battery technology might be capable of providing you with all of the electricity you need, allowing you to completely disconnect your home from the grid.
Of course, installing a solar array on your roof is a much larger investment than simply buying solar chargers for your mobile devices. However, if you live in the same home long enough, the money you save on your energy bill may allow the panels to pay for themselves over time. Plus, installing solar panels will increase the resale value of your house, further adding to their cost-effectiveness.
Develop Your Green Thumb to Compliment Your Green Attitude
Industrial agriculture is one of the largest worldwide contributors to pollution and resource consumption. Sure, large-scale farms have developed ways to grow crops as efficiently as possible. However, all of that produce then needs to be shipped around the world, which uses up a ton of resources. In the process, a lot of the produce will spoil, further adding to inefficiency and waste.
If you learn to grow some of your own fruits, vegetables, and spices, you'll be contributing slightly less to the inherent waste of industrial agriculture. You don't have to become a professional farmer or anything. Simply look up tutorials for growing produce in your particular climate and make a side hobby out of maintaining your own garden. Not only will you reduce your environmental impact, you'll also have the freshest produce in the neighborhood.
Install a Rainwater Collection System
If you're going to be growing your own garden, you might as well water it in a environmentally-friendly way. Rain collector systems are a very inexpensive way to keep your produce watered during dry spells without depending on municipal water supplies.
The simplest systems are essentially just barrels attached to your home's gutters. The water that runs off your roof fills up the barrels, then you use that water to feed your garden. If you want to go all out, there are more extensive collection systems that can utilize rainwater to provide your home with water for its non-potable needs, such as toilet water and garden hoses.
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Despite all of the new technology dedicated to making homes more environmentally friendly, the old-school adage is still one of the best ways to go green: recycle and reuse whatever waste you can while reducing your overall waste production.
Reduce your waste by purchasing products that come with minimum packaging materials. Try to buy products that are packaged entirely in recyclable materials. Then, make the effort to recycle anything and everything you can.
If your city doesn't have a municipal recycling program, subscribe to a garbage removal company like Weidle Sanitation that offers recycling services. If you currently just throw everything away, it may seem like taking the time to divide out your recyclables is trivial. However, give it a few weeks and you'll be amazed at how many trashcans you can fill up with reusable materials that you'd otherwise be sending to the garbage dump.