Ideas for a Sustainable Home
“Going green” really isn’t that difficult. Practicing green alternatives in your home is generally a more cost-saving alternative. Creating a sustainable home is good economics - for both your home and budget.
There are many things we can do in our homes that will make Livonia an more sustainable city. Get your children involved; help them understand the benefits of taking these steps for their future. When they get it, it’ll be second nature to them when they’re adults - and that much easier to pass it down to their children.
Easy Ways to a Sustainable Home
Here are some basic, green choices we can make in our homes. Choose three that you’re not already doing, and make a point to do them this year. Perhaps they’ll become a habit.
- Before buying anything new, first check your local Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle, and stop buying plastic disposable bottles.
- Collect rainwater, and use it to water your houseplants and garden.
- Conduct a quick energy audit of your home.
- Create a homemade compost bin for $15.
- Donate to - and shop at - thrift stores. You’ll be recycling perfectly usable items, you’ll be supporting your local economy, and you’ll be saving money.
- Don’t turn on lights at all for as long as you can - open your curtains and enjoy natural light.
- Drive the speed limit, and combine all your errands for the week in one trip.
- Fix leaky faucets.
- Learn with your kids about another country or culture, expanding your knowledge to other sides of the world.
- Line dry your laundry when possible.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater.
- Pay your bills online. Not only is it greener, it’s more convenient.
- Plant an herb garden. It’s good to have a reminder around of where our food originates, and this one is super easy.
- Repurpose glass jars as leftover containers and bulk storage, especially in the kitchen.
- Repurpose something. It’s fun.
- Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company.
- Reuse scrap paper. Print on two sides, or let your kids color on the back side of used paper.
- Stop to unsolicited mail - sign up to opt out of pre-screened credit card offers.
- Stop using disposable shopping bags. Purchase or make some reusable shopping bags.
- Support local restaurants that use food derived less than 100 miles away, and learn more about the benefits of eating locally.
- Support your local economy and shop at your local farmers market. Find Livonia area locations.
- Switch all your light bulbs to compact fluorescent lamps (or at least switch a few).
- Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “Energy Star” label).
- Switch to cloth diapers - or at least do a combination with disposables. Even one cloth diaper per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill each year.
- Switch to shade-grown coffee with the “Fair Trade” label.
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Turn off your computer completely at night.
- Unplug unused chargers and appliances.
- Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen. Be frugal, and make these rags out of old towels and t-shirts.
- Use cloth napkins daily instead of paper.
- Walk or ride a bike to your errands that are two miles or closer.
- Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot.