Going Green at Home and Homestead is Easy

Whether your home is a farm, a homeschool for your children, or a typical family dwelling, you can save money and energy by going green at home. Adopting eco-friendly habits at home is sure to improve the life of our families and did I mention save money? 😉

Aside from enhancing physical and mental wellbeing, as well as the environment, it feels good to save money, prevent waste (of resources and $$) and live simply. What can we do to go greener without breaking the bank?

Going Green at Home and Homestead is Easy

Upgrade Building Features

Building energy-efficiency ratings have a huge impact on our carbon footprint and thus utility bills. Thicker/new windows and improved roofing insulation will reduce energy waste through lost heating. Choosing the right materials should be high on the agenda when building a new home, or improving an existing building- features such as shake siding, updating insulation in windows, attics, and garages, and using recycled items can upgrade the home in every sense.

(We plan to update windows in our home, insulation, paint the exterior brick, and add shake shingle siding eventually.) We enclosed our garage and made sure the new addition space was filled with insulation.

Making improvement can include everything from identifying water leaks and possible mold growth, to stopping drafts. The longer it is left, the more costly the repairs for damage and our health becomes anyway. So fixing those drafty windows, doors, and water leaks offers a big pay out!

Using The Garden

Gardens and other outside spaces are naturally great places to invest in eco-friendly upgrades. Whether it’s growing fruits and veggies, farming, composting, or worm farming, it saves resources and money for your family! Plus, all those things are fun and great ways to spend time as a family.

Simply spending more time outdoors is likely to improve our overall well being, too! It can be  a lifestyle change for some families, but it is 100% worth it. Set some goals for getting outside if your family isn’t used to it- an hour a day, 2- 20 minute walks, looking for bugs in the spring, nature journaling as a family, etc. 

\You can find so many different nature activity calendars out there- do a quick duckduckgo.com search for a free printable. A patio area, BBQ or fire pit, small container vegetable garden, or simple hanging baskets of flowers are a great start to a greener outside space.

Using Efficient Appliances

Inside the home, selecting updated appliances will bring significant benefits. Whether it’s a water filter like the Berkey (we have this one),  water-efficient toilets and dishwashers, the infamous HE washing machines, or a new refrigerator, you can see savings and improved health pretty quickly.

Our Berkey filters out chemicals, bacteria, and has antimicrobial properties in the filters. We have well water so my doctor recommended we get a Berkey to filter out all the cancer-causing and endocrine disrupting chemicals/pesticides in the ground water. It tastes so much better than before and we have definitely seen improvement in my hormone levels and how we feel.

The technologies used in appliances today have evolved at a rapid rate. While making products last longer is usually a good thing, persisting with outdated tech is not. Something I noticed when we moved to our last home- we went from an older (1990s?), perfectly fine fridge, to a brand new fridge- and we immediately started saving money! All of our produce and dairy products started lasting longer in the new refrigerator! So not only was it more efficient for our utility bill, but it saved money in the grocery department.

 

Change Simple Habits

One of the biggest principles in homesteading is reusing what you can- It can mean reviving wooden spoons and kitchenware or turning old toys and furniture into child bedroom decorations. (We’ve all seen the baby cribs or box springs turned into reading nooks and planters.) Embracing the habit of reusing can produce changes that last a long time and keep “stuff and thangs” out of landfills, thus taking a small step towards helping the environment.

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