The importance of caring for the environment seems to be in the news every day, and sometimes it is hard to know how to make a difference in the world on an individual level. However, there is good news; it is simple to start going green at home by taking a few small steps in the right direction. The even better news is that being a friend to the environment often benefits the wallet. There are a variety of ways to reduce waste and save money in the home, and some of them are even fun! Conserving water and energy are what typically comes to mind when thinking of going green in the home, but reducing waste by “precycling”, reusing, recycling, and conserving in the lawn and garden are also important ways to go green. From turning out lights when not in use to making bottle cap jewelry, there is sure to be a way for everyone to reduce waste and save money in the home.
- Conserve Water Around the Home: Gather tips on how to save water in the bathroom, kitchen, and lawn.
- Ways to Conserve Water: Read a few tips on how to conserve water in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and outdoors here.
- Fifty Ways to Save Water (pdf): Although this is a publication for Florida, these 50 tips on water conservation apply to everyone.
- Conserving Water: This article discusses why it is important to save water, goes over how much water people typically use, and gives tips on how to reduce water use.
- How to Conserve Water: This comprehensive web page from the EPA covers all aspects of water conservation, from the engineering of homes and buildings to behavioral practices that reduce water use.
- Twenty Ways to Save Water (pdf): Although this is a fact sheet on how to save water during a drought, most of these tips are relevant for every day.
- What’s in it for Me? (pdf): Money saving tips are given in this brochure, as well as an explanation of why it is important to be water smart.
- Hiring a local plumber to install a high efficiency toilet or repair pipes can reduce consumption and save on your water bill!
Clever Ways to Reuse and Recycle
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Read everything there is to know about the 3 R’s in this comprehensive article.
- Alternatives for Waste Management (pdf): Both reducing and recycling waste are discussed in detail in this publication.
- A-Z Reducing, Reusing, & Recycling Guide: Browse through an alphabetical list of products and how to make them greener.
- Repurposing Furniture: Creative and surprising ways to use furniture are suggested by this writer.
- Bottle Cap Jewelry: Read about how to turn bottle caps into beautiful treasures!
- Ten of the Best Ways to Reuse: Learn about both useful and beautiful applications for trash.
- Recycled Crafts and Art Activities (pdf): Instructions and accompanying photos of crafts that can be made from recycled materials are given here.
- Refinishing or Upholstering old furniture can often be a cheaper solution while restoring unique or antique pieces.
- Energy Conservation in the Home: This fact sheet gives statistics on energy usage and advice on how to save money and energy throughout the home.
- Improving Home Energy Efficiency: Read this in depth article with accompanying charts to discover how to improve energy efficiency.
- Saving Energy in Your Older Home (pdf): Ways to weatherize older homes and maximize efficiency of such homes are presented in this brochure.
- Top Ten Home Energy Saving Tips (pdf): An easy to read publication from Montana State University provides ten tips on how to conserve energy from lowering water temperature to installing storm windows.
- A Home Energy Primer: This article not only discusses ways to save energy, it also discusses the use of renewable energy.
- Saving Energy and Money (pdf): Learn all about how to save energy with appliances here.
- Steps to Save Money & Go Green (pdf): A multitude of tips on how to save money by reducing energy, buying, conserving water, and more are given in this hand out.
- Outdoor Conservation Tips (pdf): Learn about the many ways to conserve water in the garden and lawn.
- Composting at Home: Read about the reasons to compost and how to do it.
- How to Build a Compost Bin: Learn about the different types of compost bins and how to build them.
- Vermiculture or Worm Composting: A wealth of information on worm composting is presented on this extension site.
Reduce Waste by “Precycling”
- Reducing Pharmaceutical Waste: Pharmaceutical waste is not only dangerous for the environment; it is also expensive-read about how to reduce the amounts of unused medications in the home.
- Reduce Food Waste: Protecting foods, planning use of foods, storing items appropriately, and paying attention to expiration dates are all ways to save money and reduce food waste according to this website.
- Precycling: Precycling is defined and precycling tips such as buying locally and making good buying decisions are discussed.
- Precycle before the Holidays (pdf): This university extension newsletter contains an article on precycling for the holidays, which are times when a lot of waste is created and a lot of money is wasted.
- The Concept of Precycling: This journal article details some of the concepts of precycling.