Five Ideas for a More Sustainable Home

Posted on January 14, 2016. Filed under: Atlanta House Cleaning, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , |

greenhouse - eco-friendly construction

These days we’re hearing about and experiencing a lot more about climate change-related drought, floods, forest fires, and extreme weather events. While some still doubt it, our modern lifestyles do affect these changes. We also often hear about “Sustainability” and “Sustainable Living.” These terms refer to a range of choices each of us can make in our daily lives to minimize our impact on natural resources and the environment without sacrificing our own comfort or that of future generations. Here are five major ways you can make your home more sustainable:

1. Reduce your Energy Use.

Most of the electricity generated in America is produced by burning fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gasses that contribute to climate change. As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Save energy by changing your air filter regularly—ideally every three months. A dirty filter slows down air flow and makes the system work harder. Also have your system tuned up annually to maximize efficiency and comfort. Installing a programmable thermostat is another important way to save energy.

If you need to replace your home’s heating and cooling system, consider installing ENERGY STAR-qualified equipment. The Energy Star program also certifies the most efficient home appliances, lighting, and windows and doors. Visit for detailed information.

2. Waste Less Food.

Some sources estimate Americans trash as much as 40 percent of our food supply every year. To minimize food waste, start by monitoring what you throw away. When you shop, plan meals, use grocery lists, and avoid impulse buys. Especially in the summer, when fresh produce is readily available and so tempting, wait until perishables are all used up before buying more. When unpacking groceries, move older products to the front of the fridge/freezer/pantry and put new products in the back. This way, you’re more likely to use up the older stuff before it expires. And eat leftovers!

3. Buy and Use Environmentally-Friendly Products.

Consider the environmental impacts of your purchasing decisions. Take your own reusable bags when you go shopping. Look for locally-produced food. Buy in bulk rather than single-serve consumables when feasible to reduce packaging waste. Buy recycled-content products when feasible. For everyday cleaning, use inexpensive and highly effective white vinegar and baking soda rather than harsh chemicals. Use refillables rather than disposables for liquid soap and other similar household products. Use rags rather than paper towel whenever possible. Buy well-made, durable appliances that will last, rather than less expensive versions that will likely need to be replaced soon.

4. Maintain Durable Items and Reuse More.

By properly maintaining household appliances they will last longer and work more efficiently. Whenever possible, fix an item rather than discarding it and buying a replacement. Repurpose used items. For example, use an old shower curtain liner as a tarp for painting, and cut up old towels to use as rags. Use wide-mouth jar lids as under-liners for your plants. Cut up waste paper to use as note pads. Challenge yourself to come up with creative ways to reuse something before discarding it.

5. Use Water Sustainably.

Less water going down the drain means more water available in our lakes, rivers and streams. Replace your shower heads with water-efficient models and switch to the use of water-efficient lawn and landscaping sprinklers. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, and be frugal when washing dishes by hand. Run full loads in your dish and clothes washers.

If you’re remodeling your bathroom, select water efficient fixtures such as those recommended by the WaterSense program. ( Old toilets are by far the main source of water use in the home. They can consume as much as 6 gallons of water per flush. By contrast, water-efficient toilets use 1.28 gallons per flush or less, while still providing equal or superior performance.

And if you’ve been buying bottled drinking water, think twice. Almost half of the 50 billion bottles of water currently consumed in the U.S. actually comes from municipal supplies. Transporting the bottles and keeping them cold, and then collecting and processing them for recycling, also burns fossil fuels. If you’re worried about the quality of your tap water, have it tested. Also consider installing a water filter and use refillable containers.

By adopting these practices you’ll be making your home more sustainable and save money too!

What our Customers Say

Friendly and Efficient

I always love to come home after they’ve been here cleaning. They use natural products that smell good and get the job done.

Sponge and Sparkle House Cleaning Services

I have been using this agency for 3 plus years and have been delighted not just with their good work and professionalism but how personable their employees are at all times. They are able to accommodate emergencies including cancellations which I am sure puts them at a hardship but do so with a smile and with compassion. Please try them and use their detailed cleaning services at least once and you will be in for a treat. More importantly they use environmentally friendly products that is a huge plus for me.

Satisfaction Guaranteed!

I have been using this cleaning service for at least 22 years. their employees don’t come and go but stay with the company, which gives me a great degree of comfort. If anything is not just right, the owner herself will either come out or send someone to redo it. I feel like they are part of our family! Also they are using “green” products more than ever.

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About the author:

Raina Raflo owns Sponge & Sparkle, Atlanta’s oldest and most reputable independent maid and house cleaning service. (404) 633-9652.

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