When you want to live greener at home, you could unplug and go off the grid. But there’s an easier way to make a difference in the environment, and you can start right away. Simply make a few household swaps as you decrease your carbon footprint and protect the environment.


Upgrade your Appliances

Old appliances may still keep your dishes clean, your food cold and your clothes clean, yet they use more energy and water than today’s models do. Enjoy the convenience of modern appliances when you upgrade to energy star models. New models like a Bosch dishwasher conserve energy and water and keep your home running smoothly every day.

Collect Gray Water

While energy star appliances conserve water, collect gray water to make an even greater impact on the environment. Your garden is the easiest place to start. Simply attach a rain barrel to your down spouting and let it collect all the rainwater that runs off from your roof and gutters. Use that water to nourish your lawn and garden or to wash your bikes and shed.

You can also collect gray water inside your home. In a bucket, collect the water as you rinse dishes or wash your hands in the kitchen sink. You can also use a bucket to collect water as you shower or after your baths. Use that water to nourish your lawn, or dump it in the toilet tank. Using a bucket to collect gray water takes a bit of work, but it’s a fun chore for your kids to do. It’s also an affordable way to conserve water and make a positive impact on the environment.

Change the Light Bulbs

In every room, you have lamps that use light bulbs. As the incandescent bulbs wear out, switch them to CFL bulbs. They save you money over time and use less energy as they illuminate your house.

Buy Solar Paneling

Invest your tax refund or money from your savings account into solar paneling. The panels collect the sun’s powerful energy and store that energy in batteries. You can unplug from the local utility grid and operate solely off your solar panels or use the batteries as emergency backup. And you can even stay connected to your local utility grid, use the energy you need and sell the rest back to the utility company. With this investment, you’re able to conserve energy and the environment.

Install a Geothermal System

Designed to heat and cool your home year round, geothermal systems fit underground. They’re expensive to install—$10,000 to $20,000 for an average 2,000 square foot home. But your home energy bills decrease, you remain comfortable and you increase your home’s resale value. You also earn a tax credit and save energy when you use a geothermal system.

When you’re ready to go green, try one or more of these household swaps. They improve your home’s energy efficiency, lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Can you think of other household swaps that would make an environmental difference in your home?