Green living isn’t just for the warmer months when you can compost or bike to work. It’s something you can strive for all year, including winter. You’ll be reducing energy use, protecting the environment and saving money. Sustainability is a lifestyle you can keep going in every season.
Here’s how to keep your home green all winter long.
1. Bundle Up
Instead of turning up that thermostat, bundle up in layers of clothes. Relying on more blankets, sweatshirts and fuzzy socks rather than a few degrees of heat reduces energy use, and it makes your home greener.
Besides helping the environment, an additional benefit is that it will save you money on your heating bills. Keep a blanket with you at all times this winter, and don’t touch that thermostat.
2. Keep Curtains Open During the Day
While there are limited amounts of sunlight in the wintertime due to short days and additional cloud coverage, you should still open those curtains. The sun is meant to warm you up, and even a little bit will hear both you and your home.
Plus, sunlight helps ward off germs. More people tend to get sick in the winter because viruses can survive in cooler temperatures and humans tend to stay indoors. Use the sun to battle those bugs.
3. Close the Drapes at Night
Remember to close your curtains at night. Your house heats up throughout the day, and you want to retain that warmth. Thicker drapes help insulate your windows and keep in the cozy temperatures.
Just like adding more layers, this trick keeps your home green because you’re not relying on the thermostat. Energy levels decrease, and you don’t have to use electricity or fossil fuels to heat your house.
4. Service Your Heating System
If you couldn’t get your heating system serviced before the winter weather hit, you should get it checked now. It’s a crucial part of keeping your house warm. Ask a specialist to perform a maintenance check.
By having it serviced, you’re ensuring the heating system will function properly throughout the winter. Also, either you or the specialist can change filters throughout your home to ensure maximum efficiency.
5. Seal Drafty Doors and Windows
A low-cost but effective way of keeping your home green all winter long is by sealing drafty doors and windows. Inspect all your windows, doors and other entry points for cracks. These can let in unwanted cold air.
Some caulk and weatherstripping should do the trick. You’ll see lowered energy costs, and you won’t have to battle the drafts by raising your thermostat.
6. Use a Smart Thermostat
Many people keep their thermostats at a consistent temperature throughout the day. While it’s convenient to do so, it’s not making your home any more environmentally friendly. Switch out your traditional thermostat for a smart one.
Smart thermostats allow you to program and make adjustments from your phone. When you’re not home, you can turn the temperature down and then increase it in time to return to a cozy house.
7. Add Insulation to Your Attic
Your attic is one of the places in your home where heat quickly escapes, and cold air enters if it’s not well insulated. Install eco-friendly insulation to make it green. It will add warmth and keep the temperature more regulated throughout the winter.
Wool, cork or even old jeans all can be recycled into insulation. You’ll help the environment by choosing sustainable materials and using less energy to heat your home.
8. Run Ceiling Fans the Opposite Way
Turning your ceiling fans to run in the opposite direction will help keep your home green during the winter season. Warm air naturally rises, so the fan will push it down when rotated the other way.
This is one of the easiest things you can do to keep your home cozy and energy-efficient this year.
9. Buy In-Season Produce
One great thing about shipping is that you have access to fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season all year. However, it takes a lot of energy and fossil fuels to get a product to your grocery store from thousands of miles away.
Try to only purchase seasonal produce, especially in the wintertime. Better yet, try growing some of your own food at home. That way, you’ll always have favorites at hand.
10. Grow Plants
You can literally make your home greener this winter by adding some live plants. They’ll brighten up your living spaces and will release moisture into the air. This added humidity will help your home stay warm.
Add them to your kitchen, bathroom and living room to trap heat and also prevent dry skin.
11. Use LEDs
As you know, there is significantly less daylight during the winter than there is throughout the rest of the year. This means you’ll likely be using artificial light during the later hours of the day.
Incandescent light bulbs use up quite a bit of energy. To cut back on energy consumption and keep your home green, use light-emitting diode (LED) lights instead. They require a lot less energy and are better for the environment.
Beat the Winter Blues With Green Living
Despite the colder temperatures, you can still maintain an eco-friendly lifestyle throughout the winter. One of the best things you can do is limit your energy consumption by using alternative methods to keep warm.
You’ll be thankful for lower energy costs and will have an environmentally conscious winter.
Written by Jennifer Landis
About the Author
Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She’s quite fond of peanut butter, distance running, yoga, and drinking as much tea as possible. Find her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.
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