This post was written by Suzie Wilson, an interior designer with over 20 years of experience and a passion for creating serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. She created the website Happier Home to help people enhance and embrace their homes, and today she is here to share her tips for creating a more eco friendly living space.

Every day, the choices we make have a direct impact on our environment and understanding how each of us play a vital role in improving our world for our children, their children and on down the line. As a result, it is critical for making positive change. You can get started right in your own home by adopting some simple practices.

Sign Up For Paperless Billing And Eliminate Junk Mail

If you’re still receiving bills via your letterbox, you’re contributing to a fair amount of paper waste. Instead, ask for paperless billing and for any discounts that apply for using this service. And don’t forget to eliminate the junk mail that piles up in your box, too. While there’s no one perfect way to do this, there are several steps you can take to cut back on this paper wastage.

Decorate With A Wool Rug

Adding a bit of beauty to a room with the addition of a wool rug can save you as much as 4 to 6 percent on your energy bill.

Use Water Butts

By installing water butts, an estimated 24,000 litres of water can be saved from the average house roof annually. Jacob Tompkins from Waterwise says, that while it takes about 12 years to recoup your cost, “It’s just the right thing to do environmentally.”

Use Power Strips

Anything plugged in continues to draw power from the socket known as “phantom power.” By utilizing power strips with an on/off switch, you can turn off multiple electronics at once saving on electricity expenses. The alternative to purchasing power strips is to unplug electronics after each use.

Fix A Leaky Tap

According to the experts at Top Tradespeople, a dripping tap left for a year could add as much as 100 litres to your water bill. They also report that taps which run at a constant dribble can use over 450 litres of water a day, costing the homeowner an additional 300 litres. If you have a leaking tap, be sure to call a reliable plumber to get it repaired.

Close The Refrigerator Door

Know what you want to eat before you open the refrigerator door. Peeking into the refrigerator can cost 18 to 26 kilowatts a year.

Stop Using Paper Kitchen Towels

According to a study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology published by The Guardian, paper towels used to dry hands come at a huge environmental cost. Instead, try cloth towels.

Install A Low-Flow Toilet

Low-flow toilets are specifically designed to use far less water than conventional toilets, and since flushing toilets accounts for 30 percent of your indoor water use, this is a valuable way to save on water usage.

Add Insulation

According to Energy Saving Trust, a quarter of a home’s heat is lost through the roof when the home is not insulated. They reveal that adding insulation, which will last around 40 years, will pay for itself many times over.

Use A Microwave

Using a microwave can save about 50 percent of the cost of using a conventional oven.

Energy Efficient Windows

ENERGY STAR windows can reduce your energy bills by 23 percent on average, depending on where you live, according to a report by Huffington Post.

Line Dry Your Clothes

For every hour a dryer is running, it’s producing 2-3 kg of carbon emissions. Instead of using a power driven dryer, hang your clothes on a line to dry.

Switch To LED Bulbs

LED bulbs use much less electricity to power than traditional incandescent and halogen light bulbs. You can calculate exactly what you’ll be saving by gathering the following information and using this cost savings worksheet.

  1. The wattage of your current light bulbs.
  2. The average length of time each bulb is used per day.
  3. Your current electricity rate per kilowatt hour.
  4. The cost of replacing each bulb with an LED.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.” Each of us must be committed to doing for our environment what we would chose have done to us. Adopting practices that protect our environment is a great way to get started.