How to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly

Picture of How to Make Your Home Environmentally Friendly
Having an environmentally friendly home is a simple way to help protect the environment.

There are many DIY techniques that can be used to make your home more environmentally friendly. Most of the products required for these techniques are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local home improvement store. This instructable focuses on evaluating 5 main areas in your home.

Step 1: Decrease Electrical Usage

Electrical usage makes up a large portion of a home utility bill. For example, any household item that is plugged into an outlet is using energy even if the item is not on. Conducting an energy audit is a great way to create a baseline for home electrical usage.

How to Conduct an Energy Audit:
• Record every item that is connected to an electrical outlet
• Record when the item is used or needs electricity
• Evaluate when the item needs to be connected to an outlet
• Unplug items based on the conclusions from step 3
• Shut off any unused surge suppressors and power strips.

When purchasing a large appliance it is very important to make sure that the appliance is energy efficient. Any appliance that has the Energy Star logo on it meets the specifications of the government supported Energy Star Program. For more information check out

Incandescent bulbs are present in many older homes today. These types of bulbs have a low initial cost but are highly inefficient. Incandescent bulbs should be replaced with Compact Fluorescent Light (CFLs) bulbs. Although the initial cost of a CFL is more than that of an incandescent bulb, the energy required to power the bulb is 75% less.
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jwoo20233 years ago
led light are better at saving energy! 1 led uses about 0.05 watts
hogthrob5 years ago
Hi, you have some good stuff here. I dont know if they are available in the US but we have really great warm light LEDs available in europe now, which run at 1-2 watts. Also you can look at task lighting as most rooms dont require flooding with light - for example in the kitchen the only place that needs real light is the worktop to stop you cutting off your fingers the rest of the time you only need enough light not to walk into things. 

Geothermal is excellent but do you mean 'Geothermal' or do you mean 'ground source' heat pumps? We did a study ( i work for an architect specialising in zero carbon buildings) that ground source heat pumps are less efficient than just using gas to heat the home when it comes to carbon release and energy consumed. As most people are attached to the grid the loss in transmission means that although you get a great coefficient in the home you get a really poor coefficient overall. We then found that (in the UK) roof sizes were not large enough to support enough solar panels to power the pumps 24/7 and still provide enough enery for the rest of the domestic load.

We found solar thermal for hotwater backed up with a small amount of biomass, and super insulated airtight buildings to be the best solution.

If you are interested we wrote a book 'the ZEDbook' all about it - its available through RIBA books.

good instructable keep spreading the word.
Lots of great tips. I definitely need to seal my windows better this Winter.

If you're looking to reduce your carbon footprint, remember changing what you eat is a major part. Eating meat causes more greenhouse gases than all transportation combined. Crazy!  Yeah, make sense to eat more plant foods.
brabantia5 years ago
or ... you can use your own: <br />- 50/50 vinegar/water and some baking soda. Gets rid of (cigaret) smells too and because it doesn't have oil (in readymade products oil is added to make things shine) it doesn't attract dust = less cleaning needed.<br />oh and it gets rid of 90percent of bacteria/viruses etc. (not 99 percent like with lysol, but 90 is good enough for me)<br />also works for windows, especially if you rub them dry with old newspaper.<br />For cleaning the inside of an oven or the glass window of the fireplace, I use moist (firewood) ashes and a scrubbing pad, dirt comes off real easy, afterwards rinse with just water; works!<br /><br />thx for helpfull instructable! Wish I'd find a good european version tho ...<br /><br />