LIFE | 5 ways to make your home eco-friendly

(Family Features) An earth-friendly approach to your home isn’t just good for the environment. Making minor adjustments with sustainability in mind can enhance your enjoyment and comfort while reducing expenses related to energy consumption.

Harness the sun’s rays. There’s a reason bright rooms with plenty of natural light tend to be warmer: that light carries heat. Although the effect is less in the winter than in the summer months due to the sun’s position in relation to the earth, those rays can help warm a room. Throw back the curtains and let the light stream in. Not only will you capture some natural warmth, a bright, airy room requires less electric light, so you’ll save on electricity, too.

Swap out cleaning products. While daily cleaners are often top of mind when considering your health and the environment, don’t overlook other types of cleaners, such as your laundry detergent. An option like all Free Clear Pure Liquid Detergent is 99% bio-based and provides a plant-based clean. It’s hypo-allergenic, which makes it a good option for sensitive skin, and is from the makers of the No. 1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin. Learn more at all-laundry.com.

Get smart about technology. Not only do smart devices add convenience to your home, they can be highly effective tools for helping manage energy usage. Programmable thermostats are especially useful because you can set them to automatically adjust temperatures when you’re away from home, but other devices like smart lights can also be programmed to recognize motion or adjust at certain times of day to reduce energy consumption in unused spaces.

Manage water usage. Many people don’t realize how much water they’re wasting at home. Consider that the Environmental Protection Agency estimates about 30% of each household’s water goes to the toilet and chances are good you’re literally flushing away that natural resource. Manage your water usage by only running full loads of dishes and laundry, eliminating leaks, reducing shower times and switching to a low-flow or other eco-friendly toilet.

Improve air quality. It may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to clean air, but your flooring plays an important role in your home’s air quality. In addition to improving ventilation and opening windows for natural air circulation, you can take other steps to naturally boost your air quality without relying on energy-dependent filtration systems. The carpet in your home can contribute to poor air quality, so be sure to vacuum frequently to minimize dust, dander and other allergens.

Simple adjustments can make a big impact on the earth and your monthly energy expenses. Start with an audit of your home so you can begin taking steps toward an eco-friendly environment.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

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