Although we celebrate Earth Day just once a year, practicing greener habits every day benefits the earth, your health, and even your wallet.
One of the best places to start living a more eco-friendly life is right where you do most of your living—at home. Come with us as we take a little tour around the house and discover several ways to make your home greener and more sustainable.
Go Green in the Living Room Think Stylishly Sustainable Look for quality furniture made with eco-friendly, sustainable materials, like the Marsing Nuvella sectional in high-performing Nuvella fabric. Not only is the fabric itself produced from recycled materials, but it was designed with durability in mind to hold up against daily wear and tear for years of comfortable, carefree use.
“Watch” your Energy Use If you have an older television, consider switching to a new, more energy efficient model, like this Samsung 4K UHD TV wth crystal clear picture and sound.
Keep in mind, wattage consumption increases with screen size and resolution, so choose your set to suit your room and viewing distance (and not just the biggest one you can find). Also, TVs will draw energy while they are off, so consider unplugging your set when away for more than a couple of days.
Light it Up Switching from incandescent bulbs to LED is a smart investment with a big pay-off. Although they may be a little more expensive at the outset, your LED bulbs will pay for themselves in energy savings in less than six months. To save even more, be sure to use your lamps only when needed and take full advantage of natural lighting, especially in the summer months
Go Green in the Bedroom Choose an Eco-Friendly Mattress Mattress manufacturers are meeting the demand for eco-friendly options with innovative fabrics, “green” and low VOC foams, and sustainable padding.
The Beautyrest Harmony Lux mattresses, for example, are made with a unique, sustainable fabric produced in partnership with SEAQUEL. Each queen mattress in the series contains the equivalent of 50 water bottles recovered from the world’s oceans and beaches.
Control the Temperature In the winter, set your thermostat lower at night and layer your bedding for extra warmth. Start with a light, but warm duvet with cover and add a coverlet or blanket for cooler nights.
If you and/or your partner are hot sleepers, choose a cooling mattress (or mattress pad) and pillow to help regulate your temperature and keep you asleep longer year-round.
Set the Mood with Eco-friendly Lighting Choose LED bulbs that cast a warm, soft light and use them in your bedside lamps and overhead fixture. For extra ambiance (and energy savings), install a dimmer switch for your ceiling fixture.
Go Green in the Kitchen Buy ENERGY STAR Appliances When it’s time to replace your refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher, choose those with the ENERGY STAR logo, like the LG French Door fridge, above, in fashionable black steel.
ENERGY STAR rated appliances are designed to use the minimum amount of energy to complete their tasks. Over time, this can save you, on average, up to 30% on your electricity bills. Using less energy also contributes to a reduction in pollution and the use of natural resources.
Note: at this time, cooking appliances including electric and gas ranges, microwave ovens, cooktops and ovens are regulated but are NOT eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.
Use the Dishwasher (Really!) Using your dishwasher instead of hand washing dishes can save you thousands of gallons of water per year, saving you time, money, and resources. In fact, you’d have to wash the equivalent of eight place settings in UNDER two minutes to be more efficient than an ENERGY STAR rated dishwasher, like the LG stainless steel model above.
Another importaint thing to remember: the temperature required to properly sanitize dishes is too hot to handle. Literally. Think of it this way—if you can comfortably put your hand into a sink of dishwater or under a running tap, it’s not hot enough to kill germs on your dishes.
Cut Out Single-Use Plastics Here are four ways to break the habit of using disposable plastics:
Invest in reusable water bottles and fill them from the tap or your fridge’s filtered water dispenser.
Buy lidded glass or ceramic containers for storing leftovers and transporting food to picnics and potlucks.
Pack lunches in reusable, bamboo or metal bento boxes to eliminate the need for disposable bags and wrap.
Wrap cheeses, veggies, fruit, and sandwiches in reusable beeswax wraps.
Go Green in the Laundry Room
Buy Energy Star Appliances Just like in the kitchen, buying ENERGY STAR rated laundry machines, like the Maytag set above, makes good cents. (See what we did there?)
According to Natural Resources Canada, an energy-efficient clothes dryer uses approximately 20% less energy than a standard model. Just look for the ENERGY STAR tag (or ask your salesperson) for a full break-down of the energy savings.
Wash Your Clothes in Cold Water The hot water used in your washing machine accounts for 90% of the energy used to get your clothes clean and most clothing items don’t need to be washed in hot water in the first place.
So, whenever possible, use the cold water setting to wash your clothes. Not only will you save around $50 per year in energy costs, your clothes will retain their shape and colour better and will last longer.
Use the Right Size Machine and Monitor Load Size You can cut both your energy use and the cost of doing your laundry by making sure that your washer is the right size for the job. In other words, if you run large loads or frequently wash bulky items, buy a large capacity washer. If you live by yourself or have trouble accumulating a full load before wash day, choose a smaller capacity machine. In either scenario, always try to wash and dry full loads.
Small pedestal washers like the LG SideKick, can help bridge the gap for those who own a large capacity washer, but have small or specialty loads to wash. With just 1.1 cubic feet capacity, this pint-sized powerhouse can easily handle a load of sweaty gym clothes, baby items, or pet bedding without filling up the main machine.
Dry Smarter Your clothes dryer uses up to 3% of your household’s total energy, but you can reduce the amount of energy spent on each load by making some smart choices, like using lower heat settings. Sure, it might take a few more minutes to dry the load, but it will take less energy than a shorter load at higher heat.
Here are a few more energy-saving ideas for the laundry room:
Sort your laundry by fabric type and thickness to avoid over- or under-drying items.
Use a higher spin cycle (or “extra spin”) in your washing machine to remove more water from clothing.
Start each load with a clean lint trap to ensure good airflow.
Let's Take This to the Next Level
Remember, if you want to make a big impact, you have to start small. Begin with a few simple changes around the house and, before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an eco-warrior. Visit our in-store furniture and appliance experts today to learn more about sustainable and energy-saving products for your green home.
Pro Tip: Book an appointment at your local store for a relaxed, no-pressure shopping experience with a dedicated sales professional.
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