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From step-by-step tutorials to helpful hints, the Readers.com family is always up for trying new things. Join us each month as we consult the experts in fields ranging from social media to antique hunting in our Hobbies & How To’s series, and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way!

Making your home more eco-friendly doesn’t have to involve taking out a second mortgage to install solar paneling or high-efficiency plumbing. There are plenty of easy, low-cost (or free!) steps you can take to green every room in your home. Organized by room, here are 30 tips to help you get started.

The Ultimate Green Home Checklist

 

Kitchen

  • Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the bottom coils with a vacuum at least once a month.

  • Purchase all-natural spray cleaners to disinfect countertops and other surfaces.

  • Keep a jug of white vinegar handy for a chemical-free way to clean coffee pots.

  • Skip the drying cycle on your dishwasher and save energy by simply propping open the door to let your dishes air dry.

  • Add “remember bags” to the top of your grocery list so you never forget to bring reusable sacks.

  • Keep a recycling bin next to your garbage can so that you’re less likely to toss out something recyclable.

 

Office

  • Don’t toss out dead batteries. Collect them until your next trip to a local office supply store, where they will usually accept them for safe disposal.

  • Recycle empty ink cartridges. Find out how here and here.

  • Always unplug gadgets and devices when you’re not using them.

  • Recycle old cell phones and laptops at your local electronics store.

  • Go paperless by paying your bills online and halting your phonebook subscription.

 

Laundry Room

  • Choose a laundry detergent with low or no phosphates.

  • Line dry your clothes when possible.

  • Wash your clothes in cold water.

  • Consider an energy-efficient washer and dryer system.

  • Use natural, homemade stain removers. Find some recipes here!

 

Bathroom

  • Swap out chemical air fresheners for bowls of all-natural potpourri and naturally scented soaps.

  • Get a thermal cover for your water heater.

  • Fix leaky sinks and toilets right away. A constantly running toilet can waste 7,000 gallons of water every month.

  • Save water by installing sink aerators and low-flow shower nozzles.

  • Place a water bottle with pebbles in your toilet tank to displace some water and save on water consumption.

 

General Household

  • Be sure to choose paints that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Always dispose of paint in a way that’s environmentally safe. For guidelines, click here.

  • Install LED bulbs. The money you’ll save on your power bill will pay for their higher cost up front.

  • Replace your AC filter monthly. Do it the day your power bill arrives so you don’t forget!

  • House plants are natural air purifiers. Place one in every room!

 

Backyard

  • Purchase jute twine instead of plastic bags to bundle branches and sticks for yard waste pickup.

  • Don’t bother outside spiders if they don’t bother you. They help stop other bugs from getting inside.

  • Seek out organic lawn and garden fertilizers.

  • Compost vegetable peelings and other kitchen wastes. You’ll wind up with a great organic fertilizer.

  • Grow your own organic vegetables! Read more gardening tips and tricks here.

 

Do you have your own tips for living green? Share them with us on Facebook!