Making the home more eco-friendly and living a greener lifestyle have gotten a lot more attention these days, and that’s a good thing as we start to tackle the issues of climate change and pollution. We’ve come a long way in the 21st century, with movements towards reusable metal and plastic water bottles, electric vehicles, and sustainable foods and materials, but there’s still lots to do to make your home more environmentally friendly.

Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly

In this article, that’s exactly what we’ll show you. There are lots of little ways to make your home more eco-friendly, whether you’re currently building or renovating a home, or renting. You don’t need to convert your house completely to solar energy or ever use the heat again in winter, we promise.

10 Ways to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

Besides being better for the planet, you might find that some of these changes help cut down some of your bills, like on food and electricity, so it’s a win-win for everyone! Here are our favorite tips for making your home more eco-friendly.

1. Install a Smart Thermostat or Energy Meter

This is a great way technology can help us cut down on wasting energy. We’re not saying to limit your hours watching television, but to learn about your consumption habits. You might discover that you’re burning more energy than you actually need or know. A smart thermostat can help you identify your habits and trends and make the appropriate changes.

You might realize you have a habit of leaving lights on when you’re not home or that appliances are drawing more electricity than you previously thought. There might be more ways you can cut back your electric bill that you never noticed, plus it’s just cool to have a smart energy meter that tells you your energy consumption! If it’s compatible with your home and electric provider, a smart meter is a great way to start.

2. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Yes, there’s something really homey about those soft white incandescent lights, and the way they get nice and warm. However, it’s so annoying how delicate they are and how they need to be replaced often. Not to mention how wasteful they can be.

Lighting has come a long way in the last few years. We not only have much more efficient LED light bulbs, which last for much longer and are way less demanding, but we also have smart lights that sync up to your phone, lighting strips that can be hung around to your heart’s content, and smart outlets. They tend to cost a little bit more upfront compared to incandescent bulbs, but you can find pretty good deals on packages for rooms.

You’ll find that it’s pretty nifty to be able to control the entire lighting system from your phone, from instantly calling lights out to programming gentle light alarms in the morning. You also won’t have to change the light bulbs for likely a few years, and it’ll cut down your electric bill for certain, basically paying for itself.

3. Find Alternatives to Single-Use Plastics

Food packaging is one of the biggest contributors to waste–not just for the planet, but your grocery bill too. You might pay quite a bit of money over the span of the year for plastic sandwich bags, plastic wrap, plastic straws, or plastic cups. The irony is you’re paying to use it for probably one day, or even a few minutes, but it persists in the environment for hundreds of years when it’s discarded.

The best way around this, for both you and Mother Nature, is to be mindful of what you use and make small subtle changes. If you find that you go through more bags than a grocery store for your snacks and lunches (especially in a big family), look for alternatives.

You can buy cute and very functional bento boxes to reuse for lunches or reusable plastic bags and glass containers for food and snacks. You can even get them personalized with colors and names for family members. Like the LED light bulbs we talked about, reusable alternatives for your lunches and food will cost a little more upfront, but they’ll easily pay for themselves in a couple of months.

4. Reusable Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles have been all the trend lately, especially the metal tumblers that Stanley helped popularize by going viral on social media. We aren’t saying you should go and drop seventy dollars on the newest limited-edition Stanley, but you could certainly consider a reusable water bottle if you don’t have one.

They’re more convenient than ever: they come in more sizes and capacities, can be made of glass, metal, or plastic, and come in all sorts of colors and shapes, and most places have fountains where you can conveniently refill them. And you don’t need to spend lots of money on brand-name ones either, with plenty of quality options offered in stores and online.

Part of the reason why the water bottle trend has caught on is because they save money, and they’re often easier to use. They can keep your drink cool for hours, fit nicely in your cup holders, and carry way more water than plastic disposable ones.

While it’s certainly a good thing to keep some bottled water on hand in case of an emergency, try buying a cool reusable one the next time you’re at the grocery store, and give it a go for a week! Bring it to the gym, the office, or the park, and see how it can easily become your new companion.

5. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

You might not think of it at first, but a lot of cleaning products are straight-up bad for the environment. They can be energetically demanding to produce in the first place, and harmful to the environment when poured down the sink or into the toilet. Fortunately, many household names of cleaning products are beginning to offer gentler, greener alternatives. For example, instead of ammonia or organic solvent-based window cleaners, you can buy cleaners based on citric or lactic acids for a comparable price.

You can also make your own cleaning products at home–a lot of cleaning solutions are based on chemicals and molecules you can find in your kitchen, believe it or not. White wine vinegar (acetic acid) can be bought in bulk and in higher concentrations; all you need to do to make a perfectly good surface cleaner is add it to a spray bottle and water it down.

Lemon juice, pickle juice, rubbing alcohol, and baking soda can also be used too–there are plenty of “recipes” online for DIY cleaning agents, for nearly every surface. You can toss in a few drops of your favorite essential oil, too, or use them in place of volatile organic compounds found in canned air fresheners. It’s easier on the environment, your wallet, and your lungs too, without those harsh chemicals.

6. A Ceiling Fan

Summer is a beautiful time to behold: beach days, barbecues by the pool, days in the park, and peaceful thunderstorms. But arguably, the worst thing about summer is those hot, stagnant days. Air conditioning, whether wall units or central air, is a godsend in these times. But they can be noisy and extremely consumptive of energy.

Enter the humble ceiling fan. Not all living spaces are set up to handle a ceiling fan, so you may have to pass on this one. But if your home can accept one, a ceiling fan is a very low-cost way of keeping your home cooler.

By simply keeping the air turning, even when you’re not at home, it can keep your place much much cooler and cut down on the amount of time your AC is running. They’re fairly cheap to install and require little maintenance. Plus, there are smart options that can operate quietly and turn on at set temperatures.

7. Home Compost

This one is a bit drastic, and not everyone will want to compost at home, so we understand if this one isn’t for you. Home composting is essentially another form of garbage disposal, where you toss organic waste–food scraps, yard trimmings, biodegradable paper materials–into a compost pile or portable compost machine in your home.

The nutrients from your banana peels, ends of the bread, tea bags, and coffee pods will end up back in the soil instead of a landfill. You’ll also find that you can cut down on your garbage output too.

Again, not everyone will be up for having decomposing material in their home, and we totally understand that. But there are plenty of ways to do it if you’re interested, so do a little bit of research if you’d like to give it a try.

8. Air Sealing

This one applies to older homes with attics. As we know from third-grade science, heat rises. So, in the wintertime, when you’ve been heating your home, the warm air will naturally rise up to your top floor and attic. If it’s not well insulated and sealed up there, the hot air can rise out and dissipate out of your house, forcing your heating system to keep burning to maintain the temperature. This is a common issue for older homes that weren’t built with the latest insulation and temperature standards.

You can make your home more eco-friendly by having the attic and home air sealed. A service will come through and look for nooks and crannies in your home (like the chimney around windows) and seal them to keep your home better insulated.

Hot air will be trapped in your home for longer, saving you and the environment money on your energy consumption. Don’t worry, your place won’t be unbearably hot in summer because the process also works in reverse–the hot summer air from outside won’t be able to seep in and heat up the home either.

9. Solar Panels

You knew this was bound to come up on any post about making your home more eco-friendly, right? Here it is. This one mainly applies to homeowners and is arguably the best way to make your home greener if you can swing it.

There are more options than ever for installing solar panels–there is lots of competition, options for leasing or financing the cost, credits, and incentives from your state, and so on.

If you live in a sunnier state like Florida or California, solar panels can quite literally pay for themselves over the long run with savings, and they’re relatively maintenance-free over their lifespan. Definitely do your research, because installing solar panels on your home is a big financial decision with a lot of pros and cons.

10. Cut Down on Electronic Waste

This one isn’t necessarily about the home, but it’s applicable to everyone. Nearly every person has at least a couple of electronic devices–smartphones, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, wireless headphones, Bluetooth speakers, you name it. The list keeps growing. While they’re fun and make for a more convenient and connected lifestyle, electronics are a notorious source of nasty waste.

The electronic components themselves often contain metals toxic to the environment, like mercury, cadmium, and lead. The batteries themselves are bad, with lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Throwing them into the trash means that these harmful materials will inevitably leech into the environment.

That’s why we suggest holding onto them as long as possible to avoid waste and to trade them in or send them to a specific recycling facility. You can also repurpose your old devices too, like using your old iPad as a smart photo display or your old smartphone as a smart thermostat display on your wall.


We know that some tips on this list might be accessible only to homeowners or even homeowners with specific set-ups like installing a ceiling fan. But there are still plenty of low-impact ways to change your home and lifestyle that will have a bigger impact on helping the environment and will in many cases, help lower your own bills and waste. On behalf of the planet, we thank you for making your home eco-friendly, and hope that this article was helpful!