The idea of making your home “eco-friendly” can often feel overwhelming, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Here are some ways you can use to reduce your home carbon footprint.

Create an eco-friendly home by starting with the small things, and over time you can take bigger steps to build a green, energy-efficient home that will help your health and will help mother earth.

1. Add solar panels

By installing solar panels, homeowners can become energy independent, reap the cost-saving benefits of solar, and feel satisfied knowing they are being environmentally responsible.

2. Create a recycling center

Find a space in your home to set up bins for sorting the different recycled products. Label the bins so your family has a quick reminder of what goes where. Recycling can often feel inconvenient, but in reality, it just takes some commitment.

3. Create a compost station

Depending on where you live you can make your compost space indoors or outdoors. Some things you can and should compost include fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, loose leaf tea, used paper napkins and paper towels, cooked pasta and rice, stale crackers, and much more. Composting helps lower your carbon footprint.

4. Switch to LED lightbulbs

According to Energy Star, LED lightbulbs produce approximately 90% more efficiently than traditional incandescent light bulbs and make your home run more efficiently while helping you save money.

5. Install low-flow showerheads

Showers are responsible for up to 30 percent of household water use. Swapping out your showerhead for a low-flow one can help conserve water, save energy, lower annual heating costs, and reduce your monthly water bill.

6. Purchase energy-efficient appliances

Purchasing energy-efficient appliances may be a bigger investment than a traditional appliance, but it’s important to think about the price tag of an appliance over its entire lifetime.

7. Use natural cleaning products

Making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning products helps reduce harmful chemicals that are being released into the environment, creates better air quality, and creates a safer home.

8. Use a smart thermostat

Smart thermostats save you money while reducing energy waste. Investing in a programmable thermostat will allow you to monitor and control your heating and cooling.

9. Switch to paying your bills online

Reduce paper waste when you use online billing. Not only is online billing the more environmentally friendly option, it also cuts out paper clutter in your life.

10. Buy pre-loved furniture

Try to buy pre-loved furniture when you can. Repurposing and reusing items is a great way to save money and reduce the amount of waste that is put into landfills.

11. Reusable bags

Some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flow into the oceans every year from coastal regions. Using a canvas bag when you do your grocery shopping will significantly decrease your plastic use over your lifetime.

12. Seal air leaks

One of the easiest first steps to creating a more energy-efficient home is to seal the air leaks around your house. Save on your monthly heating and cooling costs by caulking, sealing, and weatherstripping all openings and cracks.

13. Be more water aware

Reducing our water usage will cut the amount of water we take from rivers, bays, and estuaries. This helps keep the environment healthy and prevents air pollution from energy used to treat, pump, and heat water.

14. Fill your home with plants

Adding plants to your home is a fantastic way to improve air quality. Plants perform photosynthesis, through the removal of carbon dioxide in the air and transforming it into oxygen.

15. Climate-appropriate landscaping

When landscaping your home be sure to pick plants and trees that are appropriate for the climate you are in. You can significantly reduce the amount of water needed for your yard by creating an eco-friendly landscape. Not only is this approach more environmentally friendly – but also more cost-effective.

16. Eat environmentally

Developing eco-friendly eating habits can make a difference for both our bodies and the earth. Aim to buy foods with minimal packaging and avoid bottled beverages

17. Fix leaks

Taking the time to examine your home for leaks and drip can significantly cut the water waste your home produces.

18. Line dry your clothing

The household dryer is one of the biggest energy consumers in your home. Choosing to air-dry your clothes can reduce your household carbon footprint by nearly 2,400 pounds a year.

19. Pass on paper towels

Ditch paper towels and instead use sustainable alternatives such as cloth and linen rags. Each year the U.S. produces over 3,000 tons of paper towels waste.

20. Embrace cold water

Opting for cold water when washing your clothing can reduce your energy consumption and financial expenses. Dropping your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 degrees comes at no cost to you while saving you roughly $40 – $60 a year.