We have all witnessed to some degree how our environment has changed over the years. Whether we live in a small town or in a big city, we are living witnesses to how our environment has transformed to give way for modernization. Along with this progress, we have sadly taken some things for granted.

We have long reaped the rewards of industrialization, and our lifestyles even reflect the impact it has on all of us. At this day and age, we have gotten used to the comforts that our natural resources have allowed us to enjoy, and yet we have neglected to protect our environment, which happens to provide us the essential resources necessary for our sustenance.

If you try to examine the habits you have at home, do you take measures to at least do your part in saving this planet? Do you even proactively educate and encourage, all the members of your family to be environmentally responsible? While other people can afford to purchase solar panels and costly home renovations to “go green”, there are still many ways that you can do to help save our planet.

At home, encourage everyone to save energy. Try to use fluorescent light bulbs because these use only a fraction of energy, as compared to regular incandescent bulbs. To add to that, these energy saving light bulbs also last up to ten times longer. While this type of light bulb may save energy, you still need to make sure that everyone switches off the lights at home when not in use.

In most homes, the refrigerator and the freezer are the appliances responsible for consuming a large chunk of the energy. Set your fridge at a temperature of 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and your freezer at negative 3 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind that you can use these appliances efficiently by setting these at the right temperature.

It may also be wise to purchase an electronic thermostat for your home. Depending on your schedule, you may conveniently store your preferred settings at certain times each day. However, manual thermostats can also be effective if you diligently regulate the settings, but some discomforts may be expected especially during winter.

Unplug all electronic appliances that are not being used, and try to use the appliances efficiently. When using the washing machine, dryer or the dishwasher, make sure that the load is full. If the weather allows, try to air dry clothes and don’t forget that the most natural heat and light source is the sun, which you can use for free.

You can also take steps to clear the air in your home. Do not allow anyone to smoke, and try to use natural filters like indoor plants to clear the air. But you need to carefully choose which plans you keep indoors because some plants are poisonous, and they may put younger kids at risk for poisoning.

Carefully choose the products you use at home. When purchasing food products, try to purchase items that are packaged in recycled boxes or packaging. Instead of using harsh chemicals for cleaning, choose non-toxic and biodegradable ones that don’t cause health problems, and are environment friendly too. There are also natural disinfectants that can do the job well, without harming the environment. Start using micro-fiber cloths instead of disposable cleaners. Minimize the use of pesticides, and try other means of keeping insects away, like making sure that your kitchen and dining area are kept clean.

It is also very important that you encourage everyone to consciously save water. Don’t allow your kids to play while in the shower, and try to save water when washing the dishes. If you use biodegradable soaps, you can recycle the water you used from the washing machine, and from baths to water your plants or garden. Kitchen scraps like eggshells or fruit and vegetable peelings can be good soil enhancers.

Before you throw away old things, try to think of other ways you can recycle these. If you use a little creativity, you may find that the things you perceive as garbage can still be used, or transformed into something useful. You may also donate old books and clothes to your chosen organization.

It may take some time before you and your family can finally develop these habits at home. However, if we all can begin in our homes to be environmentally responsible, these small steps can eventually make a difference. In tackling big issues like global warming, we need to remember that even in our little ways, there is still so much that we can do to help our ailing planet.