For the month of April, Forward Wayne County is focused on our Environment. Read some of the tips below on how to make your home a greener and more environmentally efficient space!
Open the windows
As we find ourselves in between spring and summer, resist turning on the air conditioner and open the windows instead! Air conditioning accounts for about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States. As such, nearly 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year! Opening your windows on nice days can help reduce the amount of time your air conditioner is running. It might also help you save a bit of money on your electric bill!
Updated Light Bulbs
Updating light bulbs in your home to LED bulbs can make a ton of difference. According to Energy.gov, residential LED light bulbs use 75% less energy and last 25-30 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
This might not seem like a big change, but the amount of light bulbs in your home adds up! Lighting accounts for 15% of an average home’s electricity use. Switching light bulbs to LEDs can save you around $225 in energy costs per year!
Make Your Own Cleaners
Instead of buying new cleaning products full of chemicals that come in single-use plastic containers, try making your own! Household products like vinegar or baking soda make for excellent cleaning products. For example, this article from Good Housekeeping contains several DIY recipes that use products you likely already have!
In addition to saving money and plastic, you can avoid some of the harmful chemicals found in certain cleaning products. This tip will keep you feeling fresher while giving your wallet a bit of a break!
Efficient Laundry Methods
Think of how many loads of laundry you do per week. For most families, this number is between 2 and 8 loads per week! Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, there are a handful of ways that you can make the laundry process more efficient.
One measurable step to take is switching from dryer sheets to dryer balls. These alternatives are typically made of wool and can be reused for around 1,000 loads of laundry.
Not only are they reusable, but dryer balls also create more space in the dryer and help laundry dry faster, using less energy! Plus, you won’t have any of the waste (or residue on your clothes/in your washer) that comes with dryer sheets.
Don’t Forget to Recycle!
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 21% of the municipal solid waste created in Indiana in 2021 was recycled. The goal for the state, which mirror’s the EPA’s goal, is a 50% recycling rate by 2030.
Participating in your community’s recycling program can help keep waste out of landfills and instead repurpose it for other uses. Increasing the amount of recycled material also creates jobs at recycling facilities, and conserves the amount of resources and energy needed to create new materials!
If you are interesting in recycling, call your community’s government building to see what options you have! If your community doesn’t have a curbside recycling program, the New Paris Pike Landfill in Richmond will take certain recyclables, as well as some E-Waste. On the Western side of the county, Hagerstown has a recycling drop-off location as well.
Cope Environmental Center has a page on their website with information on the recycling of various materials. Check it out here.
Also, keep an eye out for events from Wayne Union Recycle like their tox-a-way, tire recycling, and e-waste days! These are great ways to get rid of items in your household that you can’t otherwise recycle or dispose of. Their next event is an E-Waste Recycling day on April 29th.
Making Greener Choices Every Day
When it comes to being more environmentally conscious, it’s important to remember that small steps add up in big ways. Making at least one environmentally friendly choice a day is an excellent way to do your part in keeping our communities happy and healthy. If everyone in Wayne County decided to adopt one of these practices at least once, think of the kind of change we could see!
The Environment is one of Forward Wayne County’s main focus areas. Visit our website to learn what we’re doing to make Wayne County a sustainable and healthy place to live.