10 simple ways to make your home more eco-friendly

When it comes to helping protect the environment, the maxim "every little bit helps" is certainly apt: There are so many small yet effective ways that you can contribute to environmental protection. From recycling to careful water use to energy consumption reduction – the fight to save the environment starts at home!  

Better still, homes that are more eco-friendly are growing in demand from buyers, with green features in particular being a considerable draw, a New York Times article reported. Interest in green-friendly homes is especially notable among younger buyers, a Long Island realtor, Jolie Powell, told the publication.

So what are you waiting for? It's time to make your home as eco-friendly as possible. We've compiled a list of 10 easy to implement strategies that can help. Check them out:

1. Insulate your attic
Leading British newspaper, The Telegraph, interviewed DIY expert and television host George Clarke, who stressed the importance of proper attic insulation to prevent energy loss – especially in the winter months, as the heat from your HVAC system rises into the attic. Without adequate insulation the heat will escape, driving up your energy bills. Clarke advised that making the insulation even more eco-friendly by ensuring that the material is recycled. In addition to reducing your overall energy use, you'll notice that your heating bills begin to drop considerably. 

2. Prevent leaks
Energy is easily lost through cracks in walls, window frames and door frames. A cost-effective way to prevent this from happening, preserving energy, is to use caulking around windows and sealant in any place that you can find a crack, the U.S. Green Building Council explained. 

"Without adequate insulation heat will escape, driving up your energy bills."

3. Use a composting pail
According to Real Simple magazine, composting buckets can be used in your kitchen. Simply discard food waste in the pail, and once it begins to break down, move it outside to another compost bin. Once enough has accumulated it can be used in your yard! Not only are you doing something good for the environment, you are saving money on compost that you might otherwise buy at your local home goods store. 

4. Switch to LED lighting
Simple, yet effective, making the switch to LED lighting is a great way to save on energy, the source Energy Informative explained. Florescent lights are also similarly effective. The bulbs last longer and can reduce your use of electricity by up to 80 percent in some cases. Most leading home goods stores stock LED and florescent bulbs, so there's no reason why you can't make the switch to this green-friendly option.

5. Use a thermostat timer
It can be tempting to leave the heat running at home while you're at work during the winter months, so that you have a nice cozy home to return to. This is a bad idea, however, for the environment and your wallet. According to House Beautiful, an effective way around this is by using a thermostat timer. With this device you can have your heat turn off while you're at work, and then turn on again shortly before you arrive home. This way you can return to a warm home and still save on energy.

6. Consider a water aerator
According to Real Simple magazine, water aerators can help reduce the amount of water you use. Better still, they are highly cost effective and can be easily attached to your faucet. The source noted that water aerators can cost as little as $3.

Installing solar panels is an effective strategy. Installing solar panels is an effective strategy.

7. Use green-friendly furniture
If you're moving home or redecorating, one notable way to reduce your carbon footprint is to use green-friendly furniture, the Telegraph advised. This essentially means furniture that is constructed from materials that have been recycled. The source noted that while this kind of furniture is still relatively rare, demand will likely grow as environmental awareness becomes even more commonplace.

8. Install solar panels
A less cost-effective option, although more impactful in terms of going green, is to install solar panels The Telegraph advised. The strategy is particularly effective if you live in a climate where sunshine is plentiful.  

9. Keep an eye on electricity use
Perhaps one of the most simple ways to help reduce energy use to pay attention to how electricity you are consuming. This means switching off lights when leaving the room, and unplugging electronic devices if you plan to be away from home for an extensive period of time. The Telegraph reported that certain products are now available to buy that can actually provide you with accurate readings of how much electricity you are using, and wasting, on a daily basis. 

10. Reduce air conditioning use
If at all possible, try to find ways to limit your use of air conditioning in the summer. An effective strategy, particularly at night time, is to use your ceiling fan. Pulling your curtain or shades during the daytime can also help keep the room cooler.