Since mechanization has taken a role in nearly everything we do, household chores have become major energy hogs. We have washers and dryers, dishwashers, steam vacuums and robot vacuums, electrical air fresheners, and any number of other things to do things that were once accomplished without plugging anything into the wall.
As we, as conscious consumers, transition into greener ways of living, it’s a good idea to consider how we might accomplish our chores without sucking up electricity. While we are at it, we might just find out some jobs are easier (and certainly cheaper) to accomplish without relying on machines. Sometimes elbow grease is still the best answer.
Changing the way we do things and the products we buy to do them can help us save energy, money, and the planet.
1. Air Drying Clothes
Drying clothes takes a lot of energy, and except in extremely rainy and humid situations, we can accomplish the same thing without using electricity. Clotheslines in sunny spots in the yard can get the job done very quickly and without causing wrinkles. Additionally, there is that naturally wonderful “fresh air” smell rather than the chemically-created versions. Even on rainy days, clothes horses, aka drying racks or clothes maidens, can be set up inside, and if put next to air condition or heater vents, the air moving through will dry clothes without any extra energy.
2. DIY Cleaners
Cleaning products are neither good for the environment nor our health. They tend to have an abundance of questionable chemicals, and each product these days seems to have a highly-specialized task. Moreover, they require a tremendous amount of energy to process, bottle, package, and ship. Instead, we can make all our own effective cleaners at home with just a few natural ingredients. It’s safer, cheaper, and greener, and it’s faster than driving to the supermarket. Doesn’t it make sense?
3. Cold Water
One of the biggest energy pulls going is heating up stuff, like water. While hot water cycles in the washing machine may work better for extremely soiled clothes, most of the time our clothes don’t get that dirty, particularly if we are only wearing them once to the office or school. Instead of using hot water as the default, use cold water washes and rinses as the norm and hot water only when a really deep clean is necessary. The same goes for washing and rinsing dishes.
4. Sweep Up
Sweeping sometimes seems like a thing of the past. Now, when our kitchens, bathrooms, and hardwood floors need to be cleaned, we pull out yet another type of vacuum cleaner to get the job done. Obviously, brooms did a fairly good job for centuries. Additionally, there are power-free sweepers that will do the job and clean rugs and low-lying carpets to boot. Vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners just aren’t necessary to use all the time.
5. Full Loads
Machines have made some things more convenient, but the way we’ve come to use them has become equally as wasteful. Half-full dishwashers and mostly empty washing machines require both a lot of energy to run and a lot of water to cycle. It’s good practice to only run these appliances when they are full, getting the most stuff clean for the energy and water required to run them. Doing this makes using them more convenient and saves energy and resources.
6. Cook in Batches
Forget about the single-serving culture of packaging and airplane food. When we cook one meal at a time, and especially if that’s for each family member, we use up a lot of extra energy. Instead, it’s a good idea to cook big meals from ingredients rather than boxes, enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day, and cut down on the work. This goes for brewing coffee as well. Coffee machines require energy, and making one cup at a time uses extra power and creates unnecessary waste. It’s better to make a pot for everyone.
7. High-Efficiency Appliances
Maybe we can’t all rush out to replace all of our appliances with the most up-to-date, greenest versions of themselves, nor should we (That would be a massive waste of resources and energy in and of itself.) But, we can transition our way into more energy-efficient appliances. Each time we have to replace something, we can opt for eco-friendlier options. It’ll encourage companies to keep along the greener path and reward them for having done so.
While it’s easy to get angry at politicians and industrial factories for all the damage they do, the fact is that, in our own homes, we are often calling the shots. In other words, we should be setting high standards for ourselves as well and, thus, setting the right example for what we’d like those in power to do.
Lead Image Source: Pixabay