Somewhere between California and Hawaii, there’s a patch of floating plastic that’s now twice the size of Texas. Our sea level is rising, and the weather is now consistently out of whack (just look outside). It might seem like an insurmountable situation—something best left to our “trusty” lawmakers and politicians—but there actually is something you can do, and from the comfort of your home, no less. A lot of things, actually. They don’t have to take up all your time or money, either: Sure, you could install solar panels or invest in a new selection of Energy Star Appliances, but we recommend starting smaller. Here are 29 little things you can do tonight, or tomorrow, or this weekend to make your home a more eco-friendly place.

  1. Swap in some LED bulbs. It’s tempting to spring for the dinky incandescents at the corner store, but that $17 six-pack of LEDs will last 13 years each.
  2. Use more rags, fewer paper towels. We’re not saying no paper towels—that move takes serious commitment—we’re saying fewer. Cut up old shirts to make rags (just like grandma did!) and launder them in a batch whenever you run out. Or buy cute rags if you must (we don’t judge!).
  3. Clean the fridge coils. Get a long, skinny brush like this one and use it to gently scrub loose any lint and scuzz from the coils under your fridge. This will help it use less energy to keep your food cold.
  4. And the filter on your dryer. Bonus: That tool also doubles as a cleaner for the lint slot in your dryer. You’ll be amazed at what comes out of it! And again, now that appliance is running more efficiently.
  5. Line-dry whenever possible. Honestly, your bras and undies and crop tops will last longer if you let them air-dry anyway. Helps to have a good-looking drying rack, but a plain old clothesline works, too.
  6. Get a set of dryer balls. Say what? Think about all the dryer sheets you go through doing laundry—did you know one set of wool dryer balls can do the same work (speed up dry time and fluff out wrinkles) without chemicals? And they last basically forever.
  7. Shop vintage. Next time you decide to upgrade a piece of furniture, peruse sites like Chairish or your local thrift store to see if you can find something used that works. On less item heading to the landfill.
  8. Get window treatments. Bare windows aren’t just a little bit naked-looking, they also let in heat and cool air from the outside even if sealed shut. Curtains and blinds can help with that.
  9. Use cold water when washing your clothes. (You can even specify that your wash-and-fold place do this!) Hot water will actually set stains, and cold water will get your clothes just as clean
  10. Get power strips. Don’t just get and use them—flip them off whenever you’re done using the things that are plugged in. Everything from TVs to phone chargers can act as “vampire appliances,” leeching energy while not in use.

Find more ideas on Architectural Digest

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