Looking for ways to make your home eco-friendlier? Here are some things to consider to be more environmentally conscious at your home in Mexico (or anywhere!)
Consider going solar-powered. With our ample sunlight in Mexico, many homeowners have pulled the plug on traditional electricity and gone solar. There are a growing number of companies that offer supply and installation of solar panels. These products not only save you money, but they also produce zero emissions. That's great for the environment AND great for your wallet! On average, the return on investment to go with solar panels is about ten years. The emissions you eliminate immediately and significantly contribute to a healthier world.
Continue to reuse, reduce, and recycle. Single-use plastics are harmful to our planet. If possible, consider using reusable versions of straws, cutlery, water bottles, and zip-top bags. Many restaurants in Mexico are taking decisive action by offering a paper straw when you ask, rather than a plastic straw automatically. One straw does not make a lot of difference. When you think of all the straws used globally; however, it all adds up. A great reusable option for plastic wrap is a wrap made from beeswax. You can find these earth-friendly options at many of our local farmers' markets. Wet wipes and paper towels add to increased waste in landfills. A eco-friendlier alternative to consider is cloth for cleaning. Eliminating the use of just a little bit of disposable plastic in each home goes a long way towards a happy earth.
If you are buying furniture, consider what materials the items are made from before you buy. Ask the salesperson if the coffee table, sofa, or headboard is made with sustainable materials. The best eco-friendly furniture helps conserve resources, is locally sourced and is made without harsh chemicals. Look for fabrics such as 100% natural latex, eco-wool, and organic cotton. Recycled materials are also a good option. Fast-growing woods, bamboo, locally sourced, and reclaimed wood are some excellent options for crate goods. Although furniture available from big-box stores may look attractive, consider the amount of energy and fuel it took to ship across the world. Buying locally or even within Mexico helps support the health of our planet.
Let technology help you understand and reduce your energy use. With all the new smart technology available, it is easier than ever to make sure you are cooling your home only when you need to. Some technologies monitor the room you are in and automatically adjust only to cool just that space. According to manufacturers, the return on investment in a smart thermostat is less than two years. Do you rent your home when you are not in Mexico? Consider getting a sensor that automatically shuts off your air conditioning if the sliding or patio doors are open.
Another great option to reduce water waste is to install an eco-friendly toilet. The EPA (environmental protection agency) estimates that an average home can save approximately 4000 gallons of water annually with a water-saving bathroom.
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