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17 Things You Can Do For a Greener Home

Going green can be easy. Learn how here.

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solar water heaterFamily Handyman

Switch to Solar

Harnessing solar power is one way homeowners can reduce the need for non-renewable energy. Find out how to use solar energy in your home.

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Rain barrelFamily Handyman

Capture Rain with a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are an easy way to help the environment and yourself. Rain barrels reduce runoff into lakes and rivers while keeping your water use down. By collecting rain water you can reuse it to water plants around the home.

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Solar water heaterFamily Handyman

Heat Up With Solar

You can take things a step further by trading in your water heater for a solar-powered water heater to reduce your energy consumption needs. The solar-powered water heaters have become more cost-effective in recent years.

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pitch fork in compost pilesylv1rob1/Shutterstock

Compile Waste in a Compost Pile

Food waste in the U.S. is almost unfathomable. According to a report by The Guardian in 2016, nearly 50 percent of all produce in the U.S. is thrown away. Don’t make that waste more of a problem by throwing it in the trash. Make use out of it by composting.

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GardenFamily Handyman

Grow Your Food in a Garden

Buying produce at the grocery store can add up depending on the items you purchase. But if you start a garden of your own, you can harvest produce cheaply each year. A well-maintained food garden can produce one-half pound of produce per square foot per growing season, according to the National Gardening Association. A 600-square foot garden could produce 300 pounds of fresh produce and save $600 a year, according to the NGA.

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Rain GardenFamily Handyman

Add a Rain Garden

Building a rain garden at your home has a two-fold benefit. It protects streams, rivers and lakes from polluted runoff. And it can help keep water out of your basement and eliminate muddy puddles in your yard.

Use native grasses and plants with deep roots for your rain garden. It’s also possible to help pollinators with your rain garden by including plants like aster. Goldenrod and milkweed are other viable options. Check with local garden centers to find the best native grasses that are pollinator-friendly.

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Creek bedFamily Handyman

Reduce Runoff

One of the ways to help decrease water pollution at home is to prevent stormwater runoff. So pay attention to your yard drainage. There are several options to achieve better drainage and limit the impact of water runoff around your home and local waterways. Find out how to build a creek bed as one way to address runoff.

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Retaining wallFamily Handyman

Cut Erosion

Erosion has a significant impact on waterways. Building a retaining wall helps in flood prevention and prevents sinkholes from forming.

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wildflowers lavenderSubbotina Anna/Shutterstock

Prop Up Pollinators with Plant Selection

Help protect pollinators like butterflies and biodiversity by planting pollinator-friendly plants like milkweed around your home. Learn more about which plants to use to start a pollinator friendly yard.

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Cover the Ground with Cover Plants

Cover plants are another easy way to reduce flooding, help reduce erosion and aid in decreasing polluted stormwater runoff. Find out about some succulents that make for productive cover plants and attractive plants around the house.

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bird houseFamily Handyman

Build a Birdhouse

Birds are not only pleasant to look at but they can help reduce bugs in the backyard. Building a birdhouse or a bird bath can attract birds that eat bugs, such as bluebirds, cardinals and nuthatches.

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water meterspaxiax/Shutterstock

Reduce Your Water Usage

Water is being polluted faster than it can be recycled and reused, according to the United Nations. There are some effective ways to reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation. Check out these 10 ways to save water at home to learn more.

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Be Careful What You Flush

Take care of your toilet and wastewater treatment centers by not flushing harmful items. Things like paper towels, Q-tips and dental floss clog your pipes and make things difficult for wastewater treatment facility workers. Find out what things you shouldn’t flush down the toilet.

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geothermalFamily Handyman

Go With Geothermal

Reduce your carbon footprint by switching to geothermal energy to heat your home. Energy accounts for around 60 percent of global greenhouse emissions, according to the U.N. Learn the things you need to know about geothermal energy before making the jump.

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Electricity surge protectorFamily Handyman

Eliminate Electricity Costs

The upfront costs of switching to solar or geothermal energy might be too much to bear, but there are several other ways to reduce your home energy bill. Try buying energy-efficient appliances, or plug electronics into a power strip that can be turned on and off easily. Find ways to save on energy costs at home with these tips.

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Junk Get RidFamily Handyman

Reduce Refuse

Not everything you scrap needs to end up in a landfill. There are ways to get rid of unwanted objects without incurring pickup fees or filling waste facilities. Do your part by turning things that should be retired into useful things, like turning scrap wood into mulch.

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Homemade All-Purpose CleanerM. Show/shutterstock

Clean Up with Cleaner Materials

It’s easy to clean things around the house without using conventional cleaning supplies. Make homemade cleaning supplies with some simple ideas.