The garage may be one place you don’t think of going green in, but it is one place you should definitely consider. With all the strange mesh-mash of stuff, along with anything that “doesn’t belong in the house”, your garage can often become a catch-all for chemicals, dirty things and storage. Let’s look at ways you can green your garage.
First things first, you will want to keep car fumes and fumes from the chemicals you may be storing in your garage from getting into the air in your home if you have an attached garage. Make sure you properly seal your garage by putting weather stripping on the door that leads to your home. Not only will it create better air quality, but it will create better efficiency in your heating and cooling as well. Here are more tips for saving money on utilities in the winter and specific tips for saving on utilities in the summer.
Just like other areas of your home, replace your light bulbs to longer lasting and lower power using CFL bulbs. Consider putting your garage lights on a timer, so they automatically go off and will ensure you don’t accidentally leave them on all night. Here are more tips for cutting back on electricity use.
Many people keep paint from previous home improvement projects in their garage. One way you can improve the quality of air in both your home and garage is to use Low-VOC paints that do not contain high levels of air pollutants.
Speaking of old paint and other household chemicals, make sure you dispose of them properly to keep the air and water supply clean for not only yourself, but your neighbors. You can usually find where to dispose of paints, cleaners, and other chemicals by visiting your local water treatment facility’s website.
Use less water. Most of us keep our lawn and garden supplies in the shed or garage. Use less water when you can and you will not only save money on your water bill, but also the fresh water supply. Sometimes there is no need to wash your car completely when just a wipe down would do.. Water on alternating days and use a broom to clean your walks and driveways instead of the hose.
Re-think using a second fridge or freezer in your garage. Ask yourself if you really need it. If you find that you do, try to find another location for it. Placing a fridge or freezer in an already cold garage can mean it uses more energy to regulate the temperature inside and in the summer, it uses even more to keep it cold.
Resist the urge to use your garage as a storage facility. You may be too tempted to buy already owned items because they are just too much hassle to dig for in your storage boxes. This creates unnecessary consumer waste. If you find you have stuff you are not using (stick with a 6 m0nth rule-if you haven’t used it in 6 months, your probably don’t need it), sell it used in a yard sale or even on a site like Craigslist. Selling and buying used products keeps waste down as well as less products need to be produced.
Keep many chemicals out of your garage by simply using vinegar. Did you know it can be used as an insecticide? No need for hazardous chemicals! There are many things you can make yourself out of common household items like Rabbit Repellent and Insecticidal Soap Spray.