Do you want to live more sustainably? Embracing an environmentally friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to mean swapping your car for an electric vehicle or shelling out the cash for a solar roof. In truth, making small but impactful adjustments to your daily habits can have a big impact on the environment. As a homeowner, you have more control over your carbon footprint than you may think! Here are a few effective ways to make your household more eco-friendly.
Shop Second Hand
Shopping second-hand items can have a positive environmental and social impact. Giving another life to second-hand items not only keeps them out of the landfill, but saves resources, water, and energy that would go into producing new items. This also reduces demand on the packaging industry, saving even more resources and reducing our reliance on single-use plastics.
But what about those things you can’t buy used, like toilet paper? Try to purchase new items made from sustainable companies like Bumroll! Bumroll produces toilet paper from 100% ethically sourced materials and reinvests in the environment through partnerships with the National Forest Foundation.
Invest in Sustainable Home Upgrades
Are you looking for ways to make your home more eco-friendly? If you have the budget for home renovations, it may be worthwhile to invest in a few upgrades. Certain eco-friendly home upgrades can even pay for themselves by reducing your energy bills or increasing your home’s value. Redfin suggests investing in low-cost projects and keeping your receipts so you can measure your home’s increase in value.
There are many ways to improve your home with sustainable upgrades:
- Replace your lighting with LED bulbs.
- Have a professional conduct an energy audit on your home.
- Install insulation in your attic.
- Re-caulk your interior window and door trim.
- Install faucet aerators to reduce water consumption by 50%.
- Install low-flow showerheads.
- Salvage and reuse materials from your renovations, including light fixtures, bricks, tile, and molding.
Create an Eco-Friendly Backyard
Don’t let your eco-friendly upgrades stop with your home interior. There are many ways to improve the sustainability of your backyard as well! Creating an eco-friendly backyard is all about reducing water consumption, increasing natural drainage, supporting local wildlife, and improving your home’s energy efficiency. For example, planting trees strategically around your home can help keep it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Consider also replacing your concrete driveway with a permeable driveway that allows for natural water drainage and reduces the amount of runoff flowing into storm drains.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Did you know that the average American produces 1,704 pounds of garbage every year? What’s more, around 46% of this waste is disposed of in unsustainable ways that harm the environment. The best way to reduce the amount of waste you produce is to reduce the amount of stuff you buy. Try not to buy things you don’t need, especially when it comes to grocery shopping. As Healthline explains, reducing your food waste will divert a lot of methane-producing products from the landfill and avoid wasting all the water that goes into agricultural production.
Reusing and recycling products can also help to reduce your consumption and keep waste out of the landfill. Chances are, you can reuse a lot of common household products that you’re currently tossing in the trash. For example, paper towels used for drying clean hands or dishes can be left on the counter to dry and be reused. Soiled dish sponges are more than suitable for scrubbing floors or cleaning toilets. Old, worn clothes can be turned into household rags. You can even compost your food scraps for gardening! The next time you go to throw something away, consider whether or not you can give it a second life.
It isn’t hard to live a sustainable life. Try to be mindful of the actions you’re taking every day and engage in behaviors that impact the environment in a positive way. Keep looking for small but impactful ways to help the planet, and the earth will thank you!
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