Being eco-friendly is about taking care of the planet and ensuring its vitality for future generations. There are little things that we can all do to be more conscientious about the environmental impact of our choices.
Small changes are about the GROWTH MINDSET of living in a more green home. If everyone were to make changes, it would have a significant impact on the environment. We all need to do our part to combat climate crisis.
If you have children, you are also modeling good behavior for them. Involve them in your decisions to make changes and explain why those decisions are important. You can instill in them lifelong habits of living a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly life.
A focus on green living is a way to initiate change. Not only are green choices better for the environment, often they will save you money. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Things You Can Do to Live a Green Life
Some changes are big and will impact your daily life. Other changes are small, and you will hardly notice a difference. Whatever choices you make, know that you are contributing to lessening any negative impact that your home has on the environment.
1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Create a recycling center in your home. Make sure you understand your local recycling requirements and have a space in your home that makes it easy for everyone to recycle. Label recycling bins for different products
2. Learn How to Compost
Create a compost station in your home. You can get started with a small compost bin that fits under your kitchen sink. You can enrich the soil in your yard with your compost.
3. Watch What You Eat
Be conscious about your food choices. Shop locally from farmer’s markets, and learn about the sustainable food movement. Changes in your diet will have an impact on food supply.
4. Grow Your Own Food
Create a vegetable garden in your backyard, or even do some indoor gardening in jars. Some vegetables will even regrow from scraps if placed in water and left in the sunlight.
5. Change Your Cleaning Routine
Use eco friendly cleaning products. You’ll keep toxic chemicals out of your home and the atmosphere. Eco friendly products are also safer around children and animals.
6. Switch to Solar Energy
Add solar panels to your home. Solar is a more sustainable power source and can help you become energy independent. You will also save money on your electric bill.
7. Change Your Lightbulbs
As you need to replace them, switch the lightbulbs in your home to LED lightbulbs. An LED bulb runs 90% more efficiently than a traditional incandescent light bulb. You will also save money by switching to LED.
8. Manage Your Home’s Temperature
Use a programmable thermostat. Set the temperature appropriately when people are not home and have the air/heat kick on when it reaches a certain temperature. This ensures that you are not consuming more energy than necessary and saves money.
9. Choose the Right Appliances
When you need to replace appliances, choose those that are energy efficient. You’ll be able to recognize these by the “Energy Star” label. There are also tax credits available for residential energy efficiency.
10. Take a Look at Your Lunch
Replace disposable sandwich bags with reusable bags. You can use food-grade silicone bags, cloth bags, or other options. Wrap up unused portions of your lunch in a reusable wrap, like beeswax.
11. Take Your Green Home Habits Shopping
When you go shopping, bring reusable bags. Don’t let your purchases be bagged in either paper or plastic bags from the store. Keep them in your car so that you always have them with you.
12. Give Items a New Purpose
Repurpose glass jars for storage. A spaghetti sauce jar can become food storage. Smaller jars can store buttons, paper clips, and more.
13. Adjust Your Laundry Temperature
Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water. Check the label, but most clothes will wash fine in cold water. Washing your clothes in cold water would eliminate about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
14. Reduce Your Energy Consumption
Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Unplug any devices that are not in use. Many devices continue to consume electricity, even when they are not being used.
15. Upcycle, Recycle, Donate and Share
Don’t throw away old furniture, toys, or other home goods. See if your community has a Freecycle site, or post in your neighborhood Facebook group. On the flip side, see if you can source items from your neighbors or Craigslist before you buy something new.
16. Get Creative
Reuse scrap paper. Let kids make art projects out of junk mail or other paper that makes its way into your home.
17. Keep Paper Away From Your Home
Reduce the amount of paper in general. Sign up for electronic statements and pay your bills online. Consider online subscriptions instead of magazines or newspapers.
18. Change Up Your Morning Coffee
Switch to Certified Fair Trade coffee. Fair trade has higher environmental standards for its producers, as well as supports producers in developing countries achieve equitable trade relationships.
19. Switch to Green Beauty
Switch to environmentally friendly beauty products. There are many companies now that offer non-toxic products. Some are also cruelty-free and from companies that give back to the environment.
20. Eliminate Paper Products
Get rid of paper in your kitchen. Replace paper napkins with cloth ones and use cloth towels to wipe up spills. You’ll also save money by buying fewer products.
Use These Tips for a Green Home
Making a lot of changes at once can feel overwhelming. Start by focusing on things that you think you can easily achieve.
Choose a few from this list that you want to incorporate this year. Eventually, they will become second nature.
Once you have made them a habit, come back to this list and choose a few more. You’ll be proud of your efforts and commitment to live in a more green home.