Visions of environmentally-friendly homes can be daunting- especially if you're new to sustainable living. You may be picturing homes completely running off solar panels, or maybe those Instagram influencers who can fit all their trash in a thimble. We're here to tell you there are much simpler ways to keep our home planet healthy without breaking the bank or radically changing our lifestyle. Check out this list of inexpensive, simple ways to make a difference!
1. Get Smart in the Kitchen: We're all guilty here. We have the best intentions when we buy heaps of groceries- but then life happens. That huge salad slowly wilts in the fridge and what's left in your milk carton takes on a new form completely. A recent report found that almost 50 percent of all of the country’s produce—about 60 million tons—is thrown in the trash. As one study from the University of Washington found, food waste in landfills is one of the leading causes of methane, not to mention the resources it takes to grow, harvest and deliver these goods to your convenient grocery store. Make a simple switch and start meal planning. Knowing what you're going to create and when can help cut down on waste significantly. Bonus points if you bring home your groceries in reusable totes! Looking to take it one step farther? Check out https://www.imperfectproduce.com/ for more information on how you can reduce food waste!
2. Switch your Bills to Online Payment: Bills suck less when they're not using up valuable resources. There are many advantages of online accounts, including a decrease in resource consumption, and increased efficiency and security. You can take it one step farther and request less mail from just about anyone simply by asking. Contact your credit card company and ask them to place you on their "in house" list that is not sold or traded to other companies. If you contribute to a charity, simply ask them to send you paperless requests and updates through email. It may take some time but cutting your mail down will save you time and our planet's resources.
3. Take Control of your Closet: We all have those jeans from college sitting around collecting dust just because "someday" they might fit again. That day isn't today though, and there are so many amazing reuse shops now that will help you clean out your closet and update your wardrobe in the process! Producing new clothing requires resources we often overlook, from growing cotton to processing the fabric and then sending it to stores. By buying pre-loved goods, we can stop contributing to this negative cycle and find some pretty awesome pieces in the process.
4. Switch to a Water Filtration System and Ditch the Plastic Bottles: The environmental footprint on something as simple as water increases exponentially when you buy it in a bottle. Plastic bottled water is an expensive, non-regulated, overly-packaged version of the stuff you can get out of your faucet. Still leary of the extremely-monitored water sourced locally from your own tax dollars? Get a filtration system! From simple Britas, to world-class ionic cleansing systems and everything in between are readily available today. Give the tap a try and you'll wonder why you wasted so much before.
5. Turn off the Lights: Simple. There is no magical energy source. Switching off your lights lessens the demand on power stations and helps them decrease the emissions generated. You'll also love the decrease in your energy bills! Want to do more? The next time a bulb goes out, consider replacing it with an LED bulb. These are more efficient and last longer than conventional lightbulbs.
Happy Earth Day!