Do you think saving the environment is such a huge feat? Environmental issues actually stem from small, irresponsible acts, but we can counter them if we all do something about it. In fact, you can start today–right in the comfort of your own home!
So, here are five easy-to-follow steps to make your home more sustainable.
1. Load up on vegetables
Incorporating more greens into your diet does wonders for your health. But did you know that it’s great for the environment as well?
Researchers discovered that one-quarter of the entire planet’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food production. Sadly, animal products (fisheries and livestock) are responsible for about 31% of these emissions. From raising these animals all the way to selling them to the market, the entire process harms the environment more than we know.
For instance, ruminant animals such as sheep, cows, and goats emit a potent greenhouse gas known as methane. This substance is responsible for making the planet warmer, because it absorbs the sun’s heat. When ruminant animals eat plants and grasses, their rumen or the first compartment of their stomach breaks these down, with methane as a byproduct. And it’s all released through their burps and manure.
On the other hand, opting for vegetables leaves a positive impact on the environment. For instance, reducing your weekly burger intake is the equivalent of having your car off the road for more than 300 miles!
So, load up on vegetables to make your home more sustainable! And If you’re not fond of them, you can start by adding them to a meal each day. Then, slowly work your way up.
2. Use a clothesline
When doing the laundry, we often use a spinner to dry our clothes. It’s fast and efficient, which is exactly what we need for our busy lifestyle. Unfortunately, it’s not so good for the planet.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the US spends about $9 billion on electricity bills just on drying clothes. That’s about 16 million tons of carbon dioxide released to the planet annually! In addition, a clothes dryer consumes more energy than when you combine an energy-efficient refrigerator, dishwasher, and washer.
To make your house more energy-efficient, ditch the dryer and opt for a clothesline instead. Not only will you do the environment a favor, but you will save up on electric bills, too. Besides, a clothes dryer can be too rough, leaving permanent damage to your clothes.
Don’t forget to gently wring out your clothes before you hang them. Otherwise, the weight of the water can stretch out your clothes.
3. Use reusable toiletries
Self-care is important. They come in different forms, many of which involve using beauty products like toiletries. However, majority of what we use are disposable and made from cotton–and it’s killing the environment.
Did you know that we need a lot of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton? In fact, it’s the same amount of drinking water to sustain a person for three years. And if we continue with our throw-away lifestyle, many will lose access to water soon enough.
To make your home more sustainable, go for eco-friendly products like reusable facial pads, reusable cotton swabs, and more. These products are made from organic cotton that is both good for your health and the environment.
Plus, they’re good for your wallet!
4. Fix leaky faucets
When we encounter a leaky faucet, we tend to shrug it off. It’s just a few drops of water that comes out of the tap, right? Sadly, leaky faucets are more harmful to the environment than we can imagine.
A leaky faucet wastes about 3,000 gallons of water yearly. But the average household seems to have more than just one leaky tap, as it wastes about 10,000 gallons of water on leaks yearly. That’s enough water supply for a person to take daily showers for 6 months!
To make your home more sustainable, fix leaks immediately. You can also replace old faucets with modern ones that cut back on water consumption.
Don’t forget to perform a regular check-up on faucets and visible pipes, as some leaks can be silent and tricky to spot. And when in doubt, turn off all faucets and check your water meter. If it’s still running, then you’ve got a silent leak somewhere.
5. Unplug what’s not in use
Many of us are guilty of leaving electronics turned on, even when not in use. And when we do turn them off, we think that’s enough to save on energy. We don’t bother unplugging them.
But did you know that leaving devices unplugged uses a lot of energy? In fact, almost 50% of the total electric consumption in a property comes from unplugged devices.
So, make your house more sustainable by unplugging what you don’t use. Remember to unplug outlets, too, even when they are not connected to any gadget.
There you have it! Just follow these tips, and you’ll be living in a more sustainable home in no time.