Sustainability is more important than ever, with the rising costs of living and the irreversible damage being done to our planet. Now is the time to stand up and do your bit to help protect the environment, and to do it quickly. Luckily, there are a ton of things you can do without a total lifestyle change that can make a big difference. Rather than doing the guesswork, we’ve put together some achievable and realistic ways that you can help. Check them out below.
Solar energy is one of the best options to future-proof your home in a more sustainable way. Energy consumption is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases, with a whopping 25% of a gas generation coming from electricity. Fossil fuel usage is the main bulk of that generation, so switching to solar can make an incredible difference. Solar panels can also save you a ton of money in the long run, so it is well worth the initial outlay costs. You can reduce your energy bills by over $100 per month, around five years after they have been installed, so if you’re looking for a long-term saving then solar is your best bet. It’s worthwhile checking if you’re eligible for the Government’s solar tax credits incentive program. You may be able to use the program to offset the initial costs of the solar system and claim some of the installation fees against your federal taxes!
Reduce Fast Fashion
Cheap, fast fashion can have a hugely negative impact on the environment. Cut down on bargain buys from the mall and cheap online retailers and buy higher quality, more sustainably made garments. They will last for longer and you’ll have better-made, well-cut pieces. If your body changes, rather than get rid of your current clothes, take them to a tailor and have them alternated to fit you again. It’s pretty inexpensive and it will save you wasting money on low-cost clothes that quickly suffer from wear and tear. If your outfits are looking a bit tired and faded, pop them in the wash with some clothes dye and you’ll have pieces that look as good as new.
Instead of binning the clothes you no longer want, why not hold a swap shop with your friends and family and swap items between the group. You can get a whole no wardrobe for free, and you’ll know your old clothes have gone to a good home. If you don’t fancy swapping, donate some pieces to Goodwill so someone else can put them to good use.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
Appliances can drain your energy, so make sure that you have newer, more energy-efficient models in your home. Look for the Energy Star logo on appliances, it means they’ve been certified by the Department of Energy and can use up to 50% less energy! Ensure that any loads of laundry you do fill the machine fully, it’s far better to do several large loads a week than lots of small ones here and there. The same goes for your dishwasher. Only run it once it’s full and wash up small items in between.
This one may seem obvious, and you may recycle already, but are you doing it correctly? Recycling can vary from state to state, so make sure you know what your state’s rules entail and if certain materials aren’t collected and recycled with your trash, keep them separate and visit a recycling drop point yourself. Remember that items can only be recycled if they have been properly rinsed and cleaned out, you’re not actually helping the planet if you are dumping containers full of yogurt or jars with dried-up sauce in!
Slash Your Water Consumption
A huge amount of water is wasted when you do simple tasks such as brushing your teeth or washing the dishes. Instead, fill a washing-up bowl with hot soapy water and wash your dishes in the tub, instead of letting the tap run while you clean everything off. The same goes for brushing your teeth. Rather than let the faucet run while you’re undertaking your ablutions, turn it off until you’re ready to spit and rinse.
If you can afford to replace your toilet, a low-flow system can save around 14 gallons of water per year. a great way to cut down on your water usage! If you don’t have the cash to spare right now, you can switch up your shower head to a low flow option to cut down on water wastage without any reduction in water pressure. Speaking of showers, opt for a quick 10-minute rinse, rather than a bath. You’ll not only cut down on water usage, but you’ll also cut back your electricity bill. If you are doing a home renovation or have a big budget, you can install a grey water system that filters the water from your appliances and shower and turns it into reusable fresh water for your home.
Iron Clad Your Insulation
So much of your heating is lost through the walls, floor, and roof of your home, so having proper insulation will keep your home warm and cozy, plus save your dollars. Your attic should be insulated with the correct filling as heat rises and you risk losing precious warmth, which means using more heating to make sure your home is nice and toasty. Cellulose insulation is the best eco-friendly option as it is made with recycled materials.
Start A Vegetable Garden
If you have some yard space, turn your hand to a spot of gardening and create a fruit and vegetable patch. You can grow your own organic food, pesticide-free, and save a ton of money on your grocery shop to boot. If vegetables are a bit of a stretch, you can put up some fresh herbs and add them to meals.
Which of these tips will you be trying to make your household more sustainable? Share in the comments!