How Can Your Family Live More Sustainably?
What is sustainable living? According to greenmatters.com, “Sustainable living is a lifestyle that aims to reduce one’s environmental impact, in ways that are sustainable both for the Earth and for the person.”
You and your family’s awareness of sustainability and the actions you all take to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle are important in the long-run. Look to these tips so your family can do their part in living more sustainably to the best of their ability.
Saving energy is one way your family can live more sustainably. How can you do this?
- Seal and insulate your home, especially windows, doors, ceilings, and the attic.
- Consider new windows, as they can lower energy bills. Depending on where you live, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that you can save up to $501 a year by replacing old single-pane windows with new, Energy Star-approved models.
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
- Keep the thermostat at a low temperature when you’re not home.
- Utilize a smart thermostat.
- Use power strips.
- Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
- Unplug unnecessary items and appliances when they’re not in use.
- Check, replace, and clean your house’s filters often.
- Purchase energy-efficient light bulbs.
By saving energy, you’ll also be saving money on your energy bills. You’ll be living more sustainably all the while saving money. Sounds like a win-win!
Saving water is another essential part of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Water is constantly being wasted due to a lack of education regarding its environmental effects and laziness. How can your family save water in your house in simple yet effective ways?
- Check your plumbing systems, toilets, faucets, and other water-heavy appliances for leaks and cracks.
- Limit time taking showers.
- Invest in shower heads that save water.
- Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth, shaving, and hand-washing dishes.
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines.
- Use appliances when they’re full.
- Use cold water during laundry cycles as often as possible.
- Be smart with lawn watering — and only do so when it’s necessary.
- Place a plastic water bottle in your toilet tank to save up to 10 gallons of water a day, according to seametrics.com.
Consider What You Can Do In Your Very Own Backyard
Your backyard is a hub for eco-friendly living. First, consider starting a vegetable garden. Gardens help to eliminate the need for shipping fruits and vegetables across the country and world, which in turn lessens waste and the use of harmful chemicals used in places where enormous amounts of crops are grown at once. Growing your own vegetables and herbs allows you to compost, eliminate the use of chemicals in your own backyard and on your property, and halt the spread of invasive species where you live. Plus, your children can help and learn about plants and gardens in the process.
Plant and tree placement in your back, front, and side yards can also affect the amount of energy used in your home. In fact, the strategic planting of shrubs and trees around a property can save up to 25% in energy bills due to the reduction of air conditioning use and fuel costs.
Prioritize the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
The three Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle, are still important to take into consideration in our everyday lives. Your family should incorporate the following practices in your home:
- Explain how recycling works for your children. Set up labeled bins in your home so everyone knows where to put empty bottles, cans, plastics, paper, and cardboard.
- Utilize reusable bags at the grocery store and when your family runs errands instead of plastic bags. Most reusable bags can easily be run through a washing machine to be cleaned between uses.
- Shop at second-hand shops, thrift stores, and smaller boutiques and shops rather than bigger stores and chains. This is important because the fashion industry utilizes much energy during production and contributes heavy amounts of textile waste each day.
- Donate or sell old items and clothes.
- Be mindful and strategic about your family’s shopping habits. Buy sustainable products from shops and companies that care about the environment.
- Start composting from the remnants of your backyard garden.
Eliminate Waste In Your Home
Your family’s eco-friendly habits start with simple things in your home. When you have guests over, 80% of them will accept an offer of tea or coffee. You may have food catered or you may cook a huge meal yourself. Instead of utilizing paper cups and plates, opt for plastic that can be washed and put away for another big gathering. This way, you’re not creating loads of waste. Wash out empty soda bottles and cans and recycle them, too.
Other ways to eliminate waste in your home include drinking filtered tap water, opting out of paper bills and subscriptions, using plastic storage containers to hold food rather than plastic bags, and making meal plans to eliminate wasted food.
Our environment is depending on us – and your family’s contributions matter. Utilize these tips to start living more sustainably today.