There are plenty of ways to be environmentally friendly at home. Adopting an eco-conscious lifestyle isn't necessarily expensive. With some easy changes, you can save energy, time and money while protecting the environment.
Some homes are already designed and built to be eco-friendly. They use new technologies and materials to save energy and significantly reduce their carbon footprint.
Fortunately, you don't have to make drastic changes if you possess a more traditional home in order to live a more responsible lifestyle. Let's make it as easy as possible for you.
Here are very small things you can do today to be environmentally friendly at home:
Use a Pressure Cooker. They have the advantage of cooking food very fast and consuming less energy as the heat doesn't dissipate much into the air.
Use natural materials. When looking for packaging or DIY solutions, try to avoid plastics. Prefer wood, paper, cardboard as an eco-friendly alternative.
Avoid plastic bottles. It is not enough to recycle the plastic you use. It is better to not use any plastic in the first place. Buy a reusable bottle and use a filter for tap water.
Compost your food waste. You don't have to throw away every scrap at the end of each meal. Instead, store them in a composting bin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Collect rainwater. You can easily set up a rainwater collecting device. You can then use the water collected to wash your car or water your garden.
Spend less time in the shower. Reducing how much water you use is a great way to be environmentally friendly at home. It will save you money as well.
Forget the dryer. Dry your laundry instead and it will save you a lot of electricity. A dryer is a major energy sink and should be avoided as much as possible.
Wash your clothes in cold water. High temperature isn't necessary every time you do your laundry. The cold water setting on your washing machine is the best to save lots of energy.
Use LEDs for lighting. LEDs use a lot less energy than incandescent lighting. It will reduce your carbon footprint and help you save money as well.
Eat a plant-based diet. You don't have to change the way you eat completely. Even reducing your animal product consumption such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy has a tremendous positive impact on the environment.
Save electronics energy. The simplest way to reduce your electrical bill and save the planet at the same time is to unplug the appliances you don't use.
Turn off the lights. This is very simple to do and goes a long way. Use natural lighting when possible and switching off the lights when you leave the room.
Forget paper towels. It is best to use reusable towels instead. Cotton towels are eco-friendlier than paper towels.
Prefer reusable shopping bags. Pick bags that are strong and durable so you can use them over and over again. This reduces the environmental impact of their production drastically.
Shop eco-friendly products. When picking cleaning or beauty products and clothing, prefer environmentally friendly products that are also ethical, fair, and cruelty-free.
Buy locally-sourced products. This shrinks greenhouse gas emissions from the production and transportation. Go to the farmer's market for food.
Avoid the elevator. If you can take the stairs, it will benefit your health and the environment.
Always fill the dishwasher. Don't run the dishwasher or washing machine with only a few pieces in it. Fill all the way before running it.
Use a smart thermostat. Set it to eco-mode and it will automatically lower the temperature when you are not there.
Lastly, increase insulation. Thermal insulation is crucial to maximize energy-savings while preventing energy losses.
Ideally, you want to have solar panels, grow your own food, plant trees, decor with green plants. But that is not always an option. Begin with the simplest things. The planet and your wallet will thank you!
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About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.