The home is where the heart is, and sometimes it’s important to see that the home will be a reflection of yourself and your actions. However, your household is not beyond the effects of the outside world, and sometimes while it’s fun going with the flow and keeping traditions intact, a change can sometimes be for the better. If you’re looking towards going green at home, it’s not as hard as you think. If you start this tradition with these simple ways below, you’re likely going to help make a big change for the environment.
The numbers seem to indicate a push towards sustainability as well. As per recent statistics, both the United States and global markets have started to see the rise of green services and products. As much as $640-million are being allotted to green cleaning products, $2-billion on energy-saving bulbs, $10-billion for clean-diesel, electric, and hybrid vehicles, and $29.2-billion for organic food. For services and products, around $5.2-trillion dollars have been made between 2010 and 2011 out of them, with 48-percent of the total having come from low-carbon actions, 31-percent from efforts towards renewable energy, and 21-percent from various environmental activities. If you’re looking towards the future of sustainability, it’s safe to say the world will be slowly shifting towards prioritizing a green lifestyle, so what better time to be green at home than now? Here are the ways:
1.) Reduce going excessive: Aside from the typical “reduce, reuse, recycle” clause, try to make sure you reduce the likelihood of going excessive with things you don’t necessarily need. Is it possible to buy groceries with reusable nylon bags instead of always going for plastic items? Do you tend to accept stuff you don’t use such as flyers, pens, or plastic utensils? Try to develop behavior of not accepting and getting things you aren’t going to use to constantly save waste.
2.) Use public transportation, carpool, and bike: When you go out and go back to the house, cut back on using your car and potentially save your money by using things a lot of people use instead. Go for public transportation or carpooling, so there’s one less car polluting the streets when you do leave the house.
3.) Commit to reusables: Like the “reduce excess” tip above, try to commit yourself to using reusable containers even at home. Don’t go for bottled water and instead have your own water container at home. Try to ask if folks at a coffee shop could put your drink in your personal mug, and that restaurants place your order in your own food container instead. This behavior can extend at home, so you only have very few things you need to constantly reuse.
4.) Try to use less water: If possible, try to take shorter and more optimal shower, and go for energy-saving dishwashers that save more water than conventional appliances. Don’t leave the faucet open, and only run your laundry at a full load so water use is conserved.
5.) Try to use less electricity: In the same token, if it’s possible, try to use less electricity by relying more on rechargeables and actively remove things you don’t use from their sockets. Did you know leaving all things is sockets can actually add as much as 10-percent to your electricity bill?
6.) Recycle your e-waste responsibly: E-waste, or electronic waste, can come in the form of gadgets or electrical things you don’t use, such as batteries and older gadgets that are broken or in disrepair. Throwing them nonchalantly can spread pollutants such as polyvinyl chloride, beryllium, mercury, and lead. If you need to throw these away, try finding a verified recycler instead.
7.) Eat less meat and eat more veggies: Did you know that it takes a lot of water and energy just to produce meat? That’s right, there’s a lot of need to grow animals and maintain the farms where they’re raised, which indirectly contributes to the overall carbon footprint released into the atmosphere. Instead of going for meat in markets, try to have a small farm, or rely on your farmer’s market. You can even try to have a garden at home.
8.) Try to rely on secondhand items: Secondhand items aren’t only cheap, but it also allows you to take an extra step in making sure all things that are still useful are still being used. This prolongs the life of objects that are still actually inherently useful, but not new, such as furnitures and gadgets.
9.) Compost if you can: If you can invest in a backyard compost, try to do so as it allows food waste to be turned into usable energy. If not, try to donate food waste to a local compost program, if there is any. This not only allows you to go green at home, but also allows you to participate in the community.
10.) Reduce consumption of paper towels: Try to make sure you have a stack of dishtowels all around your house to dry your hands instead of relying on paper towels. Napkins at dinner time that you can wash can also be an option if you want to reduce the waste you produce.
Conclusion: One Small Step
As Neil Armstrong announced, his one small step on the Moon is a giant leap for mankind. Your actions to go green at home, while small at first, can contribute to an entire cause geared towards making the world a safer place for generations to come. The methods above might seem a bit overwhelming a change at first, but once you get used to it, you’re going to be able to find it easier to adapt and be more creative with greener practices.
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