If you’re concerned about the effects of climate change and what it may mean for you and your family in the coming years, you may feel like it’s impossible to do anything of value – after all, you are only one person and there’s a whole world out there. However, there ARE things you can do in your own home to live a little (or a lot) more environmentally friendly and if your own small way you and your family can make a difference – it doesn’t even have to be difficult. Here are just a handful of simple changes you can make to live a more eco-friendly life in your own home:
Start a Compost Heap
Even people who plan their food shopping and their meals very carefully often end up with food waste. If you’re one of them, instead of tossing those scraps down the garbage disposal or in the trash, get a compost bin and put it in there instead. That way you’ll be doing your bit to cut down on landfill and the dangerous gasses it produces, and you’ll make lots of lovely compost that will feed your garden and make it lusher than ever, too.
Water is vital to our very existence, so it is important we all do our bit to conserve it when possible. You can do this by taking shorter showers and turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth, etc., but something that will make an even bigger impact is catching rainwater and using that instead of the stuff from the faucet whenever possible. You can do this by placing a water butt in the garden and using the water it catches to water your garden, or even better by installing a water reserve tank in home so that you can use rainwater for lots of things around the house. Even using a small amount of rainwater in place of your usual water will be beneficial.
Stop Using Plastic Bottles
One thing that most of us can probably do without too much pain, but which will make a huge amount of difference to the environment, is giving up the use of plastic bottles. Even though they can be recycled, many are not, and of course, it takes a lot of energy to recycle them and produce new ones, so it’s far better to do without them. What can you do instead? Buy a reusable metal water bottle and fill that up whenever you need to-it’s that simple.
Insulate Your Home
If your home is not effectively insulated, it will be losing heat and that means you will probably end up turning up your heating system a degree or two to compensate. That will cost you more money and it will certainly cost the environment more. Insulation for the home has never been more affordable and it will enable you to stay warm in your home at a lower temperature. Of course, a really low-tech way to stay warm without turning up the heat is to add more layers of clothing, and this is even more eco-friendly!
Do Meatless Mondays
The production and consumption of meat is one of the biggest contributors to the environmental crisis, so it stands to reason that reducing your family’s consumption of meat will help you to cut your personal carbon footprint. Going vegan or vegetarian is ideal, but if you can’t manage that, eating only veggie/vegan recipes once a week will do a lot. In fact, going meatless one day a week will have the same environmental impact as driving 320 miles fewer each year, and there are so many great meat-free recipes that it really isn’t a hardship.
Unplug, Unplug, Unplug
How many gadgets and electronic devices do you have in your home? A lot right? In the internet age, most of us have homes that are packed with TVs, computers, phones, smart lamps and…well you get the idea, and that’s fine, but what is not fine – for the environment anyway – is leaving all of these devices plugged in and switched on even when we are not using them. Unplugging things when you’re done with them can save so much energy, and that means it can save you money as well as helping to save the planet, too.
Line drying clothing used to be the norm before electronic dryers were invented, and it’s something that more of us should start doing again. Tumble dryers are one of the biggest energy suckers in the home, so reducing their use can make a huge difference. Obviously, weather conditions don’t always allow for line drying, but when it’s fine, there is no better way to dry your clothes, not only because it’s great for the environment, but also because clothes smell better and last longer when they have been dried naturally.
Whether you’re looking for a new dining table to compliment your decor or you need some new clothes for the family, why not buy preloved? A lot of people feel weird about buying stuff that has been used by strangers, but as long as it’s clean, there is no reason not to. Buying used means that you are not wasting finite resources or racking up lots of carbon debt, and you know what? You can often find some really amazing, unique stuff that you simply would not find in the average store when you shop this way. The savings can be amazing too.
So many of us never walk anywhere, but when the weather and location allow it, there is nothing more enjoyable than walking to where you need to be, taking in the scenery and getting in a little exercise. It’s completely carbon-neutral too of course!
Living a more eco-friendly life at home doesn’t have to be a chore. As you can see, there are lots of simple things you can do that will make a difference, and what’s more, many of them can save you money and enhance your life, so what are you waiting for?