By Charlie Fletcher
Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing about things like climate change, waste buildup, and sustainability. People are starting to recognize the importance of protecting the planet. While governments, major corporations, and organizations can make major shifts in their operations to be more sustainable, there are also things you can do in your everyday life to benefit the environment. We can all do something to help. If we change our habits we can all find ways to save the environment.
Changing some of your daily habits with the environment in mind can make a bigger difference than you might think. Each person emits about 19 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. After 1.5 years, that’s the weight of 12 cars. So, yes, one person can have an impact on the planet.
Knowing that your carbon footprint matters, what can you do? How can you change your habits to find ways to save the environment and make a real difference? Let’s take a look at some switches and swaps you can make in your home life and personal life. Sometimes, the smallest changes can make the biggest differences.
Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly
While creating a more sustainable home isn’t necessarily a “habit,” upgrading things in your living space can make it easier to form healthier, greener routines. That’s especially true if you have an older home that isn’t exactly energy-efficient.
You can start by getting an energy audit of your home. Most utility companies offer them for free or at a very low rate. An energy audit will let you know how energy in the home is being wasted, and where you can/should make upgrades. Some of the most common improvement suggestions include:
- Switching to LED lighting
- Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances
- Sealing doors and windows
- Adding insulation
Even without an energy audit, you can make upgrades in your home to make it more sustainable, including utilizing smart home technology. Installing a smart thermostat, for example, is a great way to minimize energy costs, track your usage, and control the temperature of your home no matter where you are.
Energy-efficient home upgrades are an investment. But, most are actually designed to save you money. It won’t take long for you to see the savings on your utility bills. Some upgrades can even get you a tax credit. So, don’t be afraid to take the leap and invest in upgrades that are better for the planet, and better for you.
Cleaning Without Harsh Chemicals
Most people clean around the home a few times a week. Whether you’re dusting, wiping down windows, or sweeping the floors, there’s always something to be done.
But, what if your cleaning habits are actually doing more harm than good to the environment?
One way to tell is by looking at the products you use.
Think about going to the grocery store and picking up a can of chicken noodle soup. What if you turned it over to read the label and couldn’t recognize a single ingredient? Instead, all you saw were chemicals and things you couldn’t pronounce. Chances are, you would be putting that can back on the shelf.
You should take the same approach with cleaning supplies. While many people think that harsh chemicals are “necessary” to get things truly clean, that isn’t true. There are plenty of natural ingredients that can make your home sparkle and disinfect it at the same time.
Thankfully, because of the rise in demand for sustainable products, there are more natural cleaning supplies on the shelves than ever before. But, one way to save money and know exactly what is going into your cleaning solutions is to make them yourself. Some of the most common ingredients in DIY cleaning products include:
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Essential oils
One quick search will lead you to countless “recipes” for different solutions. Find what works for you, add a few drops of essential oils to create a scent you enjoy, and you’ll change your cleaning habits forever. Not only is it a change that’s better for the environment, but it’s better for your health, too!
Reducing Your Waste
Waste production has become a huge problem across the globe. The average person produces about 4.5 pounds of it each day, which seems staggering. But, think about how much you throw away each day, and you’ll realize it adds up fairly quickly.
Not only is all of this waste causing our landfills to become too full, but the waste that is already there is a huge problem when it comes to greenhouse gases.
There’s no denying we live in a world that is reliant on convenience packaging and the overuse of plastic. But, there are things you can do in your everyday life to reduce the amount of waste you produce each day. Some of the simplest ways to cut back include:
- Setting up a recycling bin in your home
- Shopping locally
- Buying in bulk
When most people think about waste, food is the first thing that comes to mind. While that’s a major contributor, don’t forget about things like household items and clothes. Textile waste is a big problem, but you can change your habits to reduce your production there, too. Consider donating old clothes rather than throwing them out. Shop at thrift stores or second-hand shops, and avoid “fast fashion” stores that sell clothing that isn’t made to last.
The more you know about the state of the environment, the more motivating it can be to change your habits. Even if you’ve done things a certain way your whole life, it’s never too late to make positive changes. By making these switches now, you’re not only benefitting yourself, but your kids, future grandkids, and many more generations to come.
You may also like: DIY Natural Cleaning Products – For You And Your Home
Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer from the lovely “city of trees”- Boise, Idaho. Her love of writing pairs with her passion for social activism and search for the truth. When not writing, she is a part-time wedding planner and spends time with her nephews.