Today, more than ever, it’s essential for us to consider how our lifestyles are affecting the environment and start adopting at least some eco-living practices to create earth-friendly homes. After all, we see the frightening effects of pollution and global warming raging against our planet, and the vast majority of us all engage in routines, behaviours and habits that are contributing to climate change every day. It seems we are greeted daily with headlines about global warming, rising sea levels, endangered animals, unhealthy food supplies, water shortages, and so much more.
Thankfully, all is not lost. Sure, all this doom and gloom might have us ready to ditch our modern way of life in favour of living off the grid. Still, it is possible to go green and live more eco-friendly lifestyles without sacrificing everyday luxuries and conveniences. With a few calculated changes, we can reduce our carbon footprints, limit our impact on the environment, and secure a better future for our children.
10 Eco-living practices for earth-friendly homes
While it’s not feasible to outlaw all products from other regions, we can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by choosing local when possible. For instance, buy produce from a local farmer, meat from a nearby rancher, and so on. This will cut down on the amount of energy and fuel needed for transport, keep money in the local economy, and provide access to fresh products.
Grow a garden
We can start our garden or grow plants in containers to give our families fresh fruit and vegetables. We will have more control over how the food we consume is produced and in the process and get our kids outside learning about the environment.
Start a compost bin
Reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill by composting leftover veggie and fruit scraps. Collect eggshells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and leftovers in a container. Then, add it to your compost pile of green and brown yard waste to make your garden fertilizer.
When the weather is nice, opt for hanging out laundry to dry in the sunlight. Not only will this reduce your electricity consumption, but line drying also protects your clothes from damage, eliminates unneeded chemicals like laundry softener, and infuses clothes with that classic sunkissed smell.
Before buying new, buy used.
No matter how eco-conscious you are, when raising a family, there will inevitably be days where you need to buy new clothing, sports equipment, baby gear, furniture, toys, and more. Instead of rushing out to the nearest shopping centre, consider buying used first, even upcycling furniture if you’re keen. Often, you can find quality items at a fraction of the cost. Look at jumble sales, thrift stores, second-hand websites, and so on. In addition to saving money, you are also repurposing items that might have ended up in a landfill.
Ditch the plastic bags and other disposable items
Plastic is environmental enemy number one – yet we use so much of it every single day! Think about it. You probably use plastic bags for your groceries or other shopping. Items of food you pick up may be wrapped in plastic. We use plastic straws. We use plastic toothbrushes. All of these items are eventually disposable and end up in a landfill. So it’s time to start saying no to this environmental threat. There are so many alternatives out there.
- Invest in a tote bag for your shopping.
- Buy loose fruit and vegetables rather than plastic-wrapped options.
- Opt for paper straws over plastic straws.
- Use a bamboo toothbrush rather than a plastic toothbrush.
- Purchase reusable containers for storing food
- Adopt rubbish free lunch boxes
- Fuse together old plastic bags to make durable, reusable grocery totes
- Invest in stainless steel or reusable plastic straws, or
- braid together plastic bags to make waterproof mats for camping or use at the beach.
Have fun and get creative with reusing and recycling objects into something new and useful and if you’re a coffee-lover, remember the reusable coffee pods! These steps will, together, make a big difference. Plus, they may take concentration and a good memory at first, but they will quickly become a habit and part of day to day life.
Did you know that recycling one ton of plastic can save over 5,770 Kwh of energy and a mind-boggling 16.3 gallons of oil!
Cutting down on meat creates earth-friendly homes.
Cutting down on meat might sound like an odd one but believe it or not; animal agriculture is one of the main contributors to global warming. Cows produce vast amounts of methane, and vast quantities of transport are required to transport live and dead animals to and from different locations. An astounding amount of water is used in the production process, and all in all, eating meat and other animal byproducts is not great for the planet. All of the fields used to produce grain that is being used to feed animals that will soon be slaughtered could be used to feed people. Now, you don’t have to dive in the deep end and become vegan. But you can cut down on meat daily, or cut meat out one day a week. It will make a massive difference to the planet!
Reduce your electricity bill
Creating earth-friendly homes is all about going back to the basics by looking for simple ways to reduce your electricity consumption and, even better, generate your own energy! Start with unplugging appliances and devices when you’re not using them. Don’t leave your phone charger plugged in all the time, turn up or lower your thermostat a few degrees to save on cooling or heating costs and set your water heater thermostat at 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Get into the habit of turning the lights off when you leave a room and only running your washing machine when it is full. After all, small cutbacks can add up and make a significant impact.
But what about generating your own energy? Few people think of it, yet it is one of the best things you can do for the planet! When you generate your own energy, it ensures you’re drawing the energy you use from sustainable sources. The most popular is the sunlight. By installing solar panels on your home, you can generate energy for your appliances, gadgets, lights and more through the energy that is being naturally passed along by the sun. The panels look fine, and you can rest assured that you’re not using non-renewable sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, daily. You can also use solar to heat your hot water, instead of gas or electricity.
If you are unable to generate your own energy for any reason – perhaps you can’t get planning permission for a panel or live in a building that can’t accommodate one – there’s always the second option of switching to a green energy company.
Make your own cleaners.
Say goodbye to expensive and harmful cleaners and detergents. You can make healthier and cheaper options using common household ingredients, such as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, soap nuts, and more.
When needed, replace appliances with energy-efficient versions.
There will inevitably come a time when we need to upgrade our refrigerator or stove. Instead of purchasing the cheapest model, look for an energy efficient option that will save you money and energy consumption in the long run.
Personally, I feel like striving towards having an eco-friendly home and lifestyle is a lot like practising gratitude; it makes you feel good. But living an eco-lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to do everything all at once, take your time and focus on one or two things first and once you feel like you have a handle on them, move onto the next more sustainable way of living.
What tips can you recommend for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle and creating earth-friendly homes?
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