9 Ways to be More Sustainable at Home
Meaghan Weeden | May 25, 2020 | 4 min read
Want to live a sustainable life?
Whether it's for global pandemic reasons or otherwise, we spend a lot of time at home. The more sustainable you can make it, the more healthy your immediate environment will be! And implementing small shifts in your behavior, products, or consumption habits will ripple outwards to make a bigger positive impact for the planet.
Here are 9 simple tips for a more sustainable lifestyle:
1. MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS
When it comes to green cleaning, white vinegar is about to become your best friend. With a little elbow grease, you’ll be able to tackle everything from your stinky garbage disposal to your mildew-y shower and grease-splattered cook top — all without any exposure to toxic chemicals.
2. BE WATER-WISE
Just .4% of the Earth’s water is freshwater, and far too much of that gets wasted every day. You can make a huge impact by reducing your water usage, taking shorter showers, fixing any leaky pipes around the house, or even sticking something heavy into your toilet tank to reduce the amount that gets flushed down the drain.
3. GROW A GARDEN
Try growing your own food — and don’t worry: it’s easier than it looks! Simply plant a few seeds in a corner of your yard — or, if you’re an apartment-dweller, on your porch or windowsill. You don’t need acres: just a few square feet can provide enough space to grow a bounty of herbs, fruits, and vegetables.
4. SUPPORT RENEWABLE ENERGY
If you own your home, look into getting solar panels. If you don’t, or if an installation just isn’t feasible, you can still make a difference by telling your utility that you want to get your energy from 100% renewable sources. And remember to turn the lights off every time you leave a room. The little things really do add up!
5. UNPLUG ELECTRONICS
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the cost of unused but plugged-in devices is around 19 billion dollars annually in the US and generates 44 million tons of carbon. Use power strips to make it easier to unplug several things at once, and make it a habit to leave things that you don't use everyday unplugged.
6. SPEAK UP
Speak with people in your community or inner circle about why you’re passionate about nature and environmental justice, join climate protests like Fridays for the Future, support groups or coalitions who lean on power in numbers to affect change, or simply share your own positive actions with friends and family to spark their curiosity.
7. GREEN UP YOUR DIET
The food you eat every day has a huge impact on the planet. Adopting a sustainable dietcan go a long way. Opting for organic, supporting local farmers, and phasing out or at least lowering your consumption of meat will absolutely make a difference. It is also important to reduce food waste: try meal planning to streamline your shopping — and compost whatever you don’t use.
8. LEARN YOUR LOCAL RECYCLING RULES
Waste guidelines can be confusing, so reach out to your local waste treatment facility to find out exactly what they accept. You can also check our tips on How to Recycle, and be surprised to learn some things you’ve been dutifully tossing in the bin (i.e. yogurt cups) get incinerated or baled and sent to third world countries.
9. PLANT ALL THE TREES
Trees help to stabilize our climate by absorbing pollution and sequestering carbon, while creating breathable oxygen. They also modulate temperatures, provide wildlife habitat, create a positive social impact, and so much more. Clearly, they’re friends worth keeping in our corner. So plant a tree today!