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:

Homeade cleaning spray made from lemons

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. 

Waterfall oasis in forest

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.

Fresh harvested carrots from garden

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. 

Solar panels for renewable energy

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!

Devices plugged in

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.

eco protest sign

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.

Citrus and vinegar cleaning spray
Colorful vegetarian meal

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. 

Cardboard recycling

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.

Woman planting a tree

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!

We hope these simple ideas have you feeling inspired and ready to adopt a sustainable lifestyle! Hungry for more? Consider becoming a tree ambassador with us or planting a tree today!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. This project is currently supporting AFR100, the African Forest Landscape Initiative. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Provide jobs to minimize poverty in local communities
  • Improve climate change resilience & mitigation
  • Restore forest cover to improve food security
  • Africa is home to the world's second-largest tropical rainforest. The Congo Basin is home to 60% of the continent's biodiversity. However, unfortunately, Africa is alarmingly at risk due to the current deforestation rate - which is 4 times the global deforestation rate. Not only does this threaten the livelihoods of its local communities, but it also affects the planet as a whole.
    Thanks to AFR100, Africa is on a mission to reverse these trends and restore 100 million hectares of land by 2030. This country-led effort will bring 100 million hectares of land in Africa into restoration by 2030. This initiative aims to accelerate restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation and combat rural poverty. This includes 32 participating countries in Africa, along with local communities, national governments, public and private sector partners, and international development programs.
  • Planting trees in Africa reaps multiple benefits! Notably, reforestation here will help to add nutrients to the soil and control erosion, minimize poverty within local communities through the creation of jobs, and improve food security by feeding impoverished families through the planting of fruit trees. Ultimately, added forest cover in this region will diminish pressure on remaining forests, allowing for biodiversity to flourish and ultimately helping with the global climate crisis.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • We will plant an array of indigenous tree species throughout Africa, such as Senegalia polyacantha, Faidherbia albida, Albizia adianthifolia, Persea americana, Calliandra calothyrsus, Macadamia spp., shea, and mahogany. Fruit trees will also be planted, which include mango, orange, tangerine, avocado, apple, guava, and Brazil nut.

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