Are you as eco-friendly as you want to be? A lot of us aren’t; we think we’re going to have to cut out so many of our basic comforts and start parading around in cloth sacks. However, it’s simply not true! Whilst you already recycle and turn off the heating in favor of popping on a sweater, sometimes it doesn’t feel (or add up to!) enough. And yet, you’re still not going to have to sacrifice in the name of making your house much more of a green zone.
So being eco-friendly this year is something we should all be striving to do. It doesn’t have to be hard, and sometimes all you need is a couple of quick changes of habit to get up and going with your new organic life. With that in mind, here are some of the best tips out there to try and make your house more of a green zone!
Start Reusing More and More
One great habit you can start right now is trying to reuse more and more products you’ve been meaning to throw out. Take a water bottle you’ve just bought from the store; once it’s finished, don’t chuck it in the recycling! Keep it for later, and keep filling it up with water for as long as the bottle lasts. Wash and reuse sandwich bags, plastic silverware, and food storage containers. Plastic is extremely bad for the environment, so try to keep products made out of it for as long as possible.
Or you could even try to cut out plastic from your household entirely! It’s a lot simpler than you think when you realize all the little things you can simply kick out of your life to reduce how much plastic waste you’re churning out. Take straws, for example. Just stop using them altogether or switch to silicone or stainless steel straws! Similarly, when you go to the store, take some reusable bags with you and avoid taking home plastic or paper bags. It’ll soon become muscle memory to bring your reusable bags into the store with you.
Another big one is diapers! Did you know that the average child will go through 6,500–10,000 diapers before being potty trained around 3 years old. If you use disposable diapers and disposable wipes, this will cost you about $75–$100 a month which ends up being at least $3,000 per child! Not only are they expensive, disposable diapers are the 3rd largest consumer item taking up landfills! Disposable diapers represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste. That’s insane. Not only that, the amount of time that diapers take to degrade is a mind-blowing 500 years. If Christopher Columbus had worn disposable diapers, his poop would still be sitting in some landfill, intact. It’s time to switch to cloth diapers people.
Switch Up Your Style
Your style is something that’s always changing and evolving, and that means clearing out your wardrobe and replacing some of your fabrics is going to be easier than anything else on this list. It might even be a bit exciting! Breathable fabrics such as organic cotton or linen are going to be able to weather a lot of wear and tear down the years, and the longer you have a shirt the better your toll on the environment will be.
If you don’t know where to start with your efforts in redefining your wardrobe and looking good whilst doing it, look online for some personal advice. The online world is an untapped resource after all, and you might as well make that internet bill worth it. For example, try to shop for some good pointers at sites such as naturalclothing.com. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to head out to some thrift stores to pick out clothes for yourself or head to a children’s consignment store to dress your kids. Consigning your old clothes are a great way to make some money on the things you aren’t using anymore and lets someone else have a chance to use the clothes before they are worn out.
Try to Conserve Water
Are you the kind of person who likes to have long showers? Maybe a soak in the tub at the end of the week is something you hold dear? However, doing that often is going to cost you a lot of money, and be pretty detrimental to the environment. Conserving water is something that requires a simple turn of the faucet when you step away from the sink. Bring a cup with you when you’re about to brush your teeth, fill it with water and then get to brushing; it’s a good habit to get your kids up to as well. Take to having five-minute showers, and try not to go over fifteen minutes at the very most! You don’t have to shower every day either. Unless you are going to the gym, or have a high impact occupation like a contractor, chances are you really don’t “need” a daily shower and can manage with 2-3 showers a week.
Another way to help conserve water is making sure any loads you put into the washing machine keep the drum at full capacity. Upgrading your washer to a high-efficiency washer like the LG TwinWash laundry system. It has a smaller washing tub on the bottom that allows you to wash single items or small loads at the same time as your larger, normal loads so you can save water and time. It’s the little things that have the most effect, and it means it’s all simple at the end of the day. Remember, it also means your water bill is going to have a marked change in the price when it’s sent through the door each month.
Go Outside More Often
Stepping outside is something we do every day, and when you’re living a sedentary lifestyle you’re probably not doing it as much as you want to! Take a break from the desk and open the back door, it’s time to bask in the sunlight we’re blessed with on the good days.
Going outside means you’re not using technology, and you’re getting a good break from the grind of daily life at the same time. Having nature around you for a good few minutes at least once a day can really bring up your mood, and it’s going to inspire you to spend more time outside as a family. Take trips to the park to play some games and have a picnic.
Even if you don’t have the necessary amount of time to go outside on a daily base during the week, try and bring it inside. Open your windows more often and let in the outside air, weather permitting. It’s a much better way of aerating your house out and getting rid of all the indoor floating dust and germs in the air. Open your curtains during the day to let the warmth in and close them at night to trap the air you’ve spent all day collecting. It also means you won’t have to use the lights as much, as you’ve got plenty of natural illumination coming in through the glass windows.
Changing some simple living habits is something you can do right now. Being eco-friendly has never been more approachable or fashionable!