Earth Day is the perfect time to take a look around your home and see if there are any changes you can make to make it more green.
Saving water and energy
Do you still leave lights on when you leave rooms? Is your hot water heater set to the maximum temperature? Do you wash your clothes at 40 degrees or leave the TV on even when no one is watching it? You are certainly not alone, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing that you can do about it. The vast majority of us are guilty of wasting water and electricity. If you’re keen to go green, paying attention to how much water and energy you use will have an instant impact. Save water by swapping baths for showers, shaving a few minutes off your shower time, and turning the taps off when you’re washing dishes and cleaning your teeth. Start being more careful with what you use around the home, and your energy bills will drop quickly.
You can also reduce water usage by investing in a water tank. They collect rainwater, enabling you to use water directly from the clouds to tend to your plants and keep your lawn in top condition. To reduce energy consumption, invest in smart appliances and energy-efficient light bulbs, switch electric devices off at the socket, and use a smart meter to monitor daily usage.
Recycling reduces waste, and it’s a really easy way to do your bit. When you’re throwing things away, set out a separate pile or use a container to store recyclable products. You’ll see the recycling icon on labels and packaging. In most cases, you can recycle items made from plastic, paper, cardboard, glass, and aluminum.
Don’t Forget Your Bags
Most of us have got a cupboard or drawer absolutely stuffed full of plastic bags. We keep them, with the very best intention of reusing them, and then we stuff them in a cupboard and forget about them until we add more. You probably even have a bag of bags. Or, you might do your best and keep your bag of bags in the back of your car. Then, you take them into the house to unpack, and they never make it back into the car. Get better at taking a bag with you wherever you go.
Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg
This is a great way to go green. It’ll save you money, cut your use of plastic and packaging, and make you more sustainable. If you’ve got a large garden, there’s no limit to what you can grow (perhaps aside from the weather). In a small garden, you could grow small plants like strawberries and tomatoes in hanging baskets, and things like peppers, courgettes and corn in planters or even bags. Even if you live in a flat, you might be able to grow herbs in a window box.
Bamboo is a fantastic resource. Bamboo hardly needs any water to grow, it rarely, if ever needs replanting as it just continues to grow, and it doesn’t need any fertiliser or chemicals ry bamboo toothbrushes, bamboo cotton clothes, bamboo socks, bamboo bedding, and anything else you can.
In today’s online world, there is rarely a real need to print. Save things into the cloud so that you can access them on your phone or tablet, and if you do need to print, do it double-sided or use scrap paper.
Switch Your Suppliers
Most energy suppliers have started to offer some renewably sourced energy. But, some are better at it than others. There are now some firms that only provide you with renewable energy. A few years ago, these companies were much more expensive, but that is quickly changing.
Shop Charity Stores
You might already donate your old clothing to charity, but do you have a browse while you are there? Charity shops can be great because your money is helping others while you save an item of clothing from a landfill. But, second-hand stores like eBay, car boot sales, and even hand me downs are still great for the planet.
Eat Less Meat
Even if you aren’t ready to give up meat completely (or don’t think you ever will be), start practicing meat free Monday to do your bit.
Donate Unwanted Goods
Clothes aren’t the only things that you can donate. Try to throw away as little as you possibly can by donating, or upcycling.
Stop Wasting Food
Food waste is massive. In the UK alone it’s thought that around a third of all the food that gets bought ends up in the bin. We buy too much. We buy more than we need because things are on offer and we think we’ll save money. We cook much bigger portions than we can eat and we throw leftovers away instead of keeping them.
It is also incredibly easy to avoid food waste. Start writing meal plans and shopping lists, so that you only buy what you need each week. Then, cook smaller portions, or cook in purposefully big batches and save extra portions for another day. If anything is left of your meal, ask yourself if it could do for lunch the next day before simply binning it.
Avoid Other Single-Use Products
Plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups are by no means the only single-use product that most of us are using every day. You might use paper tissues, or cotton wool pads to remove your makeup. You’ve probably got packs of baby wipes and other wet wipes around your home. Replace disposable wipes with cloths, or even save old clothes to use as rags. Start using cloth nappies and washable bamboo cotton pads to take your makeup off. Make a list of all of the things that you throw away after one use, and look online for alternatives.
Buy Energy Efficient Appliances and Bulbs (But Only When You Have To)
Replacing your lightbuls lightbulbs with more energy efficient options can mean that they last a lot longer, use much less power and save you money, as well as saving energy. It’s also worth replacing your appliances with more energy efficient versions that use less power. But, don’t rush out to buy new until your old goods need replacing.
When it comes to cleaning products, many of the most well-known brands use chemicals. That goes for household cleaners, as well as facial cleansers and other personal products. But, for the most part, there’s no need. Natural cleaning products can be just as effective, better for your skin and the air quality in your home, and may even last longer.