Do you know what your environmental footprint is? If every person in the world acted like the average person, we would need between 5 and 6 earths to sustain everything. Many people have begun to make strides towards more sustainable lifestyles and habits; most of them are successful. If you’ve thought about wanting to ‘go green’ or you want to help your local environment, here are some tips to get you on your way to thinking about sustainability.
Renovate or Update the Kitchen
Most of the trash that we accumulate comes from our kitchens. Whether this comes from food packaging, food preparation waste, or just flat out rotting food. Can you think of a room in your house that produces more trash? Here are some things you should think about to make your kitchen more sustainable for the long run:
Kick the Bottle Habit
A lot of people have ‘hard’ ground water in their home. This can potentially give people stomachaches or headaches, so the most common route to fix it, is to just by bottled water consistently. Further, get one that does more than soften the water because the better filter you have, the more you’ll use it. There’s been a rise in reverse osmosis water filter under sink installations recently—those are a great option for quick and simple water filter solutions.
Compost Your Wastes
If you’ve ever dabbled in gardening, you know that composting is a thing. As a premise, it makes complete sense. As a practice, it can be a little harder to do. The idea of composting turns a lot of people away before they even get going. Rotting, decomposition outside is one thing, but it’s another in your kitchen. But we live in a day and age built for convenience, “the future is now!” …And that means you can buy specially made containers for composting right in your kitchen. Anti-bacterial, anti-smell, all of it.
Update Appliances to All Electric
You’ve probably never thought that you needed to connect your phone to your stove or refrigerator, and really, no one needs to. But one of the most important things you can do to update your kitchen for sustainability, is making the switch to all electric. Now, your refrigerator is already electric but making the switch to a newer model will help reduce the amount of energy used, saving you money. Meanwhile everything will be able to be completely solar powered—cutting your wastes down further and saving you more money too.
Plant an Indoor Garden
Is there anything better than eating herbs and produce straight from your backyard? Probably the only thing that comes close to that satisfaction is doing it all inside. Most people approach this hobby by picking up small aqua gardens that can sit on a table or counter, complete with its own light source. However, there are also those who take it a step further and plant produce into water fed pots on their walls. (This also helps with insulation.) Doing an indoor garden is highly efficient, since you stop supporting the waste of resources that comes from farming, packaging, and shipping those same resources to your grocer.
Total Home Considerations
There are many ways to make your home not only more sustainable, but more pleasant for you and your family. Apart from the kitchen, there are a large number of updates and changes that can be made specifically for lowering your environmental footprint while at the same time increasing your sustainability. Here are a few tips just for that:
Update Your Floors
If you’ve stayed with the same floors for the last few decades, it’s time to update. Your flooring is one of the biggest items in your home and picking the right one will make all the difference for how your home looks, and how it functions. Technology is ever evolving, and so too is the tech involved in creating floors. You can now buy floors that will have insulation properties, anti-bacterial, anti-molding properties, even heating or cooling properties. Think about what your floor does for you, and then consider what it could do for you.
Watch What You Buy
Going to the store is great, but sometimes we forget that we’re there for a specific set of things (your grocery list). This will end up with most people making purchases that they don’t need or haven’t fully thought through. How often are you going to use that fondue set? That panini press? That waffle flipper? Most of the time this all is used once or twice then thrown out, donated, or pawned off on another family member. Cut out the time, energy, and money that goes into these things and just watch what is bought while you’re at the store.
Go to the Store
It can be tempting to go online for non-food items. But we all know what happens when those items get around to being shipped to us. Most homes could build a box city with all of the left-over boxes from 2020 alone. Our online shopping sprees need to be cut down dramatically if we want to think about sustainability. Instead of going online for toilet paper that’s going to be shipped in a box three times the right size, just go to the store. It will save time and resources for everyone involved.
Time Your A/C & Heating
This is one of the best sustainability choices we can make. The key is not to time how long they run, but rather, when to run them. In the summer, turning your air conditioning on a few hours before the heat waves start, will help to keep your home cooler, longer, which then means you can turn it off sooner too. The same thing goes for your heating—heating in the early morning will help to heat the house and keep it warm longer—which means you can turn that off sooner too.