Are you trying to figure out how to go green? With so many different messages about being eco friendly, it can be confusing to know what to do when you’re first figuring out how to save the environment, or at least do your part to help.
Learning how to be more eco friendly isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Small changes add up quickly and help you protect the environment.
Keep reading for tips on how to protect the environment by going green.
Reduce Energy and Water Consumption
You need energy to power your home, and you wouldn’t survive without water. Being more intentional with your use of those resources can minimize your impact on the environment, though.
Using a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature automatically can reduce how much your heating and cooling system runs. When possible, cut down on using heat-producing appliances, such as stoves and dryers, when it’s hot outside as your air conditioning will run more.
Get the whole family on board with shutting off lights and appliances when they’re not being used. Avoid running water when you don’t need it, such as while you’re brushing your teeth. Shut it off until you need the water again.
Repair Your Home
Make your home more energy efficient by repairing things that don’t work well or go projects that make it more energy efficient. In addition to the benefits of going green for the environment, these changes can help you save money on utility bills.
Some repairs and projects to consider include:
- Repairing cracks in the foundation
- Sealing gaps around doors and windows
- Adding insulation
- Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads
- Repairing leaky toilets
- Maintaining your heating and cooling system
- Replacing leaky windows
- Replacing appliances that are old and not energy efficient
These projects can make your home more energy efficient so you don’t have to run your heating and cooling system as often. Some of them also reduce excess water use.
Reuse Things When Possible
Recycling is better than tossing things in the trash, but reusing items within your home is even better. While recycling often saves energy and water compared to producing new materials, it still uses those resources. If you can keep the item and use it in a new way, you’re making the process as eco-friendly as possible.
When you have no use for something yourself, consider donating it so someone else can use it. You can often donate items to charity thrift stores and get a tax receipt. You can donate some home items to Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations to benefit the program.
Hold Off on New Purchases
You’ll eventually need to replace items in your home as they wear out. Holding onto your purchases as long as possible can help protect the environment. It keeps your old items out of landfills and cuts back on how many new resources you consume.
The production process for all types of purchases adds pollution to the air. Many manufacturing processes use lots of water. When you constantly buy new things, you’re increasing demand and supporting more production.
When you need new pieces, invest in things that’ll last. Wood furniture with a classic design that won’t become outdated soon is a good investment, for example. You can refinish the wood if it gets worn, and wood can often be repaired.
Reduce Your Chemical Use
Harsh chemicals are not only dangerous for your family, but they’re also damaging to the environment. Even chemicals used inside your home can impact the environment. When you dispose of them or wash them down your drain, they end up in the environment.
Greening up your cleaning routine is a simple way to reduce chemical use. Even though cleaners are readily available, they’re often full of toxic chemicals. Fumes from the cleaners end up in your air, where you can breathe them in.
Instead of harsh cleaners, use a mix of vinegar and water. Baking soda is a gentle and eco-friendly way to scrub stubborn spots.
Another easy way to accomplish eco-friendly cleaning is to hire a green cleaning service. Many companies use green cleaning supplies to clean your home without leaving behind chemical residue.
Cut Down on Waste Production
Reducing how much waste you create helps you protect the environment by reducing how much trash goes to landfills. Choosing digital options for things such as receipts, tickets, and documents cuts down on how much paper you use and eventually throw away.
Replacing disposable items in your kitchen with reusable versions is another option. Use plastic food storage containers instead of disposable baggies, and avoid disposable plates, cups, and silverware when possible. Microfiber cleaning cloths in place of paper towels and cloth napkins in place of paper can also help.
Pay attention to packaging when you buy anything. Many companies try to use minimal packaging to reduce waste. Look for items sold in recyclable packaging as well.
On average, a passenger vehicle creates 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide in a year. Every mile driven produces an average of 404 grams of carbon dioxide. That means every mile you don’t drive reduces how much carbon dioxide your produce.
You can’t completely avoid traveling. You need to go to the store for necessities, and many people have to report to the office for work.
Cutting back on extra driving can make you more eco conscious. Plan trips to the store or to run errands so you can get as much done in one trip as possible. When you plan meals, you can make fewer trips to the grocery store because you know what ingredients you’ll need.
When possible, walk or ride your bike to get places. If you live close enough to work, you can use your bike for your commute instead of your car when the weather cooperates. Carpooling can also reduce your impact on the environment since fewer vehicles are on the road.
Attending things virtually instead of in person can also help. If you have a simple medical issue and need to see the doctor, you can schedule a virtual appointment instead of driving to the office. When choosing doctors and other services you use in person, choose ones close to home to shorten your drive.
Learn How to Go Green
Figuring out how to go green doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you learn how to be eco conscious, you’ll naturally start making choices that are healthier for the environment.