It seems being more green is on everyone’s minds right now, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available on the subject. The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert on solar cells or the no-waste lifestyle to start making eco-friendly changes to your home. Whether you are looking into installing solar power or you just want to reduce your water usage, there are plenty of ways you can get started without a Ph.D. in environmental science. Here are eight ways you can make your home more eco-friendly today.
1. Harness the Sun
If you live in an area with a good amount of sun, solar panels can be an excellent investment for nature and your wallet. Even if you live in an area with average sunshine, your panels can end up capturing enough energy for you and your family to have all you need right at home. If you want to take this technology on the road, you can get a portable solar panel for trips and charging while traveling or camping.
2. Make Your Own Cleaning Products
The harsh chemicals used in many cleaning products and soaps can be taxing on the environment. The good news is, you don’t have to splurge on green products to keep your home neat. Products you already have in your pantry, like vinegar and baking soda, can do the job. You can add your favorite essential oils and have your home smelling and looking great in no time.
3. Reduce Plastic
If you drink four bottles of water per day, switching to a reusable water bottle would save you 1,460 bottles per year. Not to mention you would save a considerable amount of money as well. Water bottle filling stations are everywhere these days, from the airport to your favorite gym, so this is an easy switch to make. You can also switch out your regular Ziploc bags and containers for silicone and glass. In addition, reusable shopping bags are another popular way to reduce plastic use when you go to the store.
4. Use Green Beauty Products
Many websites are available to analyze a product’s ingredient list. Still, if you’re not ready for that much of a time commitment, you can avoid the significant offenders like parabens and sulfates. Many major brands offer paraben and sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, and switching to a biodegradable soap is another great first step. If you want to go the extra mile, soap, shampoo, and conditioner bars can further avoid plastic use.
5. Shop Secondhand
Some clothes, electronics, and many other modern items go into landfills unnecessarily when people are constantly buying new. Not only do new products take an incredible amount of energy to produce, but they can also take up to 200 or more years to decompose. By buying used, you can save money and energy and still get the things you need. Often, you can buy used items in like-new condition.
6. Reduce Meat Consumption
Whether eating meat is good for your health or not, meat production is taxing on the planet. In fact, the majority of greenhouse gas emissions due to agriculture come from meat production. You don’t have to go vegan overnight to make a difference. Just reducing your meat consumption to a few nights per week can make an impact.
7. Unplug Your Appliances
Believe it or not, even if your appliances are turned off, they still consume some energy. Unplug appliances that you don’t use frequently, and unplug as many electronics as you can when leaving home for an extended period. In addition, when replacing electronics, search for those that have an eco-friendly sticker.
8. Shop Locally
Shopping locally avoids much of the transportation, packaging, and manufacturing that big box stores use to distribute their products. By shopping in your community, you can help your local economy, find unique products, and make sustainable choices. Remember, you can also shop for groceries locally by heading to your local farmer’s market.
These are just a few ways you can be more eco-friendly without breaking the bank or giving yourself a headache. Making lifestyle changes can often feel overwhelming, but even a small change can make a big impact.