Going green is a buzzword these days, but many people still aren’t totally sure what it means. In simple terms, green living is making lifestyle choices and cultivating practices that reduce your negative impact on the earth and its inhabitants.
Because of climate change, our planet is at risk. Glaciers are shrinking, and sea levels are rising. If things don't change, we'll see floods, heatwaves, and other natural disasters in the decades to come. Earth could even become uninhabitable!
It is every person on the planet's responsibility to do their part to stop this from happening by going green and staying green.
How Does Green Living Help the Environment?
When you lead a more environmentally-friendly lifestyle, you're helping the environment by reducing the amount of pollution that enters the atmosphere, water, and soil.
Yes, it's that simple! You can live a more climate-friendly life by making just a few fundamental changes in your daily life.
Simple Steps to a Greener Home
If you're wondering how to go green at home, here are some excellent eco-friendly ideas you can begin to implement around your house or apartment.
Some of them will not only help you save energy, but are also excellent money-savers!
1) Power down electronic devices, or install power strips
One of the biggest ways to waste electricity is to leave devices on overnight.
Powering down all of your TVs, games consoles, and computers could take some getting used to, especially if your home is a modern-day tech hub like so many – but it makes a difference!
One of the top eco-friendly house ideas is to install a surge-protected power strip that is easy to access and to connect several devices to it.
2) Turn the tap off
Around two gallons of water can flow from a regular bathroom every minute.
If you turn the water off when you're brushing your teeth, you could save as much as four gallons of water every day!
Each year, this simple change translates to a savings of more than 1,000 gallons of water.
You could also:
- Wash your fresh produce in a bowl instead of running water.
- Defrost food in the fridge instead of running water over it.
- Only use the water you need to boil in the kettle. This will also save electricity!
You may be wondering how saving water is one of the best ways to go greener. Well, it not only relieves pressure on drainage and sewage systems, but it also helps to extend the lifespan of lakes that are critical to the ecosystems around them.
3) Dial down the heat or A/C
- Avoid cranking up the heat at the first sign of cold. Instead, space the timing out a bit further and layer up to keep warm.
- Put some rugs down during winter, close off rooms you're not using, and keep the blinds and curtains open when the sun is out.
- To keep the house cooler without cranking up the A/C 24/7, close blinds and curtains to keep the sunshine out, and open windows for fresh air when it's not that hot or when there's a fresh breeze blowing.
4) Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs
On average, a household uses around 5% of its energy budget to lighting.
One of the most effective ways to cut energy bills is to make the switch. You can choose between LEDs and CFLs.
Both types of light bulbs use between 75% and 80% less energy than regular bulbs and can save you up to $125 a year in energy costs. This is one of the top money-saving green home ideas!
Here are some ways to go green by reusing:
- Use reusable bags instead of taking plastic bags from the grocery store.
- Buy secondhand goods where you can.
- If it's available in your area, have milk delivered to your doorstep in glass bottles. Put the empties out for the milkman to pick up the next day!
- Say no to napkins, single-use plastic bottles, and plastic utensils. Replace these with items that can be reused instead.
- Reuse packaging that can't be recycled by using it for arts and crafts projects or as storage.
One of the top going green tips is recycling. It is super effective and doesn't have to take a lot of effort. You can start simply:
- When shopping, choose packaging that is easy to recycle.
- Invest in bins that let you split recycling easily at home.
- Invest in earth-friendly gadgets that make recycling more manageable, like a Homebuddy can crusher.
- Buy rechargeable batteries.
- Have your ink and printer cartridges refilled instead of buying new ones.
7) Shop smart
- Don't make frequent trips to the grocery store.
- Buy in bulk instead, and store the groceries in reusable storage containers. This will reduce your carbon emissions from driving and also help save on packaging!
- Shop online where possible, and try to keep it local. You'll support smaller businesses while reducing your carbon footprint.
- Buy food that's in season in your country, or even in your local area. This will reduce the substantial carbon footprint from imported goods!
Little Things Can Make a Big Impact
Besides the ideas above, other little things can add up to help you save energy and money, for example:
Make sure the filters in appliances like vacuum cleaners, air conditioners, and refrigerators are all clean. This improves efficiency and performance.
- Form groups with neighbors to do grocery runs together or create lift clubs. Why travel as individuals when you can club together to reduce emissions and save money?
- Take colder showers, especially after workouts.
- Eat less meat and dairy; both are industries with a massive carbon footprint.
- Only do the washing if you have a full load, and do it in a power-saving setting.
- Cycle instead of driving where possible. You'll get the added benefit of fresh air and exercise!
- Work from home where possible. The less you travel, the more green you are.
Staying Green is Not Rocket Science!
If you follow these simple tips to stay green in your life and at home, your carbon footprint will be smaller.
This may not seem like a big deal, but with enough people around the world caring enough to change their lifestyles, it can help our planet heal. Isn’t it time you go green and stay that way?