Climate change is no longer a problem for the future. It’s happening now, and people are taking notice. You might be one of the many people wanting to make a difference.
Your environmentally conscious dreams can take root at home. Check out these 10 ways to make your home eco-friendly and minimize your carbon footprint:
1. Donate Old Belongings
Every time you take out the trash, the contents create another pile in local landfills. Instead of adding to waste that emits methane and carbon dioxide, donate whatever you can give away.
Old clothes, furniture, and anything still usable will help people who can’t afford new replacements. You’ll prevent landfills from filling up and assist people in need.
2. Reduce Food Waste
Consider how often you throw out food. Natural resources went into growing and packaging that food, so tossing it is a more significant waste than just missing out on leftovers.
Annual uneaten food wastes $165 billion in water, taking it away from communities who could use it for personal hydration and environmental growth. The next time you make your grocery list, think about the natural resources already used during food production, and commit to reducing food waste.
3. Refine Your Recycling Efforts
Your local recycling center likely has multiple bins and dumpsters for different kinds of plastic. Their categorization depends on what chemicals went into each piece of plastic trash. Everyone in your home can look into plastic resin identification codes so they can effectively recycle what they use.
4. Use a Smart Thermostat
Traditional thermostats might force your HVAC unit to work overtime while cooling or heating your home. The outdated technology works against your carbon footprint. Save the world and your budget by using a smart thermostat instead. They use algorithms and sensors to maintain your home’s temperature with minimal energy use. By 2050, researchers estimate that households will avoid 2.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by investing in this smart resource.
5. Start a Garden
Agricultural corporations often use chemical compounds to maximize production. These chemicals leak into the local environment and pollute waterways. Your household can avoid financially supporting these companies by starting a vegetable garden. Even if you grow plants in pots on your condo balcony, you’ll have total control over the sustainable treatments that help your plants thrive.
6. Install Energy-Efficient Windows
Old windows waste your indoor heat by allowing it to slip out through sealant cracks. They also flood your home with sunshine and overheat it in the summer. Energy-efficient windows are an easy way to insulate your home and prevent your energy bill from skyrocketing.
High-quality windows use low-E glass coating to block excess outdoor heat. Deflecting that heat is a major part of making your home more eco-friendly.
7. Create DIY Cleaning Solutions
Brand-name products that clean counters or sanitize doorknobs use chemicals that wash down your drain and into waterways. The environment is better off if you create DIY cleaning solutions with all-natural ingredients. They’re cost-effective and simple to make, so anyone can avoid buying more chemical cleaners.
8. Look Into Solar Panels
Solar panels have never been more budget-friendly — find out if they could be your next home improvement project. Switching your home to solar energy keeps you from participating in the process of electric plants burning natural gas to fuel homes. The electric power industry burns 1,033 Btu of gas per person each year. This is a massive amount of methane you could keep out of the atmosphere.
9. Hang Light-Blocking Curtains
Light-blocking curtains are another way to protect your home from the outdoor heat. They’ll directly insulate whichever room you hang them in, so they’re a smaller solution to your energy needs.
10. Build a Compost Bin
Break your trash down naturally by building a compost bin and giving healthy soil back to the Earth. Use compost to fuel your vegetable garden or fertilize your yard when the grass starts to wither.
Keep an Open Mind
As you find new ways to make your home eco-friendly, keep an open mind. When you try different helpful habits, you’ll always learn better ways to support your sustainable lifestyle.