Happy Earth Day! Every year this day provides us with a reminder to express gratitude for the earth and protect it. The steps towards creating a greener world can feel daunting, but the key is starting small. That’s why today we’re sharing ten simple ways you can help the environment in your own home. These steps are easy to implement and although they may seem small, they can make a real difference in the big picture.
Produce and leftovers are constantly going bad and sometimes it feels like we just can’t keep up. In the meantime, things sit in our pantry for months and we forget to use them. To solve this problem, start by learning food preservation hacks. For example, did you know berries last much longer when submerged in a vinegar bath? This technique can keep them fresh for weeks! Start researching the best ways to freeze fruits and vegetables. You’d be surprised by how much you can freeze! Check out this app that tells you when your food is about to expire. Reduce the amount of food you throw in the trash by creating a compost. Peels, egg shells, and leftovers can all be put to use! Whether or not you have a garden, composting is a must! Lastly, Jordan Page is an incredible resource for saving money and meal planning. Follow along with @shelfcooking to change the way you cook.
The most energy efficient light bulbs are compact fluorescent light bulbs, often called CFLs, and LED bulbs. LED lights typically cost more, so CFLs are the most cost efficient in the long run because they last longer than other bulbs. No need to throw away all of your current light bulbs. Instead, simply replace them with CFLs once they burn out. Little by little, you’ll be transitioning to a more efficient light source.
Nobody likes to hear that they need to cut their showers short. We’re all guilty of this! The good news? Showers are more efficient than filling the entire tub for a bath. The bad news? Long showers defeat the purpose of saving all that water. Try setting a timer to remind yourself just how long you’re taking. Ladies, turn off the shower when you shave. If you’re up for it, replace your shower head with a low flow one. There’s so many ways to preserve water which will in turn save you money. The rewards are two fold!
Rather than running errands to a hundred different places, shopping online for what you need can save you tons of gas + excessive trips. Plan to combine your orders whenever you and make your trips to the store minimal. The best part? This saves a lot of time!
You know those peanut butter jars, butter containers, and salsa jars? Wash and reuse them! Those glass jars are perfect for leftovers and plastic containers work great for snacks on the go. Reusing these keeps you from buying excessive plastic bags and Tupperware. Plus, when you have the containers on your mind when shopping, you naturally avoid purchasing unnecessary plastic. It’s a win-win!
Make the shift to eating at local restaurants and shopping for locally grown food. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Start by replacing some of your common purchased items with locally sourced products, like honey, produce, and eggs. Step by step, you’ll find new products that you love and are found locally. When you do, you support local farmers as well as local businesses. In the bigger picture, you’re helping to eliminate the energy it takes to bring food to you from across the globe. And what’s better than delicious local food?
A lot of common cleaning products are harmful for the environment. Often, not all of the toxic compounds are removed from the water when it’s treated. It then becomes toxic as it reenters the environment, killing plants and wildlife. To avoid contributing to these harmful effects, you can actually make your own cleaners at home that are much cheaper as well as safer. @oilmagicbymichelle’s e-book “Cleaning with Essential Oils” has all of the info you need to get started. Warm water, vinegar, and a few drops of essential oils can go a long way!
Did you know leaving your appliances plugged in still uses energy? Taking one second to unplug appliances that aren’t in use saves energy in your home. Don’t forget to turn off your computer at night, unplug blow dryers and curlers, and turn off the TV when it’s not in use. The more you do these things, the more they will become habits. Before you know it, you’ll be using less and less energy each month without having to sacrifice any of the comforts of home.
Spring cleaning is in full swing! We can’t be the only ones finding lost things around the house that we forgot existed. It’s the perfect time to get rid of what you no longer need and give someone else the opportunity to use it. The more we donate and buy second hand, the less ends up in the landfill. Once again, buying less has its perks for the environment. When we learn to reuse things, a whole world of opportunity opens up!
Last in our lineup (although certainly not the last thing we can do for the environment) is to use a clothesline in place of always using the dryer. Nature’s blow dryer is always there! Avoiding the dryer uses a lot less energy and is often better in the long run for your clothes. Maybe you’ll choose to start by simply hanging your sweaters to dry. Then your pants (because who likes jeans that shrink anyways) and then your sheets and towels. Remember, small steps make big differences!