We are all looking for ways to make the impact we have on the world lasting and positive. Over the last few years, while most businesses have tried to make everything as efficient and easy as possible for consumers, the rate at which we produce waste has increased.
But not everyone wants to keep up with hyper-consumption, and many are looking at small and simple changes that they can implement to make their home a little more eco-friendly – and bonus if you can save money too!
While millions of people are very happy to have a turkey sandwich after Xmas, or Thanksgiving, regular leftovers don’t seem to have the same appeal. This means every day, there are tons of waste food hitting the bins.
The big changes come from the food and drink we don’t pay much attention to. Pouring away half a glass of water, pouring the last gulp of milk in the sink, the ends of bread.
Because these are so readily available to us, we stopped placing value on them.
Even stale bread can have a huge impact on your next pasta meal. Stale bread is perfect for breadcrumbs or croutons.
It can take some getting used to – but working on how you treat food and adding real value to it might see you making some big changes.
Learn to love leftovers, and invest in some books that teach you how to use leftovers well.
One of the most significant environmental impacts comes from fast fashion and washing clothing. We know that fast fashion is an unsustainable business model and that most cheap clothing never makes it to a new home. Instead, it ends up in a landfill.
The impact is combined by the amount of time people wash their clothing too. When you have worn a shirt once – does it need to be cleaned? Or is it possible to spot-clean it and air it out?
Start to pay more attention to how often you wash your clothing. One of the first things you will notice is that your clothing lasts much longer when washed less – great news when it comes to making a saving on clothing.
Where you buy your clothing and how often you buy them are two things you might need to change to maximize your energy efficiency. When possible, choose to shop at thrift stores and second-hand stores; these clothes are typically in good condition and ideal for your needs.
If you don’t like the idea of shopping in a thrift store in person, websites like Vinted and eBay offer the perfect opportunity to purchase cheap clothing that will last for a while.
You also can check out vintage stores; they offer a range of goods from all different eras.
You can reduce how much you buy in terms of clothing by asking yourself a few questions before purchasing. Will you wear it more than 30 times? Could you wait 30 days to buy it?
At the end of the 30-day timer, if you still want the item and are sure you will wear it more than 30 times – buy it. This helps people to stop overbuying clothing for a single occasion.
When it comes to your energy provider, many people prefer to switch to green energy. If that is available in your area, then take advantage and make the switch.
That is one of the first things you can do. Further to that, you can give back in terms of energy. Having solar panels fitted is a great idea and can make a significant impact on your energy usage. It is undoubtedly worth considering further if you are considering switching to an electric car too. A Tesla Powerwall dealer can talk you through everything you need to make this work.
Consider how high you need your thermostat. The chances are you could be doing more to stay warm without it coming from your radiators and the energy of your home. Turn your thermostat down, and add an extra layer of clothing instead. Often we have our heating higher than we need to, which can be a considerable cost for your energy usage.
Swapping out your regular bulbs for LED bulbs can make a significant saving when it comes to your energy bills. It can often be hard to believe since it is such a small change. LED bulbs also last longer, so you save on the cost of energy and the cost of replacing bulbs.
Socket timers are a great option if you don’t always remember to turn everything off at night. They will do the hard work for you. Set the times to a reasonable time, and they will automatically ensure that everything is turned off. We use a lot of energy when electric items are in sleep mode or standby mode.
If you have a cleaning cupboard full of chemicals, it is time to make a change. You don’t need to throw them all away, as that is more wasteful – instead, look for green alternatives for the chemicals you do use. Vinegar can be one of the best cleaning products for almost everything within the household.
Cleaning chemicals might smell nice, but the damage they do when they reach their final destination can be catastrophic. Not to mention they are packed with toxic chemicals that we breathe in as we use them.
Opt for a soap with natural products like avocado, coconut, jojoba, and olive oil. Castille soap is one of the most popular options. It might take a little bit of time to get used to because we associate the smell of chemicals and bleach to cleanliness – but it’s undoubtedly an important step.
If you do want to add a little bit of scent to your cleaning, the tea tree oil is known to be antibacterial and smells much better than the formaldehyde that is hiding in your chemical sprays.
Any minor leak within your home costs money and energy. Once a month, check the sealant on your windows and doors for draughts. The more common places that cold air will leak in and let your hot air leak out are:
- Loft hatches
A low-cost solution to prevent the leaks is to roll up a towel and lay them along where the air is coming in. Over time, it is more beneficial to invest in having the highest energy rating windows and doors fitted.
Draught excluders added to the letterbox and under doors can give you an extra layer of protection too.
If you are the type of person who stands in the shower giving an entire concert to your adoring fans, then it might be time to make some changes. There is a massive range of water-efficient showerheads that mean you can save a lot on heating and water over the course of a year.
What is important to note is that often adding a shower timer can give you even more benefits. However, some household members will likely need to find a way to speed up their showering process.
An energy-efficient showerhead works by injecting air into the stream of water, thereby limiting the amount of water pumped out.
Both the shower time and the water-efficient showerhead can see a significant yearly saving.
Going green in the home can be a fun challenge! The small changes that you make will make a significant impact over time. Read more here about Making Your Green Lifestyle Stress-Free.