Practicing an environmentally-friendly lifestyle at home this spring is simple and can benefit your entire family.
During the month of May, our world is starting to look a lot greener. Plants are flowering and the grass is starting to grow in earnest. The interior of your home can also be 'green' when you practice an environmentally-sensitive lifestyle by reducing waste, energy and water consumption.
Your motivations for living green indoors might include benefits such as cost-savings on energy or the opportunity to engage your child with learning activities. Whatever your reasons, there are plenty of options available to incorporate into your lifestyle! Here are just a few fun tips to try today.
It is easy to switch out waste-creating habits for greener alternatives at home. For example, purchasing a durable water bottle means that you do not have to rely on plastic bottled water for daily refreshment. Bottled water is inefficient and expensive, as well as producing large amounts of waste.
Plus, your water bottle can be a personalized reflection of what you love!
Another way to reduce your waste at home is to bring reusable bags to the grocery store whenever possible. This cuts back on the volume of plastic bags in landfills. Globally, very few of the plastic bags we produce are recycled so reducing our use of them is the best available option.
The women and girls in your home may also consider replacing facial tissues and cosmetics with chemical-free options. While this may not always lead to reduced waste, it will be a benefit to their health! The Environmental Work Group's list of Skin Deep products (available here) is a good resource for finding healthier alternatives for your skin care regime.
Reducing Energy Consumption
While some methods of reducing energy consumption involve purchasing new appliances or electronics, it can also be as simple as turning out the lights.
Yes, that's right - turning off the lights in an empty room is an easy habit that will save on your monthly energy bill. You might also consider finding ways to reduce your use of artificial light overall, by strategically using curtains in your home as needed or waiting until later in the evening to turn your lights on.
You might also consider:
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star LED bulbs.
- Identify household items that are not in use but drawing power, such as kitchen appliances that are in 'standby' mode.
- Insulating your home will make your heating much more efficient, particularly if you insulate in your attic, walls, and flooring.
- Lower your thermostat by a few degrees - over the course of a year, this will reduce the amount of energy and money you spend on heating.
- Cover your pans when cooking. This reduces the amount of energy that escapes and reduces the amount of time it takes to heat up food and boil water.
Reducing Water Use
Saving water around the home is another way to reduce your environmental impact, as well as save money on your utility bills!
Consider the easiest of these options, simply turning off the tap while brushing your teeth. The habit of leaving a tap running can waste litres of water. Taking shorter showers and using short cycles for washing your clothes are two other quick changes that you can implement here.
If you need additional help with minimizing your water usage, try installing a low-flow shower head. Like a tap aerator (another good option for your kitchen), these devices aerate the stream of water, improving pressure and saving plenty of water and energy.
These fun tips focused on our water, energy, and material consumption are quick to implement and will help you to live a 'green' lifestyle indoors! These can also offer the benefits of cost saving and a shared activity between family members.