The Complete Guide That Makes Creating a More Sustainable Home Simple
Did you know that the average carbon footprint for a person in the U.S. is 16 tons? This is huge in comparison to the ideal realistic carbon footprint, which is 2 tons. How can you shrink your carbon footprint?
No one expects you to live a carbon-neutral lifestyle, but there are a few changes that you can make as a smart homeowner to create a more sustainable home. Read on to learn more.
Watch Your Energy Usage
One of the best and easiest ways to make your home more sustainable is to keep track of (and ideally, reduce) your overall energy usage. If you've never tried to use less energy, you'll be shocked at what a huge difference it makes.
Start with something simple: turning off the lights. When you're not in the room, turn the lights off, so you don't waste energy. If you need to leave a light on when you leave the house for safety, make sure that you only leave one light on.
It's a good idea to have your lights on timers, so you never forget to turn them off. Outdoor lights should be motion lights if possible.
You can also switch to LED lights which are more environmentally friendly.
Another great way to reduce your energy consumption is to make sure that your home is well-insulated. Look for any gaps that cause air to leak into your home, so you have more protection against hot and cold weather.
Get good curtains for your windows so you can block light on hot days. Leave windows uncovered on cold days so the sun can warm up your home and keep your rooms well-lit.
These few things will make a huge difference in your home (and your wallet).
Choose Alternative Energy Sources
If you're trying to further reduce your energy usage, consider alternative energy sources. If you're not willing to go completely off-the-grid, we recommend getting a residential solar system during your next home renovation project.
So why buy solar panels?
First, they're great for the environment. Solar energy is renewable energy. It doesn't rely on fossil fuels, and it won't release harmful chemicals into the environment.
The sun is a renewable resource, so you'll never have to worry about it "running out." As long as the sun is in the sky, you'll be fine.
It's also more affordable than ever to go solar due to the solar tax credit. Not only that, but you'll save money on your power bill every month, which should offset some of the initial cost of solar panel installation.
If you're able to switch to renewable energy, it's one of the best things that you can do for the environment.
Start Recycling and Composting
If you don't already have a recycling bin or a compost bin, now's the time to start.
Look into your local recycling system and see what you're able to recycle. Set up a separate bin (or several separate bins) for recyclable items. Make sure that they go into the proper bin on trash day.
Composting is like recycling organic waste. You can use that waste to fertilize plants.
You can also try recycling old worn-out clothing that's not suitable for donation. For example, turn old clothes into rags, so you don't have to use paper towels.
Focus on a Lower-Waste Lifestyle
Speaking of not using paper towels, there are plenty of ways to avoid creating too much waste in the first place. Reducing is always the first step when it comes to living an ecofriendly lifestyle.
If you use too many plastic water bottles (or any plastic water bottles, for that matter), get a water filter instead. Your tap water should taste just as good (or better) than bottled water.
When you need water on the go, use a reusable bottle. It's helpful to have an empty one in your car so that you always have it if you need it. You don't need to rely on single-use water bottles to stay hydrated!
When you get takeout, bring your own utensils, so you don't have to use single-use plastics. When you get coffee, see if the baristas can let you use your own travel mug.
Upcycling, Fixing, and DIY
Before you buy something new, why not try doing an upcycling or DIY project instead?
There's a time and place for brand new items, but if you're able to upcycle, it's always a better option for the environment. You can breathe new life into something old.
Do you have an old stool that doesn't match your home's aesthetic anymore? Learn how to reupholster it. You'll save money, reduce waste, and learn a brand new skill.
Is a piece of furniture or clothing broken or torn? See if you're able to fix it on your own before you throw it away in exchange for something new. In the current world, it's easier (and affordable) to buy new things than fix old ones, but fixing things reduces your overall consumption.
If you're not already thrifting, what's stopping you?
Fast fashion is one of the biggest contributors to waste and landfills. Unfortunately, it's the most accessible and affordable option for many people. If you need affordable clothing but want to reduce your fast fashion consumption, visit your local thrift store.
You can find high-quality clothing if you try, though it may take several visits. If you know how to sew, you can modify clothing that isn't quite right to suit your needs.
If you can afford it, we recommend buying secondhand clothing from resale sites like Depop and Poshmark. It's not as affordable as a thrift store, but it's still more sustainable than buying new clothing.
Start Working Toward a Sustainable Home
Having a completely sustainable home might feel like a pipe dream, but you can make a few simple changes that will reduce your carbon footprint and help you make a positive impact on the world.
Try one (or several) of these tips today.
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