8 Easy, Green Household Tips To Decrease Your Footprint Today
So, here’s the deal: using eco-friendly cleaning products like DAZZ is not the only thing you can be doing to decrease your carbon footprint and waste contribution.
Say what??? We know, please hold your shock and surprise.
These 8 tips below are super easy to incorporate into your daily home life, and are inexpensive to boot. Would you believe us if we said most of them will even save you money long-term?
Read on, you won’t be disappointed.
1. Break up with paper, give cloth a chance
Okay, one thing about cleaning: besides using a green cleaner, you can also up your eco game by ditching the paper towels and opting for reusable cloth rags instead. Microfiber rags are sold at most grocery stores (and are all over Amazon), but if you want an even cheaper option you can just cut some old T-shirts into rag-shaped strips.
An added bonus? No more wasting money on huge packages of paper towels that you just have to re-buy every other week.
2. Let the (natural) light in, baby
Artificial light? So last year. LED and compact fluorescent bulbs are great and all, but one of the best things you can do to lower your electricity output is keeping those bad boys turned off. During the day, try taking advantage of Mother Nature’s generosity and open those blinds, pull back those curtains.
Natural sunlight will warm up your home, boost your serotonin levels, and make that electric bill plummet. And let’s be real…your selfies will look a million times better.
3. Join the locavore club
Yeah, it’s real and, no, it’s not a passing trend. Remember in prehistoric days, when cavemen just hunted and gathered all their food? Well, we need to start being more like cavemen, except maybe without the whole animal pelts as clothes thing.
Being a locavore means a) knowing where your food comes from and b) making a conscious choice to buy/eat food that didn’t travel too far to get to you. The journey made by a lot of supermarket food (and even food served in restaurants) is a long one, crossing countries and oceans and using up a lot of fossil fuels in the process.
There’s a few different ways you can be a locavore. The most obvious way is by going to local farmer’s markets (and doing your resource to make sure the food is actually locally-grown). But, if your city/town doesn’t offer a farmer’s market (or if you’re just not into them), most grocery stores have a section dedicated to local produce and meats.
Or, just grow a few things yourself.
4. Tumble into a greener laundry routine
We know, puns aren’t our strong suit, but we had to do it.
We also need to do a little myth busting here: you don’t actually need to use hot water for your laundry (don’t believe us? Read this). Cold water will do the trick for getting your whites, darks, and delicates squeaky clean, plus it’s a major energy-saver.
Likewise, opting for line-drying will also drastically cut down your energy usage. If line-drying isn’t super realistic for you, another option is drying your clothes at a lower heat setting on your dryer, and also decreasing the number of loads you dry by making them as full as possible.
5. (Don’t) go with the flow
You’ve heard it a million times before: don’t run the sink while brushing your teeth. But that’s just one thing you could be doing to cut down on your water flow.
Take shorter showers (and/or fewer showers), use less water when you’re cooking or making tea, fix any leaky faucets as soon as you notice them, and turn off the water while washing dishes (if you’ve got a dual sink, fill up one half with water for rinsing). Oh, and if you’re moving or just in the market for some new appliances, look for ones that are Energy Star-certified. Those bad boys typically use around 40% less water than regular appliances.
6. Bulk up your shopping
Bulk shopping isn’t just for those with Costco memberships anymore. A lot of grocery stores are beginning to offer bulk-buying options for things like nuts, grains, spices, beans, sometimes even produce and meats (although you’d probably have to freeze some of that for later use). There are even online retailers that specialize in bulk items and sell everything from diapers to wine in bulk.
But what’s the deal, why is bulk shopping good for the environment?
So glad you asked. Bulk shopping is awesome for a few different reasons, namely because it cuts down on unnecessary packaging (i.e. fitting a lot more in one box or bag) and it saves you some trips to the grocery store (i.e. less wasted gas and time).
7. Take a walk on the crafty side
For those of you who live on Pinterest, you may know what we mean when we say that anything can be made into a craft – anything.
You know how big we are about reusing things, but we’re also pretty fond of repurposing things too – turning trash into treasure, as they say. Turn empty cans into flower vases, make tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls into desk organizers, or transform jars into candle holders. Why create more waste when you can make something new and save a little money instead?
8. Unplug for a little while
Living in the 21st century means we’re all constantly plugged into our phones, computers, and other tech gadgets. But, it also means that our phones, computers, and other tech gadgets are plugged in to the walls, and that’s a big drain on both your electric bill and the environment.
Our main advice? Unplug whatever you’re not using. Phone chargers, laptop chargers, hair dryers, toasters, portable fans, even lamps. You probably have about 20-30 different appliances and cords plugged into outlets at any given time, but how many of those are actively being used?
There are so many little, easy-peasy things that you can incorporate into your home and life that will decrease your carbon footprint, save some money, and make you feel good about yourself.