Global warming and climate change are big problems that desperately need to be addressed. The balance of nature is askew and it’s only through everyone’s combined effort can it be restored. As a homeowner, you could do your bit for nature – and future generations – by making a conscious effort to live a greener life. You don’t necessarily have to go out of your way to do this either – making a few tweaks to your lifestyle and your home goes a long way toward helping you be more eco-friendly.
Your Home Attire offers some actionable tips on how homeowners can live a cleaner, greener life.
1. Avoid red meat
According to Scientific American, one of the most personally powerful things you can do for the planet is to eat less red meat. Red meat production is especially damaging to the environment – it requires a massive amount of farmland to sustain and releases a disproportionate amount of harmful gasses like methane. You can eat other types of meat or meat alternatives, which are better for the environment and, usually, also healthier for you.
2. Be conservative with your energy usage
20 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US are due to household energy use. Reducing the amount of energy you consume at home can help bring this down. Simply being conservative about using energy can help. That means don’t use the lights, air conditioning, or heating unless you need them. Also, don’t run the laundry machine or dishwasher unless you have a full load, and be sure to switch off screens and gadgets when you’re not around.
3. Get reusable food storage bags
The average American uses one single-use plastic bag per day. This number adds up to 5 trillion plastic bags a year for everyone! Instead of using plastic, switch to storage containers or reusable bags. If you store food in plastic bags, you can get reusable food storage bags from ecoSENSE too. These bags are endlessly reusable, microwave-safe, and dishwasher-safe.
4. Use items longer
Besides being conservative with energy, you should also be conservative with all your material possessions – your gadgets, your clothes, your vehicles, your appliances, and everything else. Every new item produced costs more than just money – it also has an environmental price tag attached. By buying less and using longer, you help lessen the pressure on the environment (and also save money at the same time). For added effect, you could buy second-hand, repair broken items for reuse, and recycle.
6. Plant trees
If avoiding red meat is reducing your environmental “expenses,” then planting a tree is generating an environmental “income.” It’s, again, one of the most impactful things you can do for the environment. You can sign up for a tree-planting program with an environmental group in your neighborhood – it usually takes only a few hours and can be a wonderful experience.
7. Build or purchase an eco-friendly home
Just like your lifestyle, your home has a certain environmental impact too. As such, it’s a good idea to have a home that’s as green and eco-friendly as possible. If you’re in the market for a new home, you should prioritize eco-friendly features. If you already own a home, you can make it more eco-friendly. Here are some suggestions:
Install solar panels for cleaner energy generation
Switch to LED lights to reduce energy use
Consider switching to VRF systems that cool or heat individual rooms instead of whole houses
Insulate your home better
Switch to dual-pane windows for more energy efficiency
Get water-saving fixtures
If you’re planning to make eco-friendly modifications to your home, it could increase your home’s value. It’s a good idea to keep track of the improvements you make, though. With receipts and before-and-after pictures you can quantify the property’s price increase (whenever you get around to selling your house).
8. Do you own composting
Composting is an incredible way to embrace a greener lifestyle. By converting organic waste into nutrient-rich soil, it reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and cuts down on harmful methane emissions. Not only does composting enrich soil quality, making it perfect for gardens and plants, but it also minimizes the need for chemical fertilizers, promoting healthier and more sustainable crop growth. Embracing composting means actively participating in the cycle of nature, turning scraps into valuable resources while significantly reducing our environmental footprint. It's a simple yet impactful step toward living in harmony with the planet.
9. Use less water in your lawn and garden
Homeowners can achieve a water-efficient lawn and garden through a combination of mindful practices. Opting for native and drought-resistant plants tailored to the local climate reduces water needs. Installing efficient drip or soaker irrigation systems, along with mulching to retain moisture, minimizes water loss and sustains soil health. Strategic grouping of plants by water requirements, regular maintenance, such as proper mowing and soil aeration, and embracing rainwater harvesting further reduce reliance on municipal water sources. Educating oneself and the community about these practices fosters a collective commitment to water conservation, creating lush, thriving landscapes while responsibly managing this precious resource.
10. Create a pollinator-friendly garden
Designing a garden that entices pollinators is a powerful way to foster a greener life. By selecting a variety of native flowers, herbs, and shrubs that provide nectar and pollen throughout the seasons, you create a haven for bees, butterflies, birds, and other essential pollinators. These creatures play a fundamental role in our ecosystem, facilitating the reproduction of plants and ensuring biodiversity. Encouraging their presence not only beautifies your garden but also supports local ecosystems, contributing to the overall health of the environment. Cultivating a pollinator-friendly garden is a proactive step toward sustainable living, promoting biodiversity and helping to ensure the continued abundance of food crops and plant species essential for a thriving planet.
Creating a garden that entices pollinators involves thoughtful planning and plant selection. Opt for a diverse array of native flowers, herbs, and shrubs known for their nectar-rich blooms, providing a continuous source of food throughout the seasons. Incorporate a variety of colors and shapes to attract different pollinator species, including butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. Limit pesticide use to ensure a safe environment for these beneficial creatures. Additionally, provide shelter and nesting sites, such as dense vegetation or bee hotels, to encourage them to establish habitats. By cultivating a pollinator-friendly garden, not only do you create a vibrant and beautiful space, but you also contribute to the crucial role these creatures play in maintaining ecosystems and food production.
Even following one or two of the suggestions above can make a difference to the planet. And, who knows, other people may be inspired by your example and do the same themselves. It all helps make Planet Earth a cleaner, greener place.
Emily Graham | firstname.lastname@example.org