5 Ideas for Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Our planet would be much healthier and happier if we all did a few small things to reduce our impact on the earth. If you’re interested in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, you don’t have to make any drastic changes to the way you live your life. Making small adjustments here and there is the best way to start doing your bit for the planet. To start you on your journey, here are 5 ideas for making your home more eco-friendly.
Reduce your plastic use
Plastic is harmful both to our health and the environment around us. Every year, around 1 million seabirds and 100,000 ocean animals are killed by either being tangled in, choking on, or strangled by plastic. And believe it or not, around half of the plastic produced on Earth is used once and then thrown away. Safe to say, reducing the amount of plastic you use is a great step towards a more eco-friendly home. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- If you buy plastic bottled water, switch to tap water — which could even be healthier for you.
- Choose products in glass jars (eg. pickled food) over plastic jars when shopping. These can then be reused.
- Take reusable bags for shopping, including for fruit and vegetables so you don’t have to use the supermarket plastic bags.
- Consider using beeswax wraps, silicone bowl covers, or just covering your bowls with a large plate instead of using plastic wrap.
- Use a bar of soap in the bathroom instead of hand wash in a plastic bottle.
- Use biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic brushes.
Use natural cleaning products
Part of being eco-friendly means not spraying your home with chemicals that can be harmful to your health and the environment. Natural cleaning products are just as effective as their chemical counterparts but have a less negative impact on the earth. There are many affordable eco-friendly natural cleaning products in the supermarket these days, or you can make your own all-purpose spray by mixing baking soda, lemon, and vinegar with water.
Use a compost bin
There really is no need to be throwing your food scraps in the bin when they can be broken down into nutritious, fertile soil for your garden. It’s said that almost half of food waste that’s thrown into the rubbish bin could have instead been composted, and using a compost bin will greatly reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. Best of all, you never have to feel guilty about throwing away uneaten food because it’s going straight back to the earth to feed other life forms.
To start composting, choose a pot, bucket, or any closed container with a lid, and begin collecting your food scraps. When your compost bin is full, take it to a designated area in your garden and bury it in the soil. Make sure you keep turning the soil regularly.
Stop washing your clothes with hot water
Here’s an idea that you may not have considered. Start washing your clothes with cold water to reduce the amount of energy used by your washing machine. According to Energy Star, up to 90% of the energy used by a washing machine goes towards heating water. Washing your clothes with a cold setting will reduce the energy used by your machine and therefore its CO2 emissions. Coldwater is just as effective at washing clothes as warm water, unless you want to remove stains, and can even keep your fabric in better shape for longer.
Consider going zero waste
If you’ve already started practicing some of the ideas above, like reducing your plastic consumption, then it could be time to consider making your home zero waste. According to zero-waste living blogger Antonia Ko, zero waste is the next step after an eco-friendly home, dramatically reducing the amount of waste you accumulate on a daily basis.
Going zero waste is a step-by-step process that takes some time, but once you have swapped over all your single-use home items, you’ll be set. The best thing about going to zero waste is knowing that you are doing your part for the planet and that your lifestyle is not harming the earth or its creatures.
It’s easy to make your home eco-friendly
Luckily, transforming your home into a space that’s more environmentally friendly isn’t particularly difficult or time-consuming. It’s all about building new healthy habits, like collecting food scraps or remembering to take reusable bags to the shops. Over time, these habits will become second nature and something you do without thinking. Life feels good when you’re leaving minimal impact on the Earth, and your home will thank you for it!
About The Author: Luke Fitzpatrick is a freelance journalist and has been published in a variety of publications such as Forbes, Tech In Asia and The Next Web. He is also a guest lecturer at the University of Sydney, lecturing in Cross-Cultural Management and the Pre-MBA Program.
Photo by Alberto Castillo Q. on Unsplash
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