What is sustainable living, and why should you make an effort to live sustainably? For starters, many environmental issues are threatening our planet. Sustainable living involves making an effort to reduce our use of natural resources, and to stop creating so much waste. Even making small changes to the way we live can have a major impact on the environment. If you’re thinking about going green, or want to adopt some energy-efficient day-to-day practices, then these sustainable tips should help get you started.
Sustainable Tips for Green Summer Living
Plant a tree. Even if you don’t spend much time thinking about them, trees are essential to life. They create oxygen, filter the air around us, and provide cooling shade that can fight global warming. But deforestation is threatening trees; 50,000 square miles of trees are cut down every year!
That’s not just bad for the environment, it’s bad for the human race. We need to fight back against deforestation by planting as many trees as we can. So brush off your gardening tools and get started! If you live in the urban jungle and aren’t able to physically plant a tree, then don’t fret. There are a variety of global organizations who are actively planting trees for those who can’t, so why not donate instead?
Use less plastic. Did you know that it takes 450 years for one plastic water bottle to degrade? Add to that the fact that humans are using an alarming amount of plastic, and we’ve got a recipe for disaster on our hands. Think about how often you use single-use plastic in your everyday life. Now think of a scenario where you could have used something reusable or recyclable instead. It’s easy to rely on using plastic, but making small, daily changes like reducing plastic use can have a major impact.
Try reusable shopping bags instead of relying on plastic bags. Purchase a sturdy, refillable water bottle and stop buying bottled water. There are even reusable sandwich bags made with all-natural beeswax out there these days! Invest in one– or all– of these options, and you may even save a few bucks in your quest to go green. While it may seem daunting to try and use less plastic, remember that small, consistent changes can have a powerful impact.
Stop wasting food. We couldn’t write a blog about sustainable tips without talking about food waste. Food that is thrown out with the weekly trash decomposes quickly. The reason being that food starts to rot when it lacks exposure to oxygen. So that tightly sealed plastic bag can actually kick-start the decomposition process before your trash gets to the landfill. When this happens methane gas is released, which contributes greatly to global warming.
The best way to combat this at home is to make sure that food isn’t wasted in the first place. Going out to dinner? Take your leftovers home and eat them the next day. Going shopping? Plan meals ahead of time and buy only what you need. Food won’t sit in your refrigerator waiting to be eaten, (or waiting to be forgotten about). If you have leftover ingredients, don’t let them sit there! Download a cooking app and try making a brand new recipe. Who knows, you may even find that you’re a big fan of an ingredient you’d never even tried before.
Try composting. Even if you plan out your food consumption to the best of your abilities, chances are you will still have food waste. That’s where composting comes into play. Instead of letting food rot in a landfill, composting breaks down food and other organic materials until they can be used as fertilizer. Find an area in your yard where you can place a compost bin or pile, and start collecting materials to place in it. Earthworms will start to break down your food until you are left with a natural fertilizer, which you can use in your vegetable garden or flower beds.
Embrace minimalism. Let’s face it, we live in a consumer-driven society. But making an effort to be more minimalist can eliminate clutter in your life and reduce your impact on the environment. Start with what you have: donate clothes, toys, books, and anything else that you’re not using. Then start approaching purchases through a minimalist lens. Before you buy anything new, wait a full 24 hours. This reduces the urge to impulse-spend and can help you to better evaluate what you really need versus what you want.
Take public transportation. Next time you leave your house, consider whether you really need to drive to get to your destination. Can you give your car– and the air– a break and hop on a bus? Public transportation lessens the number of cars on the road, which greatly reduces gas emissions. If a bus or subway isn’t readily available, can you share an Uber or Lyft? Better yet, can you ride a bike or walk? It might be impossible to ditch your car for good, but taking public transportation whenever possible can have a big impact on the environment.
Implement energy-efficient upgrades. Another one of many sustainable tips we like to advocate is saving energy in your home Have you ever thought about how you’re using electricity? Do you have smart power strips that cut power to electronics that aren’t in use? Are you using LED light bulbs? Small changes like this can have a big impact, so take the time to switch to energy efficient products. Not only will you help the environment, you’ll also save money on your energy costs.
Looking for even more ways to help make your lifestyle and your home more energy efficient? Why not start with a home energy assessment from Energy Monster? When you get an energy audit, an energy technician will provide sustainable tips and ways you can live more efficiently. They will also help you to get the job done. The Energy Monster staff will do everything they can to help you go green, from installing no-cost energy efficient upgrades to scheduling and air sealing appointment. So don’t wait– schedule your energy assessment today to start living sustainably tomorrow.Return to Blog