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Simple Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly At Home

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Everyone wants to lead a more eco-friendly existence. Unfortunately, many of the significant ways to reduce your carbon footprint involve hefty upfront investment or drastic lifestyle changes. While there’s certainly something to be said for those able and willing to spend the money and do the work to be more sustainable, these options are all but out of reach for the common individual. Not everyone can buy a new electric car, install solar panels on the roof, or live off the land.

With this in mind, we started thinking about things that result in a more environmentally-friendly existence without breaking the bank or disrupting your life. Given the amount of time we spend at home, we decided to focus on eco-friendly solutions in that setting to optimize your time vs footprint ratio. Little things like at-home exercises instead of driving to the gym are worth double because your car remains off and you don’t sit or contribute to traffic, it’s a win-win! In that mindset, we wanted to compile a list that consists of other simple measures rather than expensive or complicated projects.

Here are six simple ways to be more eco-friendly at home: 

Buy eco-friendly pet products

The rise in pet ownership is terrific news for those worried about all the furry critters out there needing a good home. However, many aspects of pet ownership leave much to be desired in relation to sustainable living. For instance, while your household may be divided over the clumping vs. non clumping litter argument, there is merit in opting for litter made using recycled newspapers and other sustainable materials. There is also room for improvement in regard to Rosco and Rover’s diets. Simply buying sustainable litter and organic pet food can do wonders for reducing your household’s collective carbon footprint (or paw print, in this case!)

Eat less meat

There’s little debate over the ecological devastation caused by the livestock industry. Between tainted water supplies and immense amounts of methane released into the atmosphere, going meatless is a simple and effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. Look, we know you probably love a great steak and your kids only eat chicken tenders. Fair enough. We aren’t saying you have to give up meat entirely, but try to cut down. Start with “Meatless Monday.”

Settle for cooler winters and warmer summers

Unless you happen to live in one of the few places where the climate is always great, HVAC systems are an essential component of home living. However, most people have a bad habit of cranking up the heat in winter and running the air conditioner nonstop in the summer. Given the vast amounts of energy used for climate control, consider ways to reduce your reliance. For instance, start wearing sweaters and wool socks indoors, rather than rely on the furnace when it’s cold outside. When temperatures go up, stick to shorts and t-shirts while keeping windows open. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to make do without relying on your HVAC system, making it work less will use less energy, reducing your carbon footprint in the process.

Eat more locally-sourced foods

Have you ever thought about what it took to get an item from where it came from to where you are? The fuel used to transport products via air, land, and sea makes up the vast majority of fossil fuel expenditure. While we can’t expect locally-sourced iPhones or shoes any time soon, we can aim to eat more locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, and even meat. Doing so means you’re not supporting supply chains that rely on tremendous amounts of fossil fuels to get food products from source to shelf.

Use bamboo-based paper products

From paper towels to toilet paper, bamboo provides a more renewable and eco-friendly alternative to tree-based standards. There’s even bamboo-based printer paper available for purchase. While deforestation is less an issue than it was in the past, any effort to reduce the reliance on logging will go towards helping the environment.

Purchase quality appliances and electronics

We’ve all been there. You’re at the department store, comparing various mixers, televisions, and other appliances and electronics, and it’s hard to argue against the cheapest or second-cheapest option. We can’t deny the immediate value, but the long-run cost of buying lousy household products is sure to be unsustainable – in more ways than one. Rather than shell out for inferior items year in and year out, do yourself and the planet a favor and buy quality products. While price is never a guarantee of quality, some brief research will confirm what we already know; the better brands tend to be better made.

Who doesn’t want to be more eco-friendly? The problem is finding effective ways to do so within our budget and lifestyle. Fortunately, there are several simple yet effective ways to lead a more sustainable life right from home. Who knew? Now you do!

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