One of the hottest topics these days is climate change. The environment and our treatment of resources are often pinpointed as the culprit for climate change and environmental woes and responsible citizens are always looking for ways to protect the environment and natural resources every day. Sometimes, these activities begin at home. There are hundreds of things you can do to promote a green living without leaving the comfort of home.
Recycling is generally the first thing people think of and is one of the easiest ways to protect resources and the environment. Many people think recycling is separating paper, plastics, and metals from the trash. While these steps are essential for recycling, they do not have to be the only way that you recycle. Upcycling has taken off in many suburban areas, and it isn’t that hard to do. For instance, use antique jars for candies, flour, sugar, or tea. Many tea experts suggest an opaque container, but you can often find fantastic opaque jars at antique or second-hand stores. This simple step can minimize the plastics you use while providing air-tight containers for your kitchen needs. You can also look around for a local recycling facility if it isn’t offered with your garbage pick-up.
A popular composting myth is that you need a large yard or space to be able to compost. Did you know that you can compost right on your kitchen counter? Composted materials can also be taken to local facilities to be used by local farms if you are composting from within your home. In addition to the benefits of recycling your food scraps and paper products, you will be helping to provide quality soil for local farmers’ fruits and vegetables. If you do have a home garden, the composted materials can also fertilize your own garden.
In addition to the cool things you can use in your kitchen for storage, thrift stores can help you minimize the number of clothes you buy as harmful to the environment. Fast fashion is cheaply produced clothing that keeps up with the current year’s trends and often uses poor production techniques that harm the environment. You don’t have to shop at thrift stores just for the clothing. Books, housewares, and other everyday items can be found at deep discounts in these stores. Likewise, if you are finished with things that are still in excellent condition, consider donating to these stores too. Many thrift stores benefit those in need in your hometown.
Turn Off Unused Appliances, Lights, and Electronics
While they don’t use the residual power that they used to, leaving these items running can use unnecessary electricity. Unless you are solely using renewable energy through solar or wind power, you could be increasing the coal usage for your area unnecessarily. Minimize non-renewable energy use when possible by turning off unnecessary equipment.
Plant a Garden
If you have space, grow your own fruits and vegetables. Trust us—fresh blueberries have no comparison to those at the grocery store. The sweetness of local fruit is better than candy. If you use the same fruits or veggies every week, consider planting them. Even if you are in an apartment, you can still plant a windowsill herb garden or grow tomatoes on your balcony.
Buy Sustainable Products
Many corporations have begun producing sustainable products or planting trees and performing environmentally conscious tasks. Spending your money with these retailers rather than environmentally destructive ones will be better for the environment in the long run. You will also be sending a message to these retailers that you expect them to behave in environmentally conscious ways.
Turning off your faucet when brushing your teeth, taking short showers, and washing full loads of laundry can drastically reduce your water usage. Limiting your water usage improves your environmental impact immediately. Droughts in some areas are frequent, and by minimizing your water usage, shortages are less likely.
Walk or Bike When Possible
Walking to the local grocery store or biking to the doctor’s office can conserve gasoline and improve your environmental impact as well. If you don’t live in an area where this is possible, consider taking fewer trips. Shop once a week or less if possible and combine errands. For instance, go grocery shopping and to the dry cleaners on Fridays. Picking up your clothing might be something you can do on Monday on your way home from work rather than making a separate trip. Again, try to keep your fuel usage to a minimum.
You may be sick of hearing how wonderful meal planning is, but it can help you choose healthier meals and save the environment. You will be purchasing only necessary items from the grocery store and minimizing food waste. Meal planning can also help you determine if you can buy any products in bulk and cut down on overspending.
There are many more things you can do to support the environment without leaving the comforts of home. Many of these things are good to do anyway. For example, home gardens produce healthy foods for your family and decrease your food bill as well as protecting the environment.
Jade enjoys travel and blogging.
Her other interests include healthy eating, the environment, and green living.