Being sustainable starts at home and is effortless after minute shifts in your lifestyle, production of waste, and purchase habits. By implementing these tips at home you can reduce your impact on the Earth and create less waste in your household.
Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies, and I enjoy knowing I have created items that can be added to our meals. My favorite things to grow are spices such as basil, cilantro, and parsley. They are all extremely trouble-free, and in 2-3 months, they go from seed to plate. Also, knowing that you planted something and are able to eat it is very satisfactory.
By growing your own fruits, veggies, or spices; you are reducing your carbon footprint by creating lower scale gardening which uses less resources than large scale gardening. Another bonus is that you can control what products are used to aid in growing the plant. Most large scale garden productions use chemicals that enhance the appearance, nutrients, and time it takes to grow or spoil.
2. Reusable vs. Single-Use Items
Landfills are growing and beaches are being polluted with household items. What is one of the number one pollutants? Cotton swabs. Opt for a reusable cotton swabs from brands such as The Last Object. They offer reusable items such as cotton swabs, cotton pads, tissues, menstrual pads, and more!
Other ways you can reduce trash pilling up is by drying your hands with cloth rags versus paper towels. Think about how many paper towels you use in a day to clean… instead use a rag that can easily be thrown into the washing machine and reused. For laundry, use a wool ball in the dryer versus dryer sheets.
3. At Home Cleaning Solutions
Cleaning solutions have become so expensive these days, so I opt for making my own. This reduces waste production and decreases the amount of chemicals emitted in the air. I have a Swiffer WetJet and I buy one cleaning solution bottle and refill it with equal parts olive oil and white vinegar, a few teaspoons of lemon juice, and five parts hot water. It cleans just as well if not better than the cleaning solution you purchase! There are many other recipes you can choose from for counter tops, showers, and appliances; so research away!
Even if your city or county does not come around and pick up recycling, you can still recycle. Have a separate trashcan in your kitchen or garage for recyclables and collect them yourself. The most important part of recycling is doing is correctly. Only 63% of recycled materials are actually able to be recycled. Each city and county has different regulations for what they accept, so research for your specific location. Denver County has information on their website for local drop-offs and what they accept. Look into what your local area recycles to ensure you are correctly doing your part
At one point in my life, I had 54 house plants – and even more outside. They are my favorite way to decorate my home and create an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere inside. Houseplants provide fresh oxygen and remove toxins in the air we breathe. You can even opt for plants that eat bugs around the house – my favorite is the Venus fly trap!
Having plants around your house has also proven to increase serotonin and reduce stress. Not only are they beautiful decor, but they are helping you breathe better and stabilize your mood.
6. Reducing Water
Reducing your water usage lowers your monthly water bill and creates less waste. Turn off your water when you are not using it while brushing your teeth, washing your face, or washing dishes. Another way to reduce the amount of water you use is by purchasing a kettle. A kettle heats up in less than a minute versus waiting for your sink water to heat up. When you wait for your sink water to heat up, you are wasting all of the cold water beforehand.
There are many ways you can maintain a sustainable household as this is only the beginning!