Builders and carpenters have recently given sustainability more recognition when building homes. However, there is a misconception that creating a sustainable home takes a team of workers – this is far from the truth. There are many simple behavioral changes that anyone can implement to cultivate sustainability at home.
Indoor gardening provides loads of environmental benefits and also spices up the home. These gardens improve air quality, which in turn improves health. Plants use carbon dioxide while emitting oxygen, virtually cleaning our air. In addition, many plants are able to absorb toxins, further ridding the air of contaminants.
Switching to eco-friendly products, such as paint, is a very simple task that can substantially improve both your health and home air quality. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is a direct correlation between decreased health and contaminated air. Health effects stemming from contaminated air include headaches, dizziness, and heart disease. Consider moving to eco-friendly paint – repainting your bedroom is a perfect solo activity and an easy way to make your home greener.
We typically do not realize the little ways in which our home might be harming the planet. For example, lightbulbs tend to be damaging, consuming tons of energy and emitting harmful gasses. Help reduce carbon emissions and lower energy consumption by switching from incandescent bulbs (commonly used in the home) to LED bulbs.
Wash with Cold Water
In comparison to cold water, warm requires much more energy. In fact, the heating process accounts for 90 percent of total energy needed to do a load of laundry. Additionally, Consumer Reports found that using cold water can save you at least $60 in utility money annually! In addition, cold water can make your clothing more durable, as warm water produces many more microfibers (tiny particles on clothing) which results in shrinkage and color loss.
Microfibers eventually end up in the oceans and our drinking water. Furthermore, they contribute up to 35 percent of all plastic pollution and disrupt the ecosystem and its inhabitants. Therefore, using cold water could improve the quality of life for many oceanic creatures.
The NRDC found that up to 40 percent of the food in the U.S. is never eaten. This environmental toll is not small. Furthermore, this is not surprising, considering that the sole volume of wasted food is equivalent to 30m acres of land. Rotting food contributes to landfills being clogged and the release of methane, an extremely powerful greenhouse gas.
When you compost, methane is not produced and you lower your carbon footprint; challenge yourself by making zero-waste policies at home. Cultivating a compost system is a great step toward increasing sustainability. You can even make your own compost bin; get crafty with a DIY compost project.
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