With the cold weather approaching, now is a good time to learn how to be more sustainable at home.
This means that the way of life will not deplete or harm your personal health or resources or the whole world. If you think of personal resources as time, money and energy, it sounds like a worthwhile pursuit, do you think it?
Starting today, you can make the following four changes. But please be aware that once this ball rolls over, a complete lifestyle change may occur!
4 simple ways to improve lives by being more sustainable at home
1. Organize your life
Consumerism has driven a large number of carbon emission industries and waste. In fact, it is estimated that the average American family owns 300,000 items. In one year, we made 156 impulse purchases and spent a maximum of $5,400!
translation? We have a lot of unnecessary things.
Therefore, you can only place one drawer, cabinet, closet or room at a time, count the items you have, and get rid of items you no longer use or like. By selling, donating, recycling or discarding, you can determine your life needs-what is important. Getting rid of items means you will clean less, take care less and reduce stress, thereby increasing free space, energy and joy!
An honest assessment of your things will also make it less easy for you to buy things you don’t need in the future. This can reduce debt and have more financial freedom, and you can spend time and energy on things or experiences that are more meaningful to you. Of course, when you reduce your purchases, your carbon footprint will also decrease. Win-win!
2. Clean and green
Switch to “green” cleaning products, including washing powder, cleaning supplies, dish soap and dishwasher detergent. Or use natural preservatives and deodorants such as white vinegar and baking soda to make your own natural cleaner.
The unfortunate reality is that the chemicals in conventional cleaners often enter waterways. They will be flushed from your home or into municipal wastewater and enter the water treatment facility, where most of them are removed.
But this process is not perfect. Chemical substances can enter the environment and cause great harm. A study conducted by the US Geological Survey found that in the streams sampled throughout the United States, the amount of persistent detergent residues was 69%, of which 66% were disinfectants. Alkylphenol ethoxylate is a common surfactant component in detergents. It has been shown in laboratory studies to act as an endocrine disruptor, causing adverse reproductive effects on wildlife exposed to polluted waters.
Of course, you personally need to consider the chemical toxins in these cleaning products and their health effects.
Fortunately, there are many green cleaning products on the market today, with cleaning capabilities comparable to chemical brands.
3. Become an energy saver
It is worth noting how many simple operations you can perform at home to save energy and money.
The world used to use incandescent lamps (traditional bulbs), but now the most efficient and energy-saving bulbs on the market-light-emitting diodes (LED) are gradually phased out. Compared with incandescent bulbs, they reduce energy consumption by 75% and have a life span of 25 to 30 times longer than incandescent bulbs. In addition, LED bulbs feel cool to the touch. Switching to LEDs will cost more, but in the long run, they will save you…about $180 per year.
When not in use, please unplug the TV, kitchen appliances (toaster, juicer, coffee machine, etc.), hair dryer and electronic equipment. According to the “Energy Star” website, these “phantom” power consumption can account for up to 10% of household electricity consumption. Imagine how much energy can we save if we unplug these devices when we are not using them?
Cold water, dry hang
According to the Federal Department of Energy, hot water accounts for about 18% of your electricity bill. Therefore, please let go of the hot water and save it.
Take a cooler shower. Lower the water heater thermostat by a few degrees. Washing clothes in cold water can save more energy. In addition, please make sure to wash standard-size clothes to make full use of the amount of water required by the washing machine.
If available, use the moisture detection function on the dryer. Or better yet, let the clothes dry and then bypass the dryer completely. This method has been used for centuries.
4. Less food waste
American households account for approximately 43% of food waste, or 27 million tons per year. The growth, manufacturing, packaging and transportation of food consume a lot of energy, so don’t waste food.
Be careful with unplanned purchases and assumed “bargains” (up to 55% of food purchases are unplanned). Avoid buying in large quantities; you won’t save money if you don’t eat. And always shop by list.
Perishable foods-The foods with the highest discard rates are fresh cooked food, meat, fruits and vegetables, seafood, milk and dairy products, and some grain products such as bread and baked goods. Instead of buying perishables for the whole week, buy them every two to three days.
Make eating food a game. Use the creativity of the ingredients to see if you can prepare creative meals with the last few leftovers in the refrigerator at the end of the week. So many great recipes have been discovered! Consider using leftover food scraps to start composting.
Keep your promise and make life more sustainable
Keep in mind that small changes can make a big difference, especially if you are based on these changes. A shift at home can truly mark the beginning of a new lifestyle.
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First published article 4 simple changes on BrainMD Health blog to make your home more sustainable.