8 Tips for Creating a Sustainable Household

baby socks on clothesline - 8 tips for a sustainable household

A sustainable household not only helps the environment, but helps make your own home more efficient to run. This helps reduce waste, preserve nature, and keep the air cleaner. And while not everyone can afford solar panels, new windows or an entirely new home, there are things you can do that won’t cost you extra. Here are eight tips for creating a sustainable household that are easy to implement.

Use Cold Water for Laundry

Up to 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes toward heating water, according to Energy Star.

It’s really unnecessary to use hot water to wash clothes. The only time it’s appropriate is if you have oil and grease stains. Otherwise, you’re wasting energy. The other plus to using cold water is that it helps keep your clothes looking brand new longer. Hot water can make the bright colors of your clothes look faded and less vivid. It also degrades the fabric. Cold water usually works just as well and you’re reducing carbon monoxide emissions.

While you’re at it, if possible, line dry your clothing. You’ll save on using electricity, your laundry will smell fresh and your clothes last longer than when using an electric dryer.

Invest in Reusable Bottles

Single-use plastic is a major contributor to landfills. By using reusable water bottles, you’re reducing this contribution. If you feel that tap water doesn’t taste as good as bottled water, and we certainly understand that, a water filter takes care of the problem. You’ll also save time and money. No more trips to the market for water, yet you still have the convenience of fresh water on-the-go. Just fill them up and place them in the fridge for fresh, cold water any time you need it.

Choose LED Bulbs

LED bulbs are a major switch from regular bulbs. They have a plethora of benefits like lasting longer and using much less energy. Even though they cost more when you make your first purchase, they save you money in the long run because you don’t have to replace them as often.

Use a Compost Bin and Recycling Bin

compost bin on counter - 8 tips for sustainable living

There are many advantages to using a recycle bin and compost bin. Using a recycling bin makes you more aware of what you are throwing away. It makes it easier for you to recycle the things that need to be recycled in the first place. And instead of separating things later, it’s already done.

With a compost bin, you get two major benefits. One is that you have a natural fertilizer you can use on plants. The other benefit is you’re getting rid of leftovers. If you’re picturing something that smells or looks bad—don’t. Today’s compost bins are odor-free, neat, and clean. This is an ideal way to reduce your household waste.

Use Plants In Your Decor

Not only are plants aesthetically pleasing, they clean our indoor air. As mentioned in Time, “[t]hrough photosynthesis, they convert the carbon dioxide we exhale into fresh oxygen, and they can also remove toxins from the air we breathe.” They make your house look better and help you breathe easier.

Use Natural Cleaning Products

Many regular cleaning products have harmful chemicals. These are not good for your health or the environment. The good news is that homemade or store-bought natural cleaning products work as well as chemical ones. You can easily make your own. Yet, if that’s not in your wheelhouse, some store-bought natural cleaners are trustworthy and convenient. You just need to do your research to make sure they’re as natural as they say they are.

Ditch the Paper Towels and Napkins

Using cleaning clothes and cloth napkins reduce paper waste. And you can simply throw them in the wash when you’re done. It saves you money in the long run and helps the environment. Disposables add toxins to the water system and fill up landfills. Not to mention the deforestation to create them.

Use Window Treatments

Curtains and blinds do more than keep out prying eyes. They also protect your carpet and sofa from fading. Best of all, they help keep in heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. This means you’ll spend less money on heating and cooling expenses. And if you don’t have enormous shade trees in your yard, you’ll appreciate having a way to keep out the summer sun. And keep your heat from escaping during the colder months.

It’s Easy To Do

Making a change may seem difficult. Start out slow by using a couple of these ideas. Add more as you feel comfortable. The good news is that these suggestions are not only perfect with creating a sustainable household, they’re inexpensive. Often, you’ll save more money and help your planet.

Feature image: Christian Fickinger; Image 1: Jan Kopřiva

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