One of the best ways to make your home more eco-friendly is to switch out things that create waste or use too much energy for better alternatives. These alternatives can range from small changes to bigger switches, but each helps make your home greener in its own way. Below are a few of the switches that you can start making today.
Use Eco-Friendly Art Supplies
If you like to draw or paint in your free time, make sure that you’re not hurting the environment with your hobby. If you’re a professional artist, there may be certain materials that you can’t avoid using, but otherwise, you can opt for eco-friendly alternatives such as recycled paper or non-toxic paints. Painting is the most popular media art form, with paintings appearing in 83% of art collections globally, so if you’re adding to your own personal collection, make sure that you’re choosing supplies that won’t harm the environment.
Reusable Shopping Bags
This is probably the most popular eco-friendly switch out there—using reusable shopping bags instead of paper or plastic ones supplied by the grocery store. In certain states, disposable bags have even been banned entirely. Keep a supply of reusable bags in your car or by your door so that when you’re out and about you can easily grab one to use instead of getting a disposable bag. One bonus of these bags is that you won’t have to worry about breaking straps if you have heavier groceries, like you might with a traditional disposable bag.
Shampoo and Conditioner Bars
This is a fun switch to make—instead of buying a plastic bottle full of shampoo or conditioner, you can opt for a solid version. With a bar of shampoo or conditioner, you can still get the same benefits as you might out of a liquid form, but without the plastic container. This lets you create less waste with your bathroom products, and you won’t have to worry about adding more non-compostable packaging to landfills.
Reusable Paper Towels
Paper towels are something that you likely go through a lot of. Although there are more eco-friendly disposable alternatives, like bamboo paper towels, the greenest version will be reusable paper towels. These towels will come in a pack and some kinds can be put onto a paper towel roll so there is even less of a change. Once you’ve used the towel, you can just throw it into your washer and dryer and then put them back on the roll, creating no waste.
Switch Out Your Appliances
If you have older appliances, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy. For example, a fridge from 30 years ago used four times the amount of energy that a modern fridge uses. If it’s in your budget, you should start to switch out older appliances around your house for modern energy star versions instead. This is one of the more costly switches on this list, but it can make a big difference in your energy usage and your home’s eco-friendliness.
Reusable Food Storage
Did you know that there are reusable silicone Ziploc bags? Instead of creating more waste every time you put leftovers or snacks into a Ziploc, you can put them into a reusable bag that can be washed like any other dish and used again.
In addition, you can switch out saran wrap for beeswax wraps. These wraps will stick to themselves the way that saran wrap does, but instead of going into the garbage after one use, it can be wiped down and reused. These are also a relatively easy DIY project, so you don’t need to buy the more expensive versions you find online.
Shop For Secondhand Clothes
Fast fashion is a huge issue when it comes to sustainability. Stores like Forever 21 or Nasty Gal create massive amounts of trendy clothes in factories that are often bad for both the workers in them and the environment. Instead, opt for secondhand clothing whenever possible. If you live near a thrift store, you can check it for a multitude of clothing types.
If the thrift options near you are limited or don’t have many pieces you’re interested in, there are online options like Thred-Up or Depop where secondhand clothing is sold. You can even sort by the type of piece you’re looking for and your size. Since no new clothing is being created and the clothes are being reused instead of thrown away, shopping for secondhand clothing is a great way to make an eco-friendly swap.
LED lightbulbs are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient without making a major change. Not only do LED lightbulbs use less energy, but they also last much longer than traditional lightbulbs. This means that you use less energy for the ten or so years that the lightbulb lasts, and you’re also not creating waste in the form of thrown out lightbulbs.
Renovate Instead of Moving
Moving takes a lot of energy and creates a lot of waste. Between truck and car trips and all of the cardboard boxes, you’re having a bigger negative environmental impact than if you just renovate your current home. If you’re thinking of renovating, you’re not alone—61% of people who live in a home for at least six years agree that they’d rather renovate than move. Making changes to your home can not only make it more livable, but can give you opportunities to choose eco-friendly options for your fixtures and appliances so that your home is even greener.
Being more eco-friendly doesn’t mean that you have to make dramatic changes to your life. These switches can help you live a more green, eco-friendly life without disrupting your day to day life.
What are your favorite eco-friendly switches? Did you try any of these out? Let us know in the comments!
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