10 Ways Your Family Can Go Eco-Friendly on a Budget
This is a partnered post.
We only have one planet, and the way we treat it determines what we leave behind for future generations. Over the past decade or so, there has been an ever-increasing effort among people to become friendlier to the environment. With so many people opting to “go green” and live eco-friendly lifestyles, the need for families to understand the ways they can live sustainably has increased.
If your family is looking to reduce its carbon footprint, the tips in this guide will give you the fundamentals to establish your environmentally conscious strategy. The following ten tips will assist your family in going green on a budget.
Recycling is the primary thing that comes to mind when many people think of going green. Every day the average person generates four pounds of waste, amounting to 1.5 tons of waste annually. According to the EPA, 75% of all waste is recyclable; however, only 30% actually gets recycled. You can make a difference by participating in your local recycling program.
Unlike recycling, repurposing actually involves keeping items rather than throwing them away. Repurposing is the adaptation of something for a new use. This concept is limited only to your imagination. With repurposing, a wine bottle can become a lamp, or an old tire can become a flower pot. There are some surprising ideas on how to repurpose items in the home.
3. Opt-In to Paperless Billing
There are 300 million tons of paper used every year. On average, an American will consume a whopping 700 pounds of paper products every year. Opting for paperless billing with the companies you do business with will help reduce your paper consumption. Nearly all companies that send monthly bills out have the option to opt-in to the paperless billing system. If you wish to switch to paperless billing, simply call the vendor to request the change.
4. Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs
Energy efficiency is an important way to reduce your carbon footprint. Incandescent lightbulbs operate by illuminating a filament. Energy-efficient lightbulbs cost nearly seven times less to operate. These compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) bulbs are far more efficient. They produce light by illuminating a gas contained within the bulb.
5. Eco-Friendly Mattresses
All mattresses are not created equal. Today, there is such a wide variety of mattresses available on the market. With a population that is more ecologically aware, you are able to find a suitable selection of eco-friendly mattresses. Traditionally, mattresses have been manufactured using questionable materials. You can purchase an eco-friendly mattress for a long term investment in an ecologically sound future.
6. Grow Organic Foods
Growing your own vegetables and fruits is a way that you can reduce your carbon footprint. There are a lot of resources used to get your food delivered to your local supermarket. With genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods so prevalent today, it has become even more necessary to take matters into your own hands by cultivating your own vegetables. Starting a small garden on your property is a wonderful way to show your dedication to the environment.
7. Build a Compost Bin
If you are growing your own foods in your garden, a compost bin is perfect for your household. A compost bin is used to collect organic uncooked food waste. Rather than throwing the food away to get hauled off to a landfill, you can build a compost bin and mix the food waste with soil. The point of composting is to create a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your garden.
8. Buy Locally
Again, the journey that food takes to make it to your local market has a negative effect on the environment. Most communities have farmers markets or farmer co-ops that supply local markets with fresh produce. By buying locally, you not only assist the local economy but the global environment also.
The closer to home that the product is purchased, the fresher it is. Participating in the local organic food trade, you are not only doing what is best for the environment, but you are also empowering local growers.
9. Homemade Household Cleaners
The cleaning solutions that are placed under the kitchen sink, likely contain enough poison to kill your entire household. This is a reality that most people will never consider.
The dangerous poisons that we use to clean our homes can now be replaced with eco-friendly versions. Natural, non-toxic elements—like essential oils and vinegar—are marvelous cleaning agents.
10. Power Off
The fundamental practice that families can incorporate to become more sustainable is powering off of devices and appliances that are not in use. Devices that are constantly running pull from the electrical grid, thus add to your carbon footprint.
The term given to the power used by standby is vampire load. Modern appliances and devices are typically energy vampires. Generally, when there is a light on a device that remains on even when the device is not in use, that denotes a vampire load is in effect.
You should be proud of your decision to be active in making a change in the world. It is up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our carbon footprints. Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is a commitment to the future of this planet. The tips that you were given here are meant to set you on the right track towards a greener household. In time, you will naturally devise ways to decrease your family’s carbon footprint.