A new study published in Nature Geoscience announced that the Antarctic is melting far faster than scientists previously believed. The study found that Antarctica is melting away at its base, below the sea’s surface, contributing to significant sea-level rise.
With environmental disasters a regular fixture in the news cycle, climate change has become one of the core issues in the human fight for a better world.
If you’ve been considering adopting a greener way of life, we’ve got a plan for going green that could work for you. The following changes are fairly simple to make, and they’ll make a huge difference in the way you see your own place in the world with the changing climate. You can even start today!
Top 7 Tips for Going Green at Home
#1 – Optimize energy in every room.
Your home produces a ton of energy. But the sad new is, you’re losing a lot of it.
To increase efficiency, consider having an energy-use assessment done on your home by an energy consultant in your state or county.
They can tell you where you’re losing heat from insulation or windows leaks, water from faucet or pipe leaks, and other energy from outlets, light bulbs, and more. For example, some of your cooking and heating systems or appliances may be draining energy when you don’t even realize it. Optimize and update these appliances where you can.
Furthermore, all light bulbs should be replaced with LEDs, and appliances should be turned off and unplugged when not in use. You might even consider transitioning to a smart thermostat system like Nest, which optimizes your indoor temps according to your habits and needs. According to the company, optimizing your indoor temperature by just one degree can cut your energy use by 5 percent each year.
But your consuming more than just eco-unfriendly energy. What about your food?
#2 – Purchase the right meat.
Whenever possible, buy grass-fed and pasture-raised meats from local/regional sources. If you’re a family of meat-eaters, the benefits of this choice are multi-fold. First, you’ll be purchasing foods that require less natural resources to produce.
Next, you’ll be feeding your family meat that doesn’t include harmful antibiotics or hormones. In turn, these dangerous ingredients won’t end up in the water supply. Finally, when you purchase local/regional meat, you’ll also cut down on transportation pollution.
#3 – Make your own cleaning supplies and detergents.
It may sound complicated, but with a few key products and tools, it’s really a breeze. Plus, it can even save you money and better protect the health of you and your family. HGTV provides a great resource for simple cleaning agent recipes.
If you don’t want to make your own cleaning supplies, however, there is another option: simply purchase cleaning agents that are free of chemicals and safe for the environment. Check out this guide from the EPA concerning how to find these safe and eco-certified cleaning products, and do a little research the next time you go shopping for such commodities.
#4 – Reuse water to make a big impact everyday.
Water is a limited resource, and using it recklessly causes serious consequences for the environment.
One good way to cut down on your use of water and save on water bills is to collect rainwater in rain barrels. This water can be used for things like watering plants or your garden and washing cars.
You might even collect water from home cooking activities as well. For example, save the water left over from making pasta or rinsing hard boiled eggs after they’ve been cooked. Once you get a routine going, it’s really easy to implement these new habits, and again, you’ll be helping the environment and your water bill.
#5 – Always buy refurbished electronics.
According to Techsoup, in the book Computers and the Environment by Williams and Kuehr, “75% of PC energy consumption has already happened before a new computer is ever switched on.”
In other words, lengthening the lives of already-produced electronics like computers, tablets, and smart phones, is the way to go. Therefore, consider purchasing refurbished electronics and getting quality products you already own fixed instead of tossing them for new models.
#6 – Shower swap. Get better shower heads.
According to home-water-works.org, “showers are typically the third largest water use after toilets and clothes washers.”
When shopping for new showerheads, you’ll want to look for the WaterSense EPA label. This means the showerhead will be 20 percent more water efficient. It may seem like a small change, but if all families in the United States did this, consider how much water could be saved for our planet!
With our busy lives, it is certainly difficult to think about making all of these tips for going green changes at once. Fortunately, there’s no need to be daunted by their breadth and number. Instead, go slowly.
Consider adopting one of these changes every month, for example. Slow progress, after all, is better than none. And these simple alterations to your lifestyle and home set-up can make a huge difference in the fate of our world.
#7 – Most importantly, start recycling.
If you’re not already recycling at home, you should start now.
Recycling helps to remove harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases from landfills, and it also reduces the need to use up valuable energy and resources for the creation of brand-new products from raw materials.
For example, did you know that aluminum cans are 100 percent recyclable? Consider how many aluminum cans you and your family use each week. Why make new ones when you can reuse the old?
What are your top eco-friendly household tips? Share them in the comments!