With landfills overflowing, plastic filling oceans and streams, and climate change giving everyone midnight panic attacks, it’s obvious that changes are needed in order to take care of Mother Earth. Change begins at home, and one way to take charge of helping the environment is setting up your home to be more eco-friendly. But, let’s be honest. Sometimes, going green means giving up a bit of convenience and luxury, which is why many people resist changes. Happily, there are many things you can do at home that are kind to the earth and also add to your lifestyle.
Create an eco-friendly yard
One of the top eco minded solutions is to install native plants and hardscaping into your outdoor space. Grassy lawns are water hogs and non-native plants often require harmful pesticides and fertilizers. A sustainable outdoor space, which forgoes large expanses of grass, saves on water and reduces the number of chemicals you need to use in lawn and garden maintenance. When you install drought-resistant plants, native species, and use hardscaping to create outdoor living spaces, you create a space that is equal parts beautiful and practical.
Install smart devices
Smart devices are all the rage in modern home design. But, did you know they can also be eco-friendly? Leaving an exterior light on so you don’t arrive home in the dark, forgetting to flip the switch when you walk out of a room, leaving the air conditioner on so you don’t return to a sweltering home all seem like little things. However, the extra energy usage adds up. Most smart devices can be turned on and off with your smart home, even when you are away from home. Plus, many can be set to a schedule, so you are only using electricity when you really need to. Even better, smart devices will help slash your eclectic bills which can help cover the purchase price.
Eat in-season, locally-grown food
Even when you buy organic fruits and vegetables, the food supply chain is loaded with problems for the environment. When you select a tomato or an orange at the grocery store, it was likely shipping, in ample packaging, across the country or even from overseas. Instead, pop into your local farmer’s market or seek out local growers in your area to stock up on fruits and vegetables. When you shop for locally-produced foods, less fossil fuels are used in shipping and transportation, and less paper and plastic packaging hits the landfills. More importantly, locally-grown and in-season fruits and vegetables taste better because you are eating them while they are fresher and fewer pesticides and fertilizers were used in their production.
Switch to digital subscriptions
Does the paperboy still toss the news onto your doorstep each morning? Are you still getting frustrated every time your favorite fashion magazine arrives with a bent cover? It’s time to switch to a digital subscription. Online newspaper and magazine subscriptions offer all the advantages of the print versions, including the latest news and hottest celebrity gossip. What digital subscriptions are missing is the eco downfalls, including sky-high paper usage and shipping resources. The real upside here is, digital media subscriptions, which you can scroll through on your mobile device, are far more convenient than hauling around the paper version. Plus, media outlets are savvy to the digital switch and have started offering online-only content and digital-only magazine covers that you won’t see in your print copy.