Living sustainably is better for our health and our planet. There are plenty of simple eco swaps you can make that instantly reduce your pollution, save money and protect the Earth. On a larger scale, there are some bigger changes we can make that have even greater impacts. In this post, we’ll cover some lifestyle changes you can make to live more sustainably. This includes practical shifts as well as some larger projects that are worth investing in if you want to commit to an eco-friendly way of living.
1. Start an Herb and/or Veggie Garden
While supporting local farms is important to sustaining a healthy community, you can decrease pollution by growing your own produce as well. Even if you live in an apartment with no outdoor space, you can plant an indoor herb garden and save money while adding flavor to all your cooking. Vegetable gardens might seem overwhelming, but they can be grown with no prior experience with limited space. Having your own garden also gives you the opportunity to start composting your organic waste.
2. Get Eco-Friendly Floors
Is it time to update your home’s flooring? If you’re getting rid of carpet or thinking of replacing hardwood, consider looking into a sustainable material. Bamboo floors have the look and feel of wood but are actually made from grass; bamboo grows quickly in China and it is considered an environmentally friendly renewable material for the home. When it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, think about linoleum. It may seem like an old product, but it was ahead of its time when it comes to environmental conservation. Linoleum is actually made from a byproduct of pine trees. Nature isn’t harmed in the process of making it, and there are plenty of options for you to customize the look for your room.
3. Upgrade Your Roof
Most U.S. roofs are made from heat-absorbing materials. They cause buildings to retain more heat throughout the year, which results in higher air conditioning costs and greater energy consumption. It’s a vicious cycle, but you can work toward ending it by replacing your roof with a sustainable material. A cool roof made from metal or asphalt looks just like a traditional roof, but it reflects the sun rather than absorbing it. If you are planning a big home upgrade like this, you may wonder what your payment options are. One option is to borrow a loan from a private lender to finance green improvements. The money you borrow goes toward a good cause, and you can pay it back on your own time in payments that fit your budget.
4. Bring Your Own Silverware
When you go out to eat or grab a coffee, carry your own silverware and a metal straw. This simple swap reduces both waste and water consumption on a business end. You can find plenty of foldable silverware that tuck into your pocket or easily slip into your bag without getting lost. Using a metal straw to drink coffee or tea has another perk, too, it can keep your teeth pearly white.
5. Go Geothermal
A geothermal heat pump is an extremely environmentally friendly method of providing water to a home. Although the technology has been around for years, very few homeowners are actually aware of it. Geothermal energy uses heat from the Earth’s surface to provide energy to a home, utilizing up to 50 percent less energy and emitting virtually no greenhouse gasses. Geothermal heat pumps are much more eco-conscious than your average HVAC system, but they work just as efficiently. In fact, you’ll use less energy and save money while keeping your home warm in the winter and cool during the hotter months.
Article Submitted By Community Writer