How “Green” Are You & Why Does Sustainability Matter?

By Dominica

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Last Updated: May 17, 2021

It’s likely you’ve heard talk about how the Earth is struggling with environmental problems. From massive pollution to deforestation to bad air quality to… the reality is that the human population hasn’t tended to Mother Earth as well as it could.

Why should we care about being green and/or sustainable? The most obvious reason is so humans can continue to survive for many years. Future generations are at stake here, and it’s a moral issue as to what kind of world we want them to live in. It’s our responsibility.

Some companies are doing great when it comes to sustainability, carbon footprint, and zero-waste.

Take Mohawk Flooring, for example. The company uses recycled plastic bottles to make carpet. The sustainable design allows them to divert over 17 times the waste generated.

Or Certified Cradle to Cradle products, where the design and quality of materials takes into consideration the entire lifespan of the product.

How Green Are You?

Take a few minutes to gauge just how “green” you are.  Do you consciously think about how your actions influence the environment? How the products that you buy contribute to your carbon footprint?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how green do you think you are?

Many people admit that they could be doing better in terms of living an eco-friendly life. Maybe they do well for a while, but kind of get off track over time. It takes a conscious effort, for sure.

Do you want to do better in terms of your “green” efforts?

Maybe you simply need some tips on how you can be more eco-friendly.  The following are some helpful tips to help you learn more about how you can “green” your home. At the same time, you can decrease your carbon footprint and help future generations enjoy a safe, healthy planet.

“Greening” Your Home

Making your home more environmentally friendly is a wonderful gesture to Mother Nature. You not only save yourself some money when it comes to energy and water usage, but you also get to be an active agent in environmental change.  From recycling to using eco-friendly house cleaners, each person can do their part in creating a green, healthy home environment.

Here are the top 8 ways you can “green” your home:

1.       Embrace Energy Efficient Appliances

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that if you replace your old refrigerator with an energy efficient one, you could save upwards of $150 per year. Appliances typically use about 18% of your power bill, and your refrigerator is the biggest user.

What should you look for when you’re replacing them?

Look for appliances that have the “Energy Star” logo, as they use between 10 and 50 percent less energy than the older models.

2.       Use The Thermostat To Your Advantage

Your thermostat setting is more important than you might think when it comes to energy consumption.  In fact, your HVAC system uses about 50% of the energy consumption in your home.

How can you be more “green” using the thermostat?

Turn your thermostat to 68 degrees for the winter and 78 degrees for the summer. This could save you between 5 and 10 % in energy costs.  If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to change automatically. Also, don’t forget to change your furnace air filter every few months.

3.       Use “Green” Cleaning Solutions

There are plenty of eco-friendly house cleaning solutions that are not full of toxins. In today’s market, there are dozens of well-known, trustable companies dedicated to providing safe, environmentally friendly cleaning products for homes and businesses. You can even try your hand at making your own green solutions using common safe ingredients like lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar.

4.       Install A Solar Hot Water Tank

Hot water accounts for about 10% of your energy consumption bill. The bigger your family, the more hot water you’re likely using, so that percentage could even be greater.

Consider installing a solar hot water tank. This will help you decrease your energy consumption because the sun heats up the water for your home usage.  Solar water tanks are more expensive than regular tanks, but over the years the savings will outweigh the initial cost. There may be tax incentives and advantages too, so be sure you check that out.

5.       Conserve Water

There’s a lot of water on the planet, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t ever be a shortage. To become more “green”, consider using the least amount of water as you possible can. Install low-flow faucets and shower heads, install low-volume toilets, energy efficient washing and dishwashing machines, and take shorter showers.

6.       Install Energy Efficient Lighting

It’s easy to green your home using energy-efficient lights.  You may not realize it, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) use about 66% less power than the old incandescent bulbs?  And, they last about 10 times longer.  This means you use less power to light up your home and do not have to purchase light bulbs as often.

7.       Use Eco-Friendly Paint

Consider using eco-friendly paint when it’s time to paint your home.  Traditional paints include toxins and VOCs, which are volatile organic compounds that contribute to pollution.  The fumes are not good for you or the environment. When you purchase paint, look for a kind that has little or no VOCs so that your indoor air quality will be healthier, and, you’re giving business to eco-friendly companies who care about sustainability.

8.       Plant A Garden

Greening your home means living in an environmentally friendly atmosphere and giving Mother Nature some tender loving care.  Another way you can green your home is to grow a garden full of organic fruits and vegetables. To fertilize the garden, use compost from your very own compost pile. This means you’ll actually have to start a compost pile, which can be a wonderful learning experience for the entire family.

Planting a garden is a project that the whole family can enjoy. And, you can enjoy delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables whenever you want.

What’s Your Level of Commitment?

Creating a home environment that is eco-friendly is both rewarding and responsible.  Committing to a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle can give you immense peace and joy, knowing that you are doing your part in the world to nurture and care for it.

So, the question may not be so much about how “green” you are, but how committed you are to becoming as “green” as you can be over time.

One step at a time, you can implement better, “green” choices in your life. Do what resonates with you. I think you’ll enjoy the duty and process of being a sustainable steward of planet Earth.

 

Photo by HASAN ZAHRA from Pexels

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