6 Simple Swaps for A More Sustainable Lifestyle
Now, more than ever, people are making the decision to minimize waste and start living more sustainably. However, living this way can be a daunting task, especially when just getting started. To help you begin your journey to a more sustainable lifestyle, we’ve listed 6 simple swaps you can make today.
1. Be A Conscious Consumer
Living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up on buying new things ever again, but it does mean it’s time to start shopping deliberately. Reduce your amount of online shopping and opt for supporting small businesses when you need new clothing or homey items. Looking for a good book? Check one out from your local library and return it when you’re done, or go paperless entirely by downloading books on your phone or tablet.
When you’re ready to get rid of things, don’t throw them away unless necessary. Many clothes and other items can be donated or passed down to friends and family members.
2. Replace The Necessities
If you’re looking to live more sustainably at home, you might be worried about giving up your necessities. You don’t have to! There are tons of sustainable alternatives to the things we use every day, such as:
- Instead of using bottled soap, use bar soap. Want to go the extra mile? Hand-make your bar soap with natural ingredients.
- Compost your leftovers or food scraps and use the product as a supplemental fertilizer for your yard or a garden.
- Stop using paper towels, paper plates, plastic bags, straws, and plasticware. You should only use items that can be washed and reused, again and again.
- Bring reusable shopping bags to stores to reduce the waste of plastic bags.
- Use Earth911’s services to find out how you can recycle almost anything.
3. Change Your Laundry Routine
Using less hot water when washing clothes will help you save energy and money at home. Did you know ‘water heating consumes about 90% of the energy it takes to operate a washing machine’ according to EnergyStar? Switching the temperature can help reduce energy usage and can even help save your clothes from damage. It’s also important to only run the washing machine when you have a full load of clothes, as it’s going to use the same amount of energy either way.
When drying clothes, consider hanging them on a clothesline outside, or in a designated area inside. If you’re against air-drying, or don’t have the means to do so, be sure to use low-heat settings and set your dryer on ‘sensor drying’ instead of timed drying. This will ensure the dryer turns off when clothes are dry, rather than just running until the timer is up. Be sure to change the filter regularly so your dryer runs at maximum efficiency.
4. Go Paperless
Going paperless is a small, yet effective change you can make to reduce your waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Whatever bills, reminders, or other information you receive in the mail, have your preferences changed to receive those notifications electronically. This helps to reduce paper production and CO2 emissions. On top of that, if you’re running a business, going paperless contributes to more efficient daily operations.
Growing a garden is a great option for anyone looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Gardens can provide your family with food that has not been processed or filled with harmful chemicals. Eating freshly grown vegetables leads to a healthier way of living as well. Gardens aren’t only good for growing vegetables, though. Gardens are also great for managing landscaping, reducing fuel usage from a lawnmower, adding natural nutrients into and around your yard, and developing a compost (waste recycling) routine.
To get started, read our blog: How to Start Your Own Garden This Spring.
6. Upgrade to High-Efficiency HVAC
Did you know over half of the energy usage in your home comes from heating and cooling it? To make a huge impact in your home’s energy usage, make the switch to a high-efficiency HVAC system. Systems built within the last 5 years use much less energy than older models to help conserve more natural resources and save you money on your energy bills. Variable speed systems also reduce your carbon footprint, so you can have a more positive impact on the environment, while still being comfortable in your home.
If you’re interested in making the switch to high-efficiency HVAC, contact Gulfshore Air: Niceville’s #1 choice for heating and air conditioning services. We’re your local American Standard Customer Care Dealer, here to make our community more comfortable.