Green living doesn’t require purchasing an expensive electric vehicle or installing solar panels on your home. Simple everyday choices can create an eco-friendly lifestyle that makes a big impact without huge upfront costs. Here are nine items that will help create sustainable habits for a greener life at home.
- Water Filter
Single-use plastic water bottles create an environmental threat at every stage of their life cycle – from the fossil fuels used in their production to the resources used for packaging and distribution all the way to their disposal into landfills and, eventually for many, into oceans. Purchasing a water filter – whether for the whole house, the kitchen faucet or a pitcher – saves both money and the environment.
Growing herbs, vegetables or even fruits and berries is not only green (literally), but it can also improve life at home by providing a stress-relieving and educational activity. Home gardeners typically use fewer chemicals that can find their way into water sources. Plus, there’s no environmental cost of packaging and transporting the produce. As a bonus, the faster produce is consumed from the time it’s picked, the more nutrients it retains!
- Coffee Maker That Doesn’t Use Pods
There are many ways brew a great cup of coffee without using a disposable plastic pod, from drip brew to pour-over to French press. If you really prefer the taste and convenience of pod makers, make the small investment into a reusable pod to keep plastic out of the landfill. And, the coffee grounds are great fertilizer for plants including roses, azaleas, hydrangeas, hollies and even cabbage!
- Compost Bin
Composting fruit and vegetable scraps along with summer grass clippings and fall leaves will create a nutrient filled humus that will enrich flower beds and support potted herbs and vegetables. Composting also keeps biodegradable materials out of the landfill, where natural biodegradation processes are hampered. A compost bin isn’t required – just a small corner of the yard will do!
- Toaster or Toaster Oven
It’s tempting to eschew the toaster or toaster oven in the interest of clutter-free countertops but heating up the oven to toast a couple of slices of bread or to reheat a small portion wastes electricity. It can also make the kitchen hotter, requiring the air conditioner to work harder in warm months. A toaster is faster, more convenient and greener!
- Larger Laundry Basket
Washing clothes less frequently makes life at home easier and more eco-friendly! It saves time, water and electricity to wash only full loads. Also, wearing clothes more than once before washing them extends the life of the fabrics.
- Clothesline or indoor drying rack
And when you do wash those clothes, keep them out of the dryer to save even more electricity! If a full clothesline is out of the question, try a drying rack. Setting it up on a balcony or near an open door can speed the drying process and give laundry that outdoor-fresh scent.
- Sewing kit
Keep old clothes out of the landfill and save money by repairing rather than replacing clothing. Where possible, purchase high quality clothes that are less likely to get a hole in the seam, fade or wear out quickly. (If you do need to get rid of old clothes, donating them is more eco-friendly than trashing them!)
- Cloth Napkins
Using cloth napkins and cleaning rags will keep paper towels and napkins out of landfills and save on the cost of continually replacing them. And washing a few napkins or rags will not add significantly to the laundry load. Darker colors work well for napkins because they hide stains. Bleachable fabrics are great for rags.
Here’s a bonus tip: Selecting a new home built by True Homes is another way to create an eco-friendly life at home. Each True High Performance Home is built green and is third-party tested for energy efficiency.