More people are finding ways to live more sustainably becoming more environmentally-conscious, especially in 2020. Being more eco-friendly can not only save you money but also will help you positively contribute to the environment and reduce your ecological footprint. Here are just a few ways to kick off the new decade by going green with a greener home.
If you live in an area that gets enough natural sunlight, investing in getting solar-powered roofing could be a big money saver in the long run. Full solar panels aren’t for everyone, but there are several other uses and benefits of using renewable energy. Many inexpensive indoor and outdoor solar lighting options can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills and can be found online or even in your local hardware stores. There are solar-paneled grills if you love hosting summer barbecues, solar-powered chargers for tech users on the go, and even home heating and cooling technologies.
Investing in a smart thermostat is one simple way to cut down on energy used to heat and cool your home. You could reduce your household’s energy usage by about 10%. They use motion-sensing technology to only heat rooms that are in use and allow pre-programming so you can still come home to a comfortable house without having the heat or AC blasting in an empty house all day. They can even help track how much energy you are using and how you might be able to lower it.
Spring cleaning projects are right around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to switch out regular cleaners in favor of some non-toxic, all-natural cleaning products. Natural products are not only healthier for you, your family and the planet. Using natural cleaners reduces the number of chemical pollutants that wash into local waterways as well as reducing your family’s exposure to harsh chemicals. Purchase products that are labeled low-VOCs as they are the most eco-friendly and safest to use in and around your home. Even better are ingredients like baking soda, which is mildly alkaline and works well as a gentle abrasive and deodorant, or both lemon and diluted vinegar, which can be used as antibacterial stain removers. Switching to a delicious stovetop potpourri will keep your home smelling fresh or cozy instead of chemical air fresheners.
This mantra has only become more relevant as the years go by. Keeping it in mind when building new green habits this decade is one of the easiest ways to stay eco-friendly throughout the year. Here are just a few simple ways to make some daily changes that can significantly reduce your personal footprint and aid in going green:
-Switch from plastic straws to metal or paper straws. You can always go straw-free or purchase a personal reusable straw to carry with you
-Purchase a reusable water bottle- these days there are unlimited options for cool functional and eco-friendly personal water bottles
-Recyclable containers like glass Tupperware the perfect long-lasting alternatives to using plastics and cling wrap for storing or saving food.
-Use your totes. Toss a couple of reusable bags in your trunk so you never need to walk away from a shopping trip with more plastic bags. Bonus: use the ones you may have already collected as lunch bags or trash can liners.
-Cut down on paper. Switch to use by switching to online bill pay if you still love to read, e-readers, are a great way to keep all your magazines, newspapers and full-length books in one place without collecting more paper.
First and foremost, make it a habit to turn things off. Remember to hit the lights when you leave the room and unplug devices when you are no longer using them. Smart plugs or smart power strips can detect when a device is in standby mode so they can turn off the power and save energy. Some can even be controlled by an app or digital assistant. Swap out some of your incandescent lighting for compact fluorescent or LED bulbs. Although a bit more expensive at the time of purchase they can last over 10 years and will also reduce the amount you spend on electricity.
Of course, these are only a few ways to live more sustainably by going green in 2020, not everyone can be expected to be perfect. Changing just a few habits can have a positive influence on both your local and global environments and simply being mindful is a great first step.
Gwen Lewis is a writer who lives in California. She has been in the fashion and health industry for years and loves writing on the topic to give tips from experience. In her free time, she loves to stay active and has just taken on learning how to surf. For more, visit her online portfolio here.