Efforts to “go green” often entail significant changes to your home and lifestyle, but for many of us, those shifts just aren’t logical or possible. Fortunately, when it comes to being eco-friendly, it isn’t an all or nothing gambit. There are plenty of small changes you can make to your living space to reduce your carbon footprint and make your lifestyle a little greener.
Be Smart In The Kitchen
Limiting food waste and energy usage are two great first steps to take when it comes to being more eco-friendly in the home. Making sure the oven door is closed when in use can help prevent heat from escaping and investing in a toaster or toaster oven for smaller items can save a lot of energy. It is also a good idea to move away from coffee pods and instead return to the traditional drip coffee, as the latter is much more eco-friendly. Learning how to meal prep and properly store leftovers can also help reduce food waste over time.
Recycle and Compost
Most of us already recycle to some degree, but for those who don’t have a recycling bin, now is the time to get one. Learning about what kinds of products you can recycle and how to separate different materials will reduce the amount of recyclables you send to the landfill. Going beyond recycling, you can also invest in a compost bin. Most of these are now designed to be odor-free, and using a compost bin will help you make use of your food waste and fertilize any plants you have, lending itself to a very green cycle.
Tend to Plants
Houseplants require some degree of knowledge and consistent care, but they are also effective at keeping the air in your home clean. You can also plant herbs to line your window sills and embellish your cooking. Using the fertilizer made from your compost will keep your plants healthy, and this practice creates a positive, eco-friendly cycle.
Alter Your Laundry Settings
Washing your clothes in cold water is a small change that can make a big difference. Up to 90% of the energy washing machines use goes toward heating the water, so you can reduce your energy usage (and your electric bill) by switching to cold water. Using cold water can also help keep your clothing intact for longer periods of time, so it’s all around a great decision.
When it comes to drying your clothes, skipping the dryer whenever possible will also save energy. On nice days, hang your clothes out to dry. Air-drying your clothes saves energy and money.
Use refills or zero-packaging / compostable packaging wherever possible
Please see my article on London’s best organic and environmentally friendly groceries delivery services, and on great sources for refills and zero-waste packaging for groceries and hair and body care.