Have you ever thought about how you could make eco-friendly changes to your home, but have no idea where to begin? There are thousands of people just like you who are eager to make changes to their lifestyle to help preserve the planet for future generations. Sustainable living (or green living) refers to adopting a more ecological lifestyle that reduces the dependency on the Earth’s natural resources. The sustainable living community is growing by leaps and bounds, led by eco-friendly motives by Generations X, Y and the Millennials.
Take action on the way you consume energy in your home.
One of the biggest impacts on the environment comes from the way we consume energy. Majority of our energy consumption comes from the type of lighting that is used within homes. Most of the homes that have been built over the last 50 years had incandescent light bulbs installed. They are still sold on the market at cheap prices, however they lose most of their energy through heat, thus requiring more energy consumption to function. By switching to residential LED lights, households can reduce their annual light energy consumption by 80%, which will help reduce carbon emissions as well as energy bills for the homeowner.
Improve your waste management habits.
According to Greenpeace, the average Australian produces 1.5 tonnes of waste each year. This comes from a variety of habits such as:
- Our consumption of plastic bags
- Throwing away edible food
- Plastic packaging
- Mismanagement of yard waste
Fortunately, you can choose to change your habits to minimize waste. YouTube vlogger’s Exploring Alternatives featured a lady that adopted a ‘Zero Waste Lifestyle’ to vastly improve her consumption and waste habits. She successfully reduced her waste by implementing the following actions.
- She got rid of her bin, which forced her to use or consume items that don’t contribute to waste.
- She made use of glass and metal storage items that could easily be reused.
- She avoided purchasing anything that was packed in plastic or cans that could easily be disposed of.
- She changed her meal consumption habits so she only ate fresh vegetables or fruits.
- When shopping, she would only use her eco-friendly bags rather than use plastic bags that were provided by the store.
Some additional tips that she provided in regards to managing waste include:
Buying only those items that you need.
Aim to purchase less rather than more and running the risk of the items going to waste. Consider a minimalistic approach when purchasing items.
Avoid buying things that cannot be recycled.
In particular, avoid purchasing packaged items or plastics that cannot be recycled.
Change your water preservation habits.
According to YourHome, the average Australian uses up to 100,000L of freshwater each year. Households can help address these issues by:
- Reducing the quantity of water that is consumed.
- Improving the way that storm and wastewater is managed.
Some ways this can be implemented in people’s homes include:
- Using a dual flush toilet to use less water.
- Install a water saver system that uses water from the bathroom sink to flush the toilet.
- Minimise showers to 4 minutes or less.
- Switch from bottled to filtered water. (It can take up to 3 litres of water to produce 1 litre of bottled water.)
- Use rain barrels to capture water that can be used for irrigating your garden.
- Opt for water-efficient dishwashers rather than hand-washing dishes.
- When using the washing machine, ensure that you wash with a full load.
Consider recycling clothes at thrift shops.
People are keen to purchase the latest fashion items and then they throw away several clothes that they own. Instead, consider donating items to thrift shops so they can be recycled and reused.
There are several ways you can adopt a more sustainable home and lifestyle. The more you can implement, the more you will have a positive impact on the environment. Take a look inside your home to see what changes you can make so you can take your first steps towards sustainable living today!