5 Easy Sustainable Solutions to Make in Your Home
Summer gets us all thinking about how we can do our part to preserve the beautiful environment we live in. The Internet provides an endless supply of articles and Pinterest ideas for how to make our lives more sustainable, but they often seem too complicated to use in everyday life. Here are 5 easy sustainable switches you can implement this summer to make your home more eco-friendly.
Grow Your Own Produce
Photo via Brina Blum
Summer is the perfect time to cultivate a green thumb, and who doesn’t like the thought of not having to make a special trip to the grocery store for fresh produce? It can seem daunting, but with the right knowledge and resources, it’s easy to grow your own veggies and herbs. To cut down on food waste, use your vegetable table scraps as plant starters. You can even create pots and starter jars by reusing other food containers like jars and cans. In addition, try using leftovers that have gone bad to create compost to give your plants that extra nutrient boost.
One helpful tip here is to choose plants that don’t require a lot of water. A few examples of drought-tolerant vegetables and herbs are beans, black eyed-peas, tomatoes, thyme, and oregano. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you can look into creating an in-home hydroponics system to reduce water usage even further.
Grow Your Own Produce
Photos via Fritz Bielmeier
To reduce your individual carbon footprint in a big way, you can walk or ride a bike instead of driving everywhere. Besides being more sustainable, these options are a great way to get outside and stay active. Summer provides the perfect opportunity to explore locally and find amazing places you can walk or bike to. If distance is an issue, look into more energy-efficient transportation options such as scooters, public transport, or ride-sharing.
Save Energy in Small Ways Around the House
Photo via Gustavo Quepón
Many people don’t realize just how much electricity they use on a daily basis. A few simple changes around your house can make a huge difference from a sustainability standpoint. First, try unplugging standby appliances you aren’t using such as coffee makers, TVs, and stereos. Even if these appliances are turned off, they may still be using electricity if they are plugged into an outlet. Second, take advantage of the beautiful summer weather to get natural lighting and ventilation in your house! Open your windows or doors instead of turning on the lights and central air. Third, hang your laundry on a clothesline instead of using the dryer to cut down your energy usage even further. You’ll be surprised at the difference these little practices can make!
Create Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Photos via Crema Joe
Making your own chemical-free cleaning products is easier than you think. You can transform products you have around the house into effective, inexpensive cleaning materials. For example, baking soda, lemon, and distilled white vinegar are excellent natural disinfectants. With a little bit of looking, you can easily find DIY recipes for everything you need to clean, from stain remover to glass cleaner.
Repurpose Your Every-Day Items
photo via Jen Theodore
Summer is a great time to start DIY projects around the house using items you already have. Instead of tossing unwanted things in the trash, you can repurpose them to fit your needs. You can turn throwaway items into decorations, storage solutions, and whatever else you need. Another idea is to reupholster or repaint furniture to upscale it instead of tossing it to the curb. Finally, you can reuse food containers like spaghetti jars as containers for leftovers or other food. Get creative and find ways to repurpose items you might otherwise throw away!