While sustainability isn’t a trend that’s going away, corporations have noticed that their customers want environmentally friendly products; however, they still benefit from consumption, sometimes misleading customers about the eco-friendliness of their products. If you’re looking to create a more sustainable lifestyle, there are several easy steps to start lowering your carbon footprint. Below are a few simple steps to help you transition to a more sustainable lifestyle.
Solar power is a renewable, clean source of power that doesn’t emit greenhouse gasses and increases the value of your home. Depending on where you live, you might need more solar panels for your roof, but even if you live in a rainy climate, such as the PNW, they will work. However, they’ll generate 10% to 20% of their optimum power during heavy rain and 30% to 50% during cloudy weather.
Composing Organic Food Waste
According to the EPA, 30% to 50% of the food produced is never eaten, which wastes the resources manufacturers use to produce and the money you spend. Instead of throwing the uneaten foods or parts of the food we don’t eat (apple cores, corn cobs, peels, etc.), why not start composting and add it to your yard, which helps the soil retain moisture, as well as many other benefits. If you don’t have a garden, you can still give it to someone who does, a community garden, or a local garden supply center.
Ditch The Car More
While it’s understandable that you might not be able to go everywhere without your car, especially since most cities and towns are built for vehicles instead of people, making it harder to get anywhere on foot or bicycle. If your desired location is near your home, bike or walk there. If your minor errands are further away but near each other, then park in a central location and walk to each of them.
Grow Your Own
Have you ever thought about growing your own food? You don’t have to travel to the grocery store and spend extra money when you grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs. You also don’t have to worry about the chemicals they might have sprayed on the produce. You don’t have to have a large space for a garden, and you can always have an indoor garden if you don’t have a backyard.
Recycling is easy, but some states don’t encourage recycling, with West Virginia’s 2% recycling rate as of 2021. Some cities in other states, such as those in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee, have shut down their recycling programs and sent recyclables to the landfill.
It’s understandably frustrating if you live in one of those areas without a recycling program, but if you’re the entrepreneurial type or know someone who is, you can start your own. And since companies are responsible for the majority of single-use plastic and other recyclable waste, the community can encourage them to recycle more.
Use Environmentally-Friendly Products
Another way to transition is to use environmentally friendly products, such as a bamboo cutting board or switching to CPL or LED light bulbs. LED light bulbs have a far longer life than the typical incandescent bulbs and turn far less energy to produce the same amount of light without the extra heat. You can also make other changes like switching to sustainable home goods.
Upgrade Your HVAC System
Another way to save on the amount of energy you use and on heating and cooling costs is to upgrade your HVAC system. An HVAC system such as a ductless mini-split allows for multiple heating and cooling zones. For example, with a ductless mini-split, if you have a room you’re not using, you can choose not to heat or cool that room, saving energy usage.
There are so many things you can reuse something you would typically throw out. You can use butter containers to store nails, paperclips, garden seeds, and other small items. You can also use mason jars to store food, turn them into lanterns, or even use plastic bottles as planters for a garden.
Sustainable living is achievable and becoming more accessible than ever. For example, solar-powered cars, such as from Aptera and Fisker Ocean, are coming into production. Not only that, but smaller companies are creating sustainable items ranging from menstrual products to reusable coffee cup covers, and so much more. Sustainability is here, and it’s easier than ever.