There's a guy on social media who takes plastics out of the ocean and makes them into useful things to sell for operating money. Many people read this and decide they'll go green. Need to know how to begin? You can start in your own home.
In the Beginning
Having an eco-friendly household isn't as hard as it seems. Take cloth shopping bags to the grocery. Take a Mason jar when you want a soft drink or a ceramic mug or thermos for coffee. If you do, you won't be using foam cups and plastic lids. Use glass storage bowls in place of plastics and Tupperware.
Beyond these simple changes, you can also take steps to invest in eco-friendly technology and renewable energy. Switching to solar power reduces greenhouse gases, which will also minimize your home's carbon footprint. If possible, see what your options are for installing residential solar panels and using other energy efficient methods of powering your home. You can also look for ways to minimize water usage in your home. One option is to install energy-efficient plumbing on your property. Even switching to a submersible pump can help reduce energy usage in your home.
Reduce Plastic Use
You can make an effort to reduce plastic waste in your home by recycling and using other materials. Instead of plastic, try using glass. We know it's difficult to find glass bottles, but they're out there. Use your own glass containers to buy from the bulk section at the grocery. Bypass bottled water and instead use your own in a glass container.
If there simply is no way to use glass, then reuse your plastic. Use your plastic containers for organizing the paper clips and rubber bands on your desk or your hairpins and ponytail holders on your vanity table. You can also use plastic containers to hold change or organize the nails, screws and bolts in the tool chest. There are so many reusable plastic items that can be recycled and end up in landfills instead. If you cannot find the time to recycle these items yourself, see if you have friends or a local volunteer group that can help out with this.
Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
As you make an effort to reduce and recycle plastics in your home, you can go green by using natural cleaning products. White vinegar makes a good fabric softener, and it can be used for cleaning the kitchen counters and the toilet. Baking soda cleans teeth, the toilet and sink drains, and it freshens carpets. Lemon mixed with baking soda cleans the garbage disposal as well as windows.
Decluttering Your Home
Decluttering your home is the first step to creating an eco-friendly home. It allows you to sort through your things and get rid of what you never use. You can either donate what you don't use to a goodwill store or if you want to keep it for future use you can put it in storage. Either way, removing the clutter from your home will streamline your organization efforts and it will prevent you from buying things you don't need. Instead of buying new furniture, repurpose what you have and recycle whatever you can. It will not only move you along the eco-friendly path but it will save you money in the long run.
Other Green Habits
Other means of going green include incorporating these habits:
- Using LED light bulbs, which last up to 13 years
- Doing the wash in cold water
- Drying clothes on a clothesline, which helps garments last longer and smell great
- Compost leftovers past their use-by date for garden fertilizer
- Walk or bike instead of driving
Living an eco-friendly life isn't hard to do. Once you begin, you'll wonder how you ever lived any other way. You'll have lots of fun finding ways to lower your carbon footprint and save the Earth.