Climate change is a big issue, but that doesn’t mean the solution is out of our reach. In fact, there are plenty of eco-friendly habits and projects you can take on from the comfort of your own home. From conserving energy to making environmentally conscious choices, there’s a greener alternative for nearly any part of your life. If you’re wondering what simple actions you can take to protect Mother Nature, check out these ways to help the environment from your own home.
Cut Back on Utilities
How much electricity and water does your home go through in a month? You can cut your carbon footprint—and your bills—by conserving water, electricity, and other utilities. This helps reduce the energy you and your family waste each month. Turn off lights when you leave a room. Unplug chargers, televisions, lamps, and other small appliances when you’re not using them—or use power strips that you can easily turn on and off. Make sure your sinks and showers aren’t leaking, and don’t leave water running longer than necessary. You can also opt for opening the windows or a screen door on pleasant days rather than running your air conditioning. These small steps will go a long way toward conserving the energy your house uses.
Buy Smart (and Buy Less)
It’s important to be conscious of how your shopping choices affect the world around you. Try to purchase from eco-friendly businesses that use natural ingredients, make cruelty-free products, or strive to offset their carbon footprint. You should also look for locally sourced grocery stores and restaurants—this will help benefit your community’s economy as well. In addition to making green shopping choices, also consider what you’re buying and why you need it. Buying less stuff means throwing away less stuff. For example, before you replace an item, ask yourself whether you can upcycle or reuse the old version. If you can’t, can you buy a replacement secondhand? These shopping decisions help eliminate the trash you and your household create.
Start a Garden
Who doesn’t love spending time in the sunshine, growing something from scratch? Gardening is one of the best ways to help the environment from your own home. Like all vegetation, the plants you grow on your porch or in your yard are valuable assets to the surrounding environment. If you venture into growing your own herbs, fruits, or vegetables, you can also provide yourself with local, organic foods—another environmental plus. Make sure you’re practicing green gardening techniques. Avoid using pesticides or other harmful chemicals, as these can deter or endanger your local pollinators. In fact, pesticides are one of the top reasons why the bee population is declining. Instead, find natural alternatives to protect your garden while still welcoming beneficial bees and other pollinators.