More people than ever are watching the news and paying attention to the effects of climate change, and they want to make a difference. However, many don’t put their thoughts into action because they believe that one person cannot make a difference. The fact of the matter is that by making small changes around your home and in your daily life, you can make a positive impact on the planet and make the world a better place. Today, we will talk about smart fixes you can make at home, and while you are out and about that can help you to live a more sustainable life.
Lower Your Utility Bills
You may not fully realize it, but when you heat and cool your home and use electricity, you require the burning of fossil fuels. The problem is that when fossil fuels are burned, large amounts of carbon dioxide are released into the air. When that happens, the newly created greenhouse gasses trap heat in the atmosphere, which leads to global warming.
By making simple changes and updates at home, you can reduce the overall amount of fossil fuels that are burned, and when you use fewer resources at home, you also lower your utility bills.
The issue is that if you have an older home, you may not realize where you are wasting energy. For instance, if you’ve had the same doors and windows for several years, then they likely are cracking and separating around the edges. When you heat and cool your home, a lot of that energy leaks out through those cracks, so your HVAC systems have to work harder. By replacing your windows with energy-efficient models and caulking around doors, you can stop that leakage and run the heater or air conditioning less each day.
On the topic of your HVAC system, it is important that you have it maintained and checked every year. If your heating or cooling systems are in ill repair, then they may be working harder and longer than necessary. When that happens, you waste more energy, and it will take longer to heat or cool your house, which could be dangerous if it is extremely hot or cold outside.
Make Upgrades Around The Home
You can also live more sustainably by making smart, energy-efficient updates around the home. It may seem daunting at first, but you can make a big difference by making relatively minor upgrades, like updating your showerheads and faucets with low-flow alternatives that will use a fraction of the water while still performing the same function. You can also install energy-efficient appliances, like a dishwasher or dryer, that will wash your dishes and dry your clothes while using a fraction of the energy that you use now.
You can do the same with your light bulbs. If you are still using incandescents, then consider changing to LEDs, which are brighter and more inexpensive. Plus, they will last longer, so you dispose of them less often, and they use less energy, so you are helping the planet while illuminating your home. Just remember that you do not need to keep your lights on all of the time. During the day, open your drapes and let in the natural light. The sunlight will allow you to see your tasks throughout the day, and it can also help you feel better overall.
If you really want to make a difference, then consider installing solar panels on your roof. These panels, also called a solar array, will be placed on your roof in the spot where they will get the most sunlight, and that energy will power your home. The panels are relatively easy for a professional to install, and they produce as much electricity as you get from the utility company, so you won’t notice a difference in your service. Best of all, while there may be a hefty cost upfront, over time, you could lower your monthly electric bill to a few bucks per month.
Live More Sustainably Every Day
The best thing about living a sustainable lifestyle is that you do not need to stop with your house. Instead, you can live an eco-friendly lifestyle all day, even when you go to work or run your errands. Think about how you get from place to place. Is your job close enough so that you can walk or ride your bike instead of driving? If so, consider it because you will help the environment while also improving your own physical health.
You can also make an amazing difference when you go to the store. In addition to walking, you can use your reusable bags and purchase products sold in recyclable glass containers instead of single-use plastics. When you do your grocery shopping, consider shopping locally instead of going to the major chain stores. Local stores get their food from local farmers. In addition to tasting better, local food is transported to the store via a truck ride across town. These short trips produce a lot less pollution than the big rig trucks that drive across the nation to supply the major retailers.
Consider the same tactic when you buy items like clothing and furniture. By buying these items from a local thrift store, you get the same great quality-tested products for a lower price. Plus, when you buy used items, you reduce the need for large factories to pump pollution into the air to make new products. It is a win-win for everyone.
There are many ways that you can update your home and your life to live as sustainably as ever. Consider these tactics and research other sustainable practices, and you can make a real difference in the world.