6 Tips To Be More Sustainable in Your Home

The path to a greener future starts at your own front step

Aug 1, 2016
Special Collections: REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE
Father and son planting vegetables in the garden

Going green can be simple and fun (Shutterstock)

In recent years, living a responsible and green lifestyle has become more relevant and important than ever. Companies and governments around our beautiful planet are doing everything they can to make sure that future generations will be able to lead a happy and healthy life. If you’ve always wanted to do your part, and weren’t sure where to start, keep reading for some simple tips on how to be greener in your own home. "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" - these are the magic words.

1. SAVE THOSE PRECIOUS DROPS

  1. The average American household uses 378,000 liters (100,000 gallons) of water every year Switch your faucets to low-flow showerheads, turn off the water when brushing teeth, fix leaky pipes, and don't waste water by rinsing the dishes before loading your dishwasher. Remember, every drop counts.

2. MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING PRODUCTS

  1. Most of the everyday cleaning products sold at your favorite department store are toxic - not just for yourself and your family, but also the environment. Borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice are only a few of the many natural alternatives you can use to whip up your own cleaning products. For added eco-effect, call the manufacturer on your old cleaning products for proper disposal instructions.

Borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice make great natural cleaners (Shutterstock)

Borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt, and lemon juice make great natural cleaners (Shutterstock)

3. RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE

Complete the cycle by purchasing products that have already been recycled such as stationary, toilet paper, or shopping bags. Collect and recycle batteries, or better yet, switch to rechargeable ones. Many communities have separate garbage cans for plastic, paper, and bio-waste. Use them diligently, and if your city or town doesn’t recycle yet, why not be the one to initiate the change at the next town hall meeting?

4. TRULY POWER DOWN YOUR ELECTRONICS

  1. Connect your electronic devices such as the TV and DVD player, or the computer and printer, into a UL-certified power strip; switch the whole group off with one button for the evening to prevent phantom electrical draw. It’s good for the environment and can significantly lower your electricity bill.

A power board can save power - and money (Shutterstock)

A power strip can save power - and money (Shutterstock) 

5. REDUCE WASTE

If you buy cleaning products choose the concentrated versions, which use 50 to 60 percent less packaging while cleaning just as thoroughly. Follow the markings as directed on the label - using more won’t make your clothes cleaner than clean! And of course - recycle the container once it’s empty. You can also switch to microfiber cloths to clean up all the little spills around the house - one microfiber cloth can substitute up to 60 rolls of paper towel before it needs replacing.

6. GO GREEN - LITERALLY

Swap those flowers in your front yard (or inside your apartment) for edible herbs you can use in the kitchen. Thyme, basil and sage all look great and will add an amazing smell to your home. You can even strategically plant fruit trees around the house (on the south and west sides) to save hundreds of dollars a year on cooling and heating.

Planting trees around your house will give you shade and fresh fruit (Hoach Le Dinh)

DAVID RUHM, EDITOR IN CHIEF
David has a passion for languages and words, and loves to see people happy. He writes about inspiring ideas, amazing technologies and all the wonders of the world.
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