Thursday, September 22, 2016
Sustainability is an often-discussed topic as consumers and organizations alike learn more about the damage humans are inflicting on the Earth.
Every individual can work to create a more sustainable lifestyle, which in turn improves global sustainability. If you simply walk into a local store, you may realize just how difficult becoming fully sustainable can be. However, every little change you make counts and making your home an eco-friendly and sustainable place is a wonderful first step. Here are a few ways you can make your family’s home both more sustainable and cost effective.
1. Plant a Garden
A garden is one of the most beneficial things you can add to your home. Not only does gardening improve your family’s eco-friendliness and reduce grocery bills, but gardening has also been proven as extremely therapeutic. For children, gardening introduces responsibility while teaching them to be sustainable and responsible adults.
If your children are young, you may want to put them in charge of caring for bee-friendly flowers as they require less maintenance than crop plants. Making your garden a safe-haven for bees is a necessity for a sizeable crop as they are needed to pollinate your plants. You may also want to set up a bee waterer and keep a little bee food on hand by mixing sugar and water. Bees that seem to be struggling to fly are likely in need of a sugar boost. Use a spoon to offer the syrup and let it drink its fill.
Growing an organic garden is best but can be challenging when faced with pests. Instead of reaching for the extraordinarily harmful weed and pest killer, try some natural alternatives.
2. Purchase a Compost Bin
Compost bins are a remarkably inexpensive way for you to decrease your home’s waste, thereby reducing garbage incineration and reducing landfills. In combination with a family or community garden, composting can save you plenty of money in garbage bags and grocery bills.
The most eco-friendly options are metal bins with removable inner buckets, avoiding plastic liners. Just be sure to keep it out of reach of kids and pets.
3. Utilize Energy Star Appliances
Energy Star appliances benefit your family in a number of ways, the most obvious being a reduction in your energy use. Energy Star appliances use much less energy than the average (non-energy efficient) appliance, reducing the average energy bill to less than half of what it might have been before. Essentially these appliances use fewer resources to work better and cost less.
As an additional incentive, homes with Energy Star appliances get tax breaks, saving you more money. If you decide to replace something in your home with an Energy Star alternative, avoid sending it to a landfill. Donate your appliance.
4. Spend Some Time on Your Pool
When looking to make changes to improve sustainability you might overlook your pool, thinking there simply isn’t a way to make it eco-friendly. But that’s not the case. In fact, one great way to make your pool more sustainable is to update old equipment. There are many types of filters, pool covers, and other equipment available today that are for more eco-friendly than older models. For example, you might get rid of your pool heater and use a solar pool cover instead. That way you can consume less energy and use the sun’s rays to heat your pool.
There are, of course, a number of small ways you can make your home better for the planet. However gardening, composting, and even buying a new fridge can be a great way to start. Being environmentally responsible will teach your kids to do the same as they age, triggering change and a potential reversal of the damage we have done. If you can’t afford to become fully sustainable, don’t worry. Every little change helps.
Dolly Santos is an information junkie. She loves researching and learning about new topics. At Dollymath.com, she compiles thoughtful educational articles based on her conscientious analysis of available information.
Image via Pixabay by jf-gabnor