People today are increasingly dedicated to preserving a healthy planet not only for today but for generations to come. If you’d like to help create a better world but get overwhelmed just thinking about how massive the challenges are, relax and breathe easy. A few simple changes around your home can make a surprisingly big impact on the environment. As a bonus, conserving natural resources often means lower expenses for you. Read on for ways to safeguard both the planet and your wallet in and around your home.
In the Backyard
If you live in a home with a yard, your outdoor space provides many opportunities to conserve resources. Connect rain barrels to your gutter downspouts and use the rainwater to irrigate your potted plants. Speaking of plants, landscape your yard with greenery native to your geographic area rather than exotic specimens. Native plants need less tending since they’re already adapted to the climate, plus they are the natural habitat for the insects, birds, and other creatures that share your environment.
One larger-scale way to save resources and money, in the long run, is to install an inground pool. While it is an investment upfront, a pool creates an at-home oasis that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. Instead of spending time and money traveling to vacation spots, with the associated carbon impact from driving or flying, you can step out the back door for a staycation. Do a quick search for pool builders near me, and you’ll discover there are new, innovative technologies that make owning a pool more affordable and earth-friendly than ever.
If you have space in the yard for a vegetable garden, go ahead and get your hands dirty. Growing your own food, even if it’s just a few tomatoes and some lettuce, is a great way to eat organically while cutting down on trips to the grocery store. Start a compost pile nearby so you can turn kitchen waste into fertile soil for the garden.
The Heart of the Home
Inside the house, your kitchen is probably the biggest consumer of both resources and money. If your appliances are older models, consider upgrading to new, more energy-efficient models. Today’s dishwashers, for example, use about half the energy and water that models used 20 years ago.
Stock your cupboards with whole foods rather than processed ones — they’re better for your health as well as the planet since fewer resources are needed to produce them. Also, skip the plastic straws and paper plates, and drink water from a reusable BPA-free container rather than disposable water bottles.
Plan your meals every week to cut back on trips to the grocery store as well as food waste. Discipline yourself to buy only what’s on the list and avoid those expensive impulse buys. If you have small children, shop without them, if possible, to avoid those inevitable requests for unhealthy treats.
Throughout the House
Conserving electricity throughout the house is another great way to help the earth while helping your finances. Replace any standard light bulbs with LEDs, turn lights off when not in use, and install timers or motion sensors on outdoor lighting. On summer days, close the window shades against the sun’s heat so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard. Conversely, harness solar power in the winter by opening shades so the sun’s heat can radiate through.
Be sure to recycle paper, glass, cans, and other items according to your local guidelines. Buy and sell used clothing, furniture, and sporting goods whenever possible. Thrift stores, online platforms like eBay, and yard sales are great options. Finding new owners for unwanted items keeps them from ending up in the landfill.
Saving the planet doesn’t have to be an intimidating concept. You can help conserve the earth’s resources while also balancing your budget, and you don’t even have to leave home to do it.
Author: Finnegan Pierson