It's Earth Day! It's 2017, climate change is definitely a thing whether you want to believe it or not. I am all about learning how we can make adjustments to be able to protect the planet we call home.
I know for a lot of people, it can be daunting, there's always new things popping up everyday saying it's bad for the environment. It only makes sense considering the population, technology as well as everyday living is advancing. There are so many ways to lower our emissions but I will share with you some of the most simple and basic ones that are so easy to incorporate into daily living without giving it a second thought breaking it down into different areas of the home (And the ones I use myself!)
|| GET RID OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLE : This is my biggest pet peeve. If you're lucky enough to live in a country or city that has safe drinking water why do you need to invest in bottles. It's proven that most bottles never get recycled. Use a Brita filter or boil the water and then place in the fridge. (Yes, I know heating the water requires energy but it's better than millions of plastic bottles corrupting the oceans or landfills.
|| BUY LOCAL : Support your local community by purchasing foods grown in your country. There will be less emissions going from truck to warehouse, to plane, to truck again and so on. Plus you are supporting the local economy and family businesses by going to the farmers markets.
|| LESS PACKAGING : Try and stay clear of foods that have unneccesary packaging. All it does is end up in the landfill. Try avoid grabbing extra plastic bags to put your produce in by purchasing reusable produce bags that can be placed in the washing machine. This small act can help a lot.
|| UNPLUG EXTRA APPLIANCES : Just because your toaster or kettle aren't being used, it doesn't mean that it isn't using electricity, unplug them unless you use them everyday (this goes for any appliances in your home!)
|| USE THE DISHWASHER ONLY FOR FULL LOADS : This one should make sense, if you need stuff right away, just hand wash.
|| DITCH THE PLASTIC : Use paper cups and plates if you absolutely have to, this way at least they can be recycled and turned into other paper products. Plastic just creates toxic chemicals and doesn't break down like paper does. While you're on this note, purchase reusable bags ! They're sturdier anyways and pay for themselves very fast!
|| RECYCLE : This is a huge one. I purchased a 2 in 1 recycling bin from Home Depot for our kitchen and became familiar with all the recycling symbols and rules for my local city. It's amazing what you start to recycle that you may not have before because you have a proper place for it to go. Also collect your bottles and take them in for a refund, this can be a great option for kids to earn their allowance !
Bathroom & Laundry Room :
|| TURN OFF THE WATER : When you're brushing teeth, gargling mouthwash, turn the tap off. You aren't using that water so it's going to waste. Think, the amount of water you've wasted could've gone to fill up your sink to wash some dishes or be drinking and cooking water.
|| EFFICIENT SHOWER HEAD : When our old shower head started leaking constantly we purchased a new one that is more eco friendly. It has good pressure but uses 20% less water than the average shower head.
|| RECYCLED TOILET PAPER : I started only buying recycled toilet paper and paper towel! So many trees can be saved every year if we all switched to recycled.
|| GREEN CLEANING PRODUCTS : So many companies are starting to come out with cleaners that are safer not only for you and your children but for the environment too. Lots of large name brands use harsh chemicals in their products which isn't safe for you to breathe in but can damage the eco system and the water ways. "Green" cleaning products are just as affordable as all the other products out there!
|| COLD WASHING MACHINE TEMP : When you throw in your clothes to wash, do it on a cold cycle. You use less energy as you are not having to heat the water.
Bedroom & Living Room :
|| BUY SECONDHAND : Everything takes energy, water and other factors to make. Using second hand prevents items being made in excess as well as keeping it out of the landfill for as long as possible. Many people often throw things in the garbage if they're done with it, get in to the habit of donating. It's a great feeling giving back when you can!
|| TURN LIGHTS OFF : The most basic one that we are taught as kids, if you're done in a room, turn the lights off. If you are able to, keep the curtains and blinds open during the day and refrain from turning lights on until the evening when it starts to get dark out.
|| WEAR LAYERS : Instead of constantly changing the temperature for the house and racking up the heating bill, wear more layers or have an extra blanket on the bed at night. It helps to have animals who sleep in your bed for extra warmth :)
|| SWITCH TO LED & CFL : Switch your regular bulbs (once they burn out of course) to LED or CFL bulbs, these types of bulbs can last up to 25 times longer than a regular bulb and uses up to 80% less energy.
There are so many ways to be more eco friendly throughout the house, many I did not list because I could go on forever. Honestly, every little bit helps and I hope this can give anyone looking to be a little bit kinder to the environment, a sense of direction. These common practices are a great start and there's no time like the present time.
In honour of Earth Day, let me know what some of your ECO friendly practices in your house / lifestyle are in the comments.
All photographs in this article were taken by myself, please credit if you use..