by Lisa Walker
We all know that it is our job to save the planet for our children and grandchildren. But, short of driving an electric car and turning off the lights when we leave a room, what can we do to offset our carbon footprint, which the Natural History Museum explains is the result of our everyday activities? There is no single answer to this question, but what you do at home matters more than you might think.
Living a green lifestyle means taking environmentally-aware actions each day. A few examples here include:
Aside from saving money, there are many reasons to buy secondhand. First, it helps you sidestep unethical manufacturing strategies. Importantly, buying used clothing, furniture, electronics, and vehicles reduces the need for sourcing and shipping the materials.
Making environmentally-friendly upgrades
If you own your home, upgrades, such as energy-efficient doors, non-toxic carpet, and new windows, can help you take the strain off the environment while improving your home’s value. Keep in mind here that you’ll need to take before-and-after pictures and hold onto receipts if you plan to sell and capture a return on your investment.
Walking when you can
- You know that walking is good for you, but it’s great for the environment as well. When you walk, you reduce the number of trips you make in your vehicle. Sustrans also explains that when more people walk and bike, there is a greater need for green spaces, which also have a positive impact on your local ecosystem.
Using LED light bulbs
Replacing outdated light bulbs with LED models is also a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency. Perhaps more importantly, they are safer than incandescent bulbs, which can cause burns.
Buying For Sustainability
If you’re in the market for a new house, you can also buy with sustainability in mind. While this starts with buying homes built with sustainable materials, you can also look for features, such as:
Solar panels can generate energy, which will reduce your reliance on non-sustainable energy sources.
Geothermal heating systems don’t use fossil fuels and last longer than a traditional HVAC system. When combined with improved insulation, a geothermal heating unit can keep your home comfortable without the need for propane or other non-renewable fuel sources.
Tankless water heaters
If you enjoy long showers, a tankless water heater can help you do so without guilt. These can be up to 34% more efficient than the 50-gallon, storage-style water heaters installed in most houses today.
Smart home features
Smart home features, such as a smart thermostat or lighting system, can help you use your energy wisely. These devices connect to your smartphone or computer and let you have more control over everything from your lights to the indoor temperature, even when you’re not home.
Today’s environmental issues will be inherited by future generations. But, you can do your part to reduce issues by prioritising sustainable living. Whether at home or on the go, the actions you take now will chip away at the burden of fixing the planet in years to come.
Lisa Walker is a proud SAHM (Stay at Home Mom). She enjoys trail hiking and beach-combing with her husband, Jake, when not busy with her boys and home improvement projects. She created Neighbourhood Sprout as a passion project to share her love of homeownership with others.