Sustainable Living: Healthy Choices for You and the Environment

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Sustainable living does not require you to give up your big house or buy expensive organic foods. It is about understanding how you can live in a way that makes you a part of your environment instead of an intruder within it. It is about appreciating what you have and raising your children to appreciate the wonder that is nature as well. The environment nourishes us physically by providing clean air and food and mentally by giving us calm and a sense of being connected to something bigger than us.

Developing green habits does not require big changes to your lifestyle. In fact, environmentally-friendly habits can be more forgiving on your budget. Growing simple herbs and veggies in your backyard costs much less than buying them in a store and gives you a good reason to be active.

Having automatic sprinkler systems installed is better than physically watering the lawn yourself, as these can be calibrated to dispense exactly the water your grass needs. It takes a chore off your hands and ensures effective water usage.

Energy-efficient Home

An energy-efficient home uses appliances that conserve resources. Energy-efficient appliances such as the Energy Star labeled items are designed to utilize electricity efficiently without generating too much waste. Energy-efficient lights such as LED bulbs and strips are very efficient at utilizing electricity, require little maintenance, and generate negligible waste.

Low-flow toilets and showers use only the necessary amount of water and reduce water waste. You will still be able to enjoy your coffee in a well-lit home after a warm shower, but you will be doing it at a lower cost and less stress on the environment.

Reusable Bags

Reusable bags are better for the environment than plastic bags. They are also made from materials that are much more sturdy than flimsy plastic. You can add flair and originality to your reusable tote bag by adding designs that you enjoy or funny jokes. It’s a good way to reduce garbage waste and avoid adding to landfills.

Reusable Water Bottle

Buying a good quality reusable water bottle and keeping it with you at all times will save you from buying plastic disposable bottles when you are thirsty. You can be sure about the water quality in your reusable bottle and avoid adding to the non-biodegrade ale garbage issue plaguing the nation’s landfills.

Wash Cold, Not Hot

Washing clothes with hot water uses more electricity than washing with cold water. Coldwater washes are better for most fabrics and reduce the risk of color running. Once you switch to cold water washes, you will see the effect on your utility bills as well, especially if you start open-air drying the clothes instead of using the dryer. Open-air drying in the sunshine can give the clothes a feeling of freshness that a dryer cannot achieve.

Use Natural Lighting

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Open your curtains and light up your house naturally. This will help you to avoid using the lights during the daytime. It will also help you become more aware of how you leave light switches on in rooms when no one occupies them. This kind of awareness is good to develop as it will help make you more vigilant towards other energy-saving measures.

Buy Local

Start shopping for food at local farmers’ markets and grocers that source locally-grown produce. This will help to reduce your carbon footprint a great deal while supporting small local farmers. Large chain supermarkets use up a lot of fuel to ship food to their locations, which generates a considerable amount of pollution into the environment. By supporting your local food producers, you are taking yourself out of this pollution cycle.

Automate Bills

Start paying your bills online. You can even set up automatic deductions for important bills like mortgage, rent, loans, and utilities. This is a great way to eliminate the delivery of paper bills to your house and the time you have to spend going to pay the bill. It saves you time and fuel and gives you peace of mind as you will not have to worry about finding time to pay the bills on time.

Energy Audit

An energy audit will help you find out if your home is an efficient use of power. The audit will check for areas where your home may be leaking heat in the winter and cold air in the summer. It will also ensure that your insulation is effective and functioning as it should.

This can save you a great deal of money as sealing leaks will reduce your utility bills. Replacing the insulation where it is worn away or damaged will make your home a more efficient space to heat and cool as well. Use the audit as an opportunity to discuss whether it is possible to switch your home to using renewable energy. You may find that there are benefits such as reduced taxation if you switch your home to renewable energy.

Being an example of how to do your part to reduce the stress on the environment helps inculcate a sense of responsibility in your children towards the environment. They will grow up seeing themselves as the custodians of the earth and thus, carry on the good habits you taught them. Slowly but surely, we can turn the tide and lead future generations towards cherishing the environment.

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