Climate change: 30 ways to make your life environmentally friendly

« Packaging and other single-use items form a large proportion of the plastic litter leaking to the ocean. » The Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty Organization (COTAP) reports that an estimated 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States stem from the production and transportation of food. Opt for organic and locally-sourced products, especially those from farmers’ markets. A large variety of natural and recycled materials go into building this kind of structure. Recycled aluminum cans, plastic bottles, tires and even cardboard are used. They have a high thermal mass and thick walls, combining to be energy efficient.

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

Moreover, ensure that your outdated products, including mattresses, are recycled or repurposed rather than dumped in landfills. Attempting to rehome or sell items not only helps to reduce trash but also encourages sustainability. You can also help the environment by reducing the amount of waste you produce. One way to do this is to recycle paper, plastic, glass and metal items instead of sending them to the landfill.

Eco-Friendly Home Products

Not all charity shops accept electrical items, but the homelessness charity Emmaus accepts working items. These are tested before being resold, which makes it a good place to purchase secondhand electrical goods, too. Some of the biggest plastic offenders at home are cleaning bottles, dish detergent bottles, and other liquid vessels.

Organic grapes from Chile might taste good in the dead of winter, but consider the pollution caused by flying them to wherever you are. Making as best use of the oven as possible—cooking more than one thing at once, for instance—is also wise. For small dishes, using a toaster oven, or reheating in a microwave will also save energy; in fact, Energy Star estimates that you can reduce cooking energy by as much as 80% when using the microwave instead of the oven. From a straight-up cooking perspective, many cooks prefer gas because it’s easier to control temperatures; it also offers instant-on heat, and doesn’t waste much heat when the cooking is done. If you’re a gas devotee shopping for a new stove, know that the lower the BTU output, the more energy-efficient your stove will be. Choose cookware and utensils that stand the test of time and won’t have to be thrown away with your leftover casserole.

Switch out energy- and water-sapping fittings

If you are in an area where watering your landscape is necessary, drip irrigation is a sustainable home alternative. Drip irrigation systems use gravity to deliver water to plants, focusing it directly on the roots where it’s needed. You not only save electricity by eliminating water pumps but also minimize water wasted through evaporation. Getting in touch with nature has plenty of health benefits, but optimizing your layout to take advantage of natural light is also an easy way to cut down on energy consumption (and save money). “Think about which rooms have the most sunlight and how you are utilizing them,” counsels New York designer Gala Magriñá.

A well-sealed home with better insulation conserves heat energy and maintains regular inside temperatures. It saves energy by making heating and cooling systems more efficient. Energy-efficient windows are double-paned, meaning that they keep cold air in winter and heat out in the summer.

Use Green Kitchen Cleaners

Electric vehicles are the most sustainable way to drive since they don’t use traditional fuels at all to run. They don’t produce any air pollutants, in the form of gas, particulates, or air toxics. Hydrogen boilers work the same way as usual modern boilers, but they burn hydrogen gas instead of natural gas.

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

For toners, exfoliants and nail polish remover, use washable bamboo pads. Buy vintage furniture“Reusing furniture is the best thing to do, and so much more fun than buying new,” says Nicola Harding, founder of interior design studio Harding and Read. “Chefs talk about what to do with carrot tops or whey from cheese, but that’s not where we need to make changes,” says Feast food writer Anna Jones. “It’s the milk poured down the sink and stale bread – the items we don’t put as much value on.” Jones tears up bread to freeze for instant croutons, or whizzes it into breadcrumbs for adding to croustades, pastas and salads. If oats have already been made into porridge, follow Claire Thomson, chef and author of The Art Of The Larder (Quadrille, £25), and substitute for some of the flour and water in bread dough. “LED bulbs use up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.

Traditional gas-powered lawnmowers can have significant environmental implications, often surpassing automobile emissions. Consider using manual push mowers or electric mowers for larger areas. Reduced lawn mowing rate can also contribute to a more natural, appealing look by offering a less harsh, more organic underfoot experience. Choose containers and straws made entirely of biodegradable materials like corn or coconut. Using non-plastic storage containers and avoiding plastic-wrapped home products can make a big difference.

How to make your home more environmentally friendly

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