Earth Day is fast approaching. It’s a day to not only participate in activities that better our local environments but also to reflect on our own habits and how they affect the environment.
As you might imagine, there are many things we all do at home that aren’t so earth-friendly. We throw away things that can be recycled, buy products with tons of plastic, and maybe take showers that are a bit too long.
If you’ve been trying to think of ways you can make your habits at home more earth-friendly, then check out our suggestions below for some tips!
Opt for Natural Cleaners
If you’ve strolled down the cleaning aisle at Target recently, you’ve likely noticed all the “green” cleaners that are available. These green, or natural, cleaners are great alternatives to conventional cleaners for a number of reasons including:
Not as many harmful chemicals get into the environment
Fewer harmful chemicals around you and your family
Reduced indoor air pollution.
You also don’t have to reach for the manufactured green cleaners. You can make your own all-purpose cleaning solutions at home with vinegar, water, some essential oils (optional), and a spray bottle. Doing this can not only help reduce your environmental impact but it can also help you save money and cabinet space.
Buy Some Reusable Bags
One of the easiest things you can do to make your home earth-friendly is to buy some reusable grocery bags and produce bags. Purchase the number of reusable bags that makes sense for your family and normal grocery haul.
Reusable produce bags are still well on the rise but they’re absolutely worth the price. They weigh hardly anything, are washable, and are a fantastic alternative to all those plastic produce bags you collect during your shop.
The other great news about having a set of reusable grocery bags is you’ll save space by not bringing tons of plastic shopping bags into the house. Not to mention you don’t need to find a special plastic bag recycle bin if your county doesn’t accept them.
Recycle Old Electronics
Most of us are guilty of having a drawer full of old electronics that were either replaced or broke. We keep these old cell phones and media players thinking that we’ll take them to a retailer that recycles small electronics but never do. It’s all too tempting to just throw them in the trash to be done with them. Taking the initiative to recycle these electronics not only keeps harmful materials out of the landfill but also cleans some junk out of your house.
You don’t even need to leave your house to recycle those old cell phones. You can mail them in to select retailers and companies who take care of the rest. You can find a comprehensive list of retailers that accept mailed-in electronics from the EPA.
Donate Unused Clothes
We talk about decluttering closets a lot here on Ditch the Clutter so we can’t help but mention it here, too. Whenever you switch out your winter for spring wardrobe, take the time to put aside clothes that you don’t wear anymore that are only lightly worn. Consignment shops and donation centers will gladly take those clothes.
While this regularly getting rid of clothes you don’t use is a great practice for your closets, it’s also good news for the environment because it diverts clothes from landfills. Each year, Americans throw away 10.5 million tons of clothes, many of which are completely wearable. Your slightly worn clothes will get a second chance at life with a new owner who will hopefully wear them until they’re unwearable.
Do Laundry Smarter
These days, washing machines with tons of settings - more than we seemingly need. In reality, you really only need a handful of those settings, especially when it comes to temperature. Pretty much every article of clothing that can go in a washing machine can be washed on cold. Turning your washing machine to the cold setting for almost every load can help save tons of electricity on heating water.
You can take your eco-friendly washing to a new level with line drying. Leaving your clothes to dry on a line or a rack saves you tons on your electricity bill because you’re not using the electricity to dry every load of laundry you do.
Make Your Home an Earth-Friendlier Place
While this was by no means an exhaustive list of things you can do to reduce your environmental impact in your home, it was a list of easily adoptable activities to help move you in the right direction.
Each family is different in the changes they adopt to do their part for the environment. Choose which of these activities you can easily incorporate into your routine this Earth Day and beyond.