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Simple Ways Your Family Can Live More Sustainably

Eco-friendliness has grown to be very important. You and your family can live more sustainably by trying out some of these simple changes.

Save Energy and Water

Start saving money by purchasing Water Sense plumbing products designed to save you water in your home. These products receive a label from retailers for their water-saving properties. They sell low-flow toilets, energy-efficient showers, and faucets that reduce the amount of water used in sinks. New dishwashers use less water and when you wait until you have a full load to wash dishes this will save you money. Energy Star appliances receive a rating for saving water and energy and are a good investment. Investing in an energy-efficient water heater can save on water use. The Department of Energy estimates heating water in your home uses 18% of your total energy. A tankless hot water heater will save you money and is 8-16% more efficient than other brands.

Set Up a Recycling Area In Your Garage

When you have space in your garage, set up your bins there. Label each bin so you know what goes into each one. If you have several bins, you can stack them or hang them on hooks. Buy a special bin or container for hard-to-recycle items like light bulbs, electronics, aerosols, and batteries. Store smaller recycling bins in old cedar chests, large wicker baskets, or cabinets with deep storage. Use one corner of the garage to organize your recycling efforts. When you’re responsible for providing your own bins, use deep plastic bins with easy-to-open tops. Most towns and cities provide one large bin or one or two smaller bins with the regular garbage bin.

Live More Sustainably By Driving Less

Try walking more and driving less when you can. Walk to the mailbox or post office if it is within walking distance. When you have an appointment, park further away and walk. If you live close to work, walk, take the bus, or ride your bike there. Do this on nice days when it is safe and the weather is good. Shop for all your groceries in one trip instead of making several trips during the week. This saves time and money on gas. Order food and pick it up or have it delivered to your home. Carpool with other workers or look into using public transportation. Having everyone in your family use a car 10% less would cut down on greenhouse emissions.

Unplug

Get off the computer and turn off the TV more often. Go out for a walk, bike, visit your family and friends in person, or go shopping in the store instead of online. Many kids and adults spend too much time playing video games and do not get enough exercise. This is evident by the fact that there have been 200 million copies of Minecraft, a very popular video game, sold as of May 2020. Call a friend or family member and talk to them instead of texting and emailing them. Leave your phone at home when you go out unless you really need it. Being unplugged will improve your health, save you money, and can connect you to people in a real way.

Cut Down On Plastic Use

Another way you can live more sustainably is by stopping your use of plastic straws at home or in restaurants. Purchase reusable stainless steel straws for home, and bring one with you when you eat out. Buy reusable cloth bags for shopping and cut down on the number of plastic bags you use in the store when shopping. Choose paper bags over plastic when shopping for your lunches. Opt for products packed in cardboard over plastic when possible. Do not use plastic plates at home; use paper and regular silverware instead. Buy juices and soda packed in cans or glass bottles that can be recycled.

Start a Garden – And Let Your Kids Help!

A hobby or project that your whole family participates in will give them a sense of connection. Did you know that between 40 and 50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States? Keep your family healthy and happy together by starting a garden and letting everyone participate in the project. Plan your garden ahead by discussing the type of plants you want to grow. Buy plants, vegetables, herbs, and flowers from a local garden center or from farmers’ markets. It is hard to grow plants from seed without experience. Keep your garden simple and pick a site that has sun and access to water. Try to buy plants that each person wants to grow and learn how to care for. Give each child some responsibilities for maintaining the garden.

Donate Old Items Sustainably

Instead of throwing away furniture, appliances, clothing, and items, donate them to a local non-profit organization. Be sure that the items are in good condition and can be used. You can deduct your donation from your income tax. Donating to local charities is a way to help others in your community. Some charities will even pick up items that you donate.

These are sustainable changes you and your family can make this year to improve the environment and your home life. Get started on implementing these ideas in your home today!

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