It’s almost the end of 2021! There are probably some people out there who are absolutely delighted, while it is dreadful to others. Regardless, the beginning of a New Year also brings about the opportunity to create New Year’s resolutions. Despite what resolutions you commit to for the upcoming year, the overall goal is to improve your life in some form or fashion. If you’re unsure how to begin, let us help! May we suggest you start working on goals that not only help you, but the environment!
Take Shorter Showers
One of the easiest ways to save energy at home is by taking shorter showers! The average shower lasts around 8-10 minutes long and use roughly 16-18 gallons of water – that’s about 25% of our individual water usage. If you’re looking to save even a little bit more, warm showers save just a bit more energy than hot showers do. Every drop really does count. For those who are looking to go the extra mile for their health and the environment, Dr. Andrew Huberman suggests, “11 minutes of cold exposure per week as reliable threshold to derive major benefits on your metabolism, insulin and growth hormone pathways.”
Quick tip: Create a shower playlist of 2-3 songs and race against the music to finish your shower before the last song ends! Here’s a playlist to bring on the shower power: https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWSqmBTGDYngZ?si=V71GBqCHQB6o1r5M4pO2xQ
Create a Capsule Wardrobe
Have you heard of a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe allows you to create a variety of outfits with a small selection of clothing items. Choose your closet essentials, and then donate the rest to a thrift store or send them to an online clothing recycling company. Creating this type of closet allows for less overconsumption of clothing items, and thus is a more sustainable way to curate your closet.
Learn to Compost
Learning a new skill or hobby can be exciting, especially when it has a positive outcome. Composting is not as hard to learn as it may seem – even beginners to composting can get the hang of it after their first try. Turning your food scraps into fertilizer is a fun, at-home way to give back to the planet and reduce greenhouse gases.
Shop in Person vs. Online More Often
Packaging waste from online ordering has grown exponentially, accounting for 82.2 million tons of trash in landfills – 28.1% of our total waste generation, in 2018. The ease of online shopping comes at the cost of high amounts of packaging waste, however shopping in person can help to lessen this total. While it may be easier to press “check out” on those online products, by developing a list compiled with multiple things that you need, you can make one shopping trip for everything you need.
Wash Full Loads of Laundry
No matter how full (or not so full) your washer is with laundry, it uses the same amount of energy. Approximately 10% of a home’s energy use is dedicated to washing and drying clothes. By washing larger loads, it allows you to take advantage of the electricity you’re already going to use. Instead of tossing in a t-shirt or two, wait until your laundry piles up for the most energy efficient wash.
Bonus tip: Setting your wash temperature to warm instead of hot can cut energy usage in half, and cold cycles reduce energy usage even more!
Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
As a homeowner, energy efficient appliances are crucial to help you save money and energy. These types of appliances vary from LED light bulbs, refrigerators, smart thermostats and even washers and dryers. While the upfront cost of energy efficient appliances may be higher than non-efficient appliances, the cost savings is well worth it in the end. Especially, Energy Star appliances, which will save you 10 – 50% more energy depending on the model, and can be even more if replacing an old appliance.
Purchase a Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic waste has steadily increased over past decades, and can be slowed by making simple switches. Reusable water bottles save the average person from wasting 156 plastic water bottles annually. Options such as Klean Kanteen and Byta offer great eco-friendly and sustainable options, amongst many other great reusable water bottle suggestions!
Separate Recyclable Items from Trash
We all pretty much know what recycling is, but not everyone may know how to recycle properly. Only certain materials and contents can be recycled, the rest can be taken to special plants that can recycle those particular products or thrown away. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to reduce and reuse at home!
Use Rechargeable Batteries
Unlike single use batteries, rechargeable batteries can be reused 500 -1000 times depending on average usage. Since these batteries can be used repeatedly, they contribute less to landfills and are thus ‘friendlier’ to the environment. These batteries are not only more reliable, but rechargeable AA and AAA batteries almost always last longer and cost less compared with single-use batteries.
Opt for Reusable Products
Things you use every day can be switched out for thousands of reusable options – making a big difference. Bringing a tote bag to the grocery store, purchasing a bamboo toothbrush, or using reusable Keurig pods are some of the simplest reusable choices to adopt. Can you think of all the single-use products you could swap out for reusable products? By doing an inventory of your life, we bet it would really open your eyes to a completely new way of sustainable living!