Everyone wants to live a greener, more health-focused lifestyle. We’re constantly bombarded by basic recommendations like lowering your home’s thermostat, recycling or using your car less. These tips are useful, but for the majority of people, can be difficult because changing something that has become habitual and a part of your ordinary life is challenging. Asking people to lower their thermostat means asking them to be cooler than usual in winter months and some just can’t fathom that idea. Others recycle, but soon become tired of the extra time it takes to separate their garbage. Furthermore, many people have become accustomed to driving only a mile or two to the store as opposed to walking or riding a bike. So, as you move into 2021, we compiled a few easy ways to live sustainably at home without having to change too much of what you’re already used to.
Shop Smarter Online
Before you jump to conclusions, we aren’t telling you to not shop online. According to NPR, 69% of Americans have shopped online and 1 in 4 do so on a monthly basis, there’s no doubting the convenience and ease of online shopping. While online shopping is a part of many people’s everyday lives, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are better ways to shop online. One way you can do your part and live a more sustainable life at home is to pay close attention to the products you’re purchasing online. Do the companies you’re buying from stand for a larger social cause? Are these products shipping from another country whose delivery would require a large amount of pollution into the environment? These are all questions to consider when ordering goods online. Whether you’re searching for responsibly-sourced living room products like affordable couches, or something to satisfy your sweet-tooth like fair-trade chocolate your abilities to shop sustainably are endless. When you’re not shopping online, consider other ways you can be eco-conscious closer to home.
There are several environmental benefits of shopping locally, the good that comes from it extends far beyond. We’ve all heard the campaigns to shop local and support small businesses in your community, and the results of those efforts pay off in the long run. Shopping locally helps stimulate your local economy, on average $68 of every $100 spent stay in your local community as opposed to only $43 when shopping at a national chain. This money goes toward things like local supply chains, taxes for your schools, roads, and parks, as well as the wellness of the employees at those businesses. While it may not be realistic to get everything you need from a local shop, considering local before a national chain has far-reaching benefits from a sustainability aspect as well as economical.
Donate Used Items
While you ring in a New Year, you may find yourself looking around at items that no longer serve a purpose or that you simply don’t care for anymore and want to upgrade. Oftentimes you would think nothing of it and throw these items to the curb and wait for them to be hauled away. However, landfills are piling up domestically and abroad at alarming rates, for example, over 11 million tons of recyclable clothing, shoes, and textiles find their way to landfills annually, and that number continues to increase. You can make a difference by bringing the items you no longer need to places like your local Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity who gladly accept your used items and put them to good use. Not only does this small step help save overfilling landfills, but it also offers an outlet for others to access items and recycles your goods in a sustainable manner.
Living a sustainable lifestyle at home doesn’t have to be overly complex, or a drastic change to your life. Small changes can make a big difference, and the more small changes you can make, the better. If you’re looking for more ways to live a sustainable life, read more on our blog.