The earth’s resources may be vast, but they’re not infinite, so it’s important to be mindful of the ways we use these resources at home. We’re celebrating Earth Day rounding up some of our favorite tips to help you be a little more planet friendly.
- Reuse common household items when possible
Repurposing or reusing common household items maximizes what we’ve already taken.
Items that would otherwise end up in the trash can help slow the effects of global warming too — and might also help your wallet in the process.
Some ideas for reusing household items include using plastics tubs (like the ones that mushrooms come in) as drawer dividers, saving gift wrap from past presents to wrap future ones, and planting succulents in empty glass containers.
- Create an Eco-Friendly Kitchen
There are plenty of ways to revamp your kitchen habits to be more eco-conscious.
Composting conditions and feeds the soil, and reduces kitchen waste as well as landfill waste. There are a couple of ways to easily compost in your home. If you have a garden or yard, it’s easy to set up an outdoor compost pile, but those who live in Portland can take advantage of Garbage to Garden’s curbside composting service.
Buying your staples in bulk (bonus points if you bring your own jars!) can reduce packaging waste and save you money during your trips to the grocery store. Reusable mesh produce bags can also limit your plastic use. In addition to this, freezing your food can help reduce food waste.
We recommend checking out GoGo Refill in South Portland or Grove Collaborative for more low-waste products.
- “Green” your Cleaning Routine
There are ways to keep your existing cleaning habits and tools, but make them a little more planet-friendly.
Some smart swaps you can make to you cleaning products include swapping paper towels to microfiber cloths or using a sturdy dish brush instead of disposable sponges.
In the laundry room, try using wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener sheets – adding essential oils to these can give you that fresh laundry scent. Washing your clothes with cold water or air-drying can help lower your carbon footprint and helps your clothes last longer.
- Pay attention to your energy use
Working from home may mean you’re using more energy than you have in the past. Lights may be on more than usual, your thermostat usage may be higher, and your computer and cell phone could be constantly plugged in. Staying mindful of your overall energy usage is an easy way to make a difference.
Try swapping out your old thermostat for a smart thermostat (which may ultimately increase your home’s value) or using an energy efficient power strip which automatically detects when appliances are not in use and turns the electricity supply off. Bonus: Your power company may also give you a rebate using these.
We also recommend using energy efficient light bulbs. Although they can initially cost more than traditional bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy.