Decluttering | Living Simply | Mindfulness
14 Eco-Friendly Living Habits For Your Home In 2022
The following is a list of 14 tips to help you develop more eco-friendly living habits at home, starting today.
A few years ago, my oldest daughter and I took a mission trip to Haiti. While we were there, we learned that the people of Haiti often use what scarce material goods they possess until those items are falling apart. Most of us here in the US get rid of our presumably worn-out sneakers at a point where many people living in places like Haiti, would just be breaking them in.
This experience changed my thinking about our own family’s consumption rate of material goods. With respect for the people in this world who lack the most basic resources needed just to survive, we now try to use our material goods more mindfully. Consequently, it is this same mindfulness that significantly affects our overall impact on the environment. Use this list of eco-friendly living habits to help you develop new habits and become a more conscientious consumer at home.
1. RECYCLE MORE.
Place recycle bins in easily accessible locations to make it easier to toss recyclables into. See if you can adjust your trash and recycle service to encourage your family to recycle more. We now have a large recycling dumpster and a small trash bin, instead of the other way around.
2. USE LESS PAPER
Reduce junk mail by calling 1-888-567-8688 or visiting www.optoutprescreen.co to remove your name from mailing lists. Go paperless with things like monthly bills and statements.
3. SHOP MORE MINDFULLY.
Do you shop more than what is needed or bring home things that you don’t end up using? Start thinking more carefully about your shopping habits, use this list of “Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Buy”, to help you make better decisions about what you put in your shopping cart.
4. RESIST OVERBUYING AND OVERCONSUMING.
While recycling is inarguably a good thing, reducing is always better than recycling. We will be doing the greatest good by living lighter in our homes and on the planet. Changing our consumption habits is one of the most effective ways to practice eco-friendly living.
5. SAY NO TO ADS.
Don’t let stores and advertisements coax you into making unnecessary purchases. Only you know what you truly need. Watch for FOMO ads that purposely make you feel like you’re going to miss out on the last good deal. Remind yourself that it is never the last good deal, there will always be another one around the corner so it is ok to hold off until you are sure you need the item in question.
6. REDUCE FOOD WASTE.
Use caution when buying perishables in bulk, because you risk food expiring before it gets used. Keep your pantry organized and resist the urge to stock up. You will forget what you have if you have so much that you need to store your food in multiple locations in your home. According to https://www.rts.com/resources/guides/food-waste-america/, the US discards more food than any other country in the world: nearly 40 million tons – 80 billion pounds – every year. Choosing to purchase organic, locally grown food, is another great way to practice eco-friendly living habits.
7. AVOID USING SINGLE-USE AND DISPOSABLE PRODUCTS.
Not only does it cost more to use these products, but you can reduce the amount of waste you produce with washable cutlery, cups, plates, etc. Purchase products that come with less packaging and limit your use of things like disposable cleaning products, disinfectant wipes and paper towels. A regular coffee maker is more eco-friendly than a Keurig that requires the daily, single serving use of disposable coffee pods.
8.CHOOSE RESUSABLE FOOD STORAGE PRODUCTS.
Takeout food often comes with a lot of paper waste. Minimize how often you get take-out food or ask the restaurant to use your reusable containers. Opt for glass food storage containers over plastic ones. Glass is safer for the microwave, lasts much longer and will not stain like plastic. Swap out more eco-friendly canvas bags for your groceries instead of using plastic or paper bags. Keep the canvas bags in your car to ensure that you will have them when you need them.
9. USE REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES AND COFFEE CUPS.
According to theworldcounts.com, an estimated 1,500 plastic bottles end up as waste in landfills or are thrown in the ocean every second. Also, most bottled water sold is made with the same tap water we drink from the faucet. If you dislike the taste of your tap water, use an inexpensive water filtering system like Brita. If you purchase coffee from a coffee shop, provide your own coffee cup.
10. BUY SECOND-HAND ITEMS AND GIVE TO CHARITIES.
By purchasing secondhand items you’ll be supporting local charities in addition to saving items from ending up in the dump. By donating or selling your used goods, you are placing them into the hands of someone else who can utilize and appreciate them.
11. EDUCATE YOURSELF TO ADOPT ECO-FRIENDLY LIVING HABITS.
Do you feel tightly bound to the material possessions in your life? If so, you may be able to gain a more balanced perspective by watching the Netflix documentary, The Minimalists created by Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus. This film is NOT just for those wanting to become a Minimalist. It is for anyone wanting to learn to live free from the constraints of material wants. The book, The More of Less, by Joshua Becker, is also a great read for anyone. But especially for those wanting to change the relationship they have with their stuff and to develop more eco-friendly living habits.
12. USE NATURAL ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS.
Natural cleaning solutions like vinegar and baking soda can be very effective cleaning agents. They are an excellent alternative to the harsher more toxic cleaning products that you purchase. They are less expensive and there are no toxic fumes to inhale. Vinegar, slightly diluted with water, works miracles on most surfaces. This list includes; windows, sinks, countertops, microwaves, showers, faucets, and more. Baking soda is great for cleaning toilets, ovens, and showers.
13. DECLUTTER YOUR HOME.
Go through closets, storage spaces, and cabinets. Declutter and donate everything that is not useful, meaningful, or does not contribute to the beauty of your home. Also, let go of anything that you have too many multiples of. Do you really need 12 spatulas or 35 coffee cups?
Decluttering will offer the added benefit of feeling more organized and lighter while living in your home. It will also help you mindfully consider your acquiring habits. BUT use caution not to make the mistake of filling those spaces back up again with new purchases. After all, this would defeat the purpose of trying to gain more eco-friendly living habits.
14. DECORATE WITH HOUSE PLANTS.
Plants are not only beautiful, but they also purify the air you breathe in your home. They improve air quality by naturally converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
If you would like support with your decluttering journey, learn more about how to get help from me by visiting my Virtual Organizing page.
“Simplify your material world to create space not
just around you but inside you”
–Shauna Niequist, Author
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