Whether you call it "going green," "living sustainably" or "reducing your carbon footprint," reducing your waste production and energy use is great for the planet. You're probably familiar with the big changes you can make, like switching to a green energy provider and updating your appliances. But what about those little, day-to-day habits? As it turns out, there are a lot of small changes you can make for greener living at home.
1. Stop Using Paper Products
Think about all of the paper towels and napkins you use in a year. If you buy a stack of reusable kitchen rags and use them instead, you will reduce your paper consumption completely. Toilet paper is perhaps the one paper product that's worth keeping around — and even then, switching to a recycled version is a good, green choice.
2. Close the Blinds
You may be tempted to open the blinds and let the natural sun stream in but during the hot Texas summer this actually drives your energy bills up, not down. With sunshine comes heat, and heat forces your air conditioner to consume more energy. Leave blinds closed whenever the outdoor temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Keep a Water Pitcher in the Fridge
Buy a filter pitcher and get into the habit of filling it and keeping it in the fridge. Also, buy a water bottle that you can fill and take with you. Aim to buy zero bottles of water in 2018. It's an attainable goal and one that will do a lot for the planet in terms of keeping plastic waste out of landfills.
4. Buy Items With Less Packaging
When purchasing household items and food products, pay attention to the amount of packaging that various brands use. Choose brands using less packaging or that use biodegradable packaging rather than plastic. Avoid unnecessary packaging, too. For example, put your produce straight into the cart rather than using the plastic bags at the grocery store.
5. Hang Your Clothing to Dry
Clothes dryers, whether you have an electric or a gas model, use a ton of energy. Try to line dry your clothing whenever possible. Hanging a clothesline in your backyard or basement is easier than you might think!
Going green is good for your family and for the planet. For more energy-saving advice, check out our post "Are You Paying Too Much for Your Electric Bill?"