Like most people, you want to care for the planet. You know that overuse of energy and a vast amount of waste is bad for the environment. But, you may not know what practical things you can do to make a more sustainable planet. Here is a list of fifteen things you can do to make positive changes to benefit the Earth.
What is a more sustainable lifestyle? Living a more sustainable lifestyle means you try to reduce the use of the Earth’s resources. Even small attempts can have a significant ripple effect.
Try these fifteen things to help make a more sustainable planet
You might want to do your part to create a better planet, but you might be unsure where to start. These sustainability tips can help you begin.
1 – Remove your incandescent light bulbs and replace them with LED bulbs
Traditional light bulbs use more energy and don’t last as long as LED bulbs. The LEDs cost more, but they’re cheaper in the long run because they last so long. Switching out your regular light bulbs to the more energy-efficient LED bulbs is the first step towards a more sustainable planet.
2 – Dress appropriately for the weather
When you feel cold, it’s tempting to turn up the thermostat in your house. But a more sustainable option is to put on a sweater and an extra pair of socks to warm up. It’s a simple way to save energy and money.
3 – Use natural light at home
As much as possible, make use of the natural light that comes through your windows rather than turning on lights. Choose window coverings that allow light into your home but still provide insulation from the heat or cold. Blinds work well because they allow light to come into your rooms but help keep your rooms insulated from the heat or cold.
4 – Turn off lights for a sustainable planet
You can contribute to a more sustainable planet by turning off the lights when you leave your home or work. If you keep forgetting to do this, install occupancy sensors, so the lights go off automatically when you leave a room. If you have decorative lights, turn those off or use a timer that turns them off at a particular time each day.
5 – Reduce using your clothes dryer
When possible, hang your clothes either inside or outside to dry instead of using your dryer. Electric dryers use a lot of energy. Gas dryers use less energy than electric ones, but they’re not as sustainable as allowing your clothes to air dry.
6 – Take shorter showers
Showers waste a lot of water. Researchers say most people take at least an average 8-minute shower. Since showerheads release approximately 2.1 gallons of water a minute, that means your 8-minute shower uses 16 gallons of water. Invest in a water-saving showerhead or a shower timer to shorten your shower and save water. In the United States, we use around one trillion gallons of water every year just for showering. There are energy-efficient showers you can install or use a particular shower head that saves water.
7 – Grow food for a more sustainable planet
Growing your herbs and vegetables is another way to create a sustainable planet. You don’t need a tremendous amount of space to do this. Start with a few pots on your patio or make a raised flower bed. Easy to grow herbs include the following:
You can also grow herbs indoors with a plant light for fresh herbs all year long.
8 – Using reusable bags at the grocery store can improve sustainability
Collect reusable bags to use at grocery stores or farmer’s markets instead of plastic bags. This cuts down on plastic litter that ends up in landfills or the ocean. Many cities are banning plastic bags, so why not start using reusable bags instead of paper or plastic bags.
9 – Buy second-hand clothing when possible
Try shopping at thrift stores or consignment shops as much as possible. You often find good quality, well-made clothing, and even designer brands. Avoid falling prey to changing trends that make you accumulate clothes. Fashion trends change so quickly, and you end up getting rid of clothing every year. Instead, buy classic clothing that never goes out of style like these items:
- A-line skirt
- Little black dress
- Aviator sunglasses
- Pencil skirt
- Trench coat
- Wrap dress
- Black purse
- Diamond earrings
- Turtle neck sweaters
- White button-down shirts
- Ballet slippers
- Flannel shirts
10 – Pare down to a minimalist wardrobe
Researchers say that fashion and the demand for cheap clothing takes a toll on our environment. In the last fifteen years, they say that clothing production has doubled, which means it accounts for 60% of textiles produced. Many people buy trendy outfits only to throw them out by the following season. This quick fashion trend accounts for 73% of clothing ending up in a landfill. This is an alarming statistic. You can change how you think about fashion. Buy more classic clothes because they never go out of style. Pay more for your clothing, so they last for years instead of one short season. Buy sustainable clothing when possible.
- A growing number of clothing brands are choosing to manufacture clothes in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment. Other minimalist things you can include:
- Learn to sew on your buttons or fix a hole in your pants instead of throwing them out.
- Take your clothing to a tailor to let out a hem or add some pleats.
- Become a clothing minimalist. There are a growing number of people who are reducing the pieces of clothing they own. Most minimalists strive to have no less than fifty pieces of clothing. They build their wardrobe in a way that their clothing goes together for their work and home lifestyle.
The clothing list for your Earth-friendly wardrobe includes the following pieces:
- Skirt-colorful that goes with different tops
- Summer dress-Everything pairs with them.
- 2-Cardigans-A black one and a white one.
- T-shirts-At least one of your tee shirts should go with your skirt and anything else in your wardrobe.
- Winter coat-Long enough to stay warm in extra cold weather
- Pair of flats-They should be comfortable for wearing all-day
- A jacket or blazer-Whichever one you wear more.
11 – Go paperless to be more Earth-friendly
Opt to receive digital bills and pay with auto-pay instead of a paper bill. Ask stores to email receipts instead of printing them out. Use your phone, tablet, or computer for note-taking instead of writing on paper. Send electronic invites or thank-you notes.
12 – Avoid bottled water for a more sustainable planet
Skip buying bottled water. Bottle water is convenient, but it’s harmful to the environment. Disposable plastic is filling up landfills and ending up on beaches. It will take decades for most of the plastic to even begin decomposing. Try to pack your lunch rather than buying single-use packs wrapped in plastic. Purchase each of your family members a washable, reusable water bottle they can use at work or school.
13 – Walk or bike to work for a better planet
Why not try walking or biking to work or school for a month? It may surprise you how much better you feel and how much money you save. If you live too far from work to walk or bike, try riding the bus or train. Arrange to carpool with a coworker. You can split the gas costs and enjoy one other’s company during the commute.
14 – Try making homemade cleaners
Your grandmother didn’t buy household cleaners. She mixed them up using ingredients from her pantry. Here are a few natural things that are great homemade cleaners.
- White vinegar: It kills bacteria. Use it to shine your mirrors or windows.
- Hydrogen peroxide: It’s a disinfectant and contains some mild bleaching properties.
- Isopropyl alcohol: It’s a great germ killer. Use it to shine on your fridge doors and handles.
- Baking soda: This mineral deodorizes and it’s mildly abrasive, so use it to clean sinks and stovetops.
If you have vinyl or durable, non-porous flooring, make your floor cleaner using vinegar and water. Here’s a simple recipe.
- ¼ cup vinegar
- 4 cups warm water
Stir and add to the spray mop. Spray on vinyl flooring and mop. That’s it—no need to rinse with water.
15 – Reuse your glass bottles
Everything from pasta sauce to olives comes in glass bottles. Once you’ve used the contents, the glass bottles are excellent storage containers. Glass jars are better than plastic because glass because they:
- Don’t absorb smells because it’s non-porous
- Save money
- Reduce waste stream in the landfills or the cost of recycling
- Are easy to clean in the dishwasher
- Never become cloudy like plastic does over time
Besides that, you can use glass jars for these things:
- Storing spices and herbs
- Storing bulk items like flour, sugar, rice, or oatmeal
- Freezing soups and sauces. Just be sure to leave a little headspace because the soup or sauce may expand when it freezes (check online for which glass bottles are best for freezing)
- Salad dressing shakers
- Gifts like cookies, cake, or dry soup mixes
Final thoughts on doing your part towards a more sustainable planet
There are so many ways to care for the planet. Hopefully, these practical suggestions inspire you. If so, why not get started today doing your part to help make a more sustainable planet.
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