Sustainability encompasses every area of our life and a few simple changes can have a big impact on the future. Easy changes, like investing in a reusable water bottle and thermal coffee mug, will eliminate the hundreds of plastic bottles and Styrofoam coffee cups your family would generate in one year’s time.
Implement some (or all) of these 10 sustainability tips for homeowners this summer so you can reduce your carbon footprint on the earth.
1. Grow a Food Garden
One of the easiest things a homeowner can do this summer is plant a garden. Start small, with a couple tomato plants, peppers, cucumbers and squash. Create compost with the vegetable peels and dead plants, then use the compost to feed garden plants next year.
2. Conserve Water
Look for ways to reduce water usage inside the home. Install water efficient shower heads, faucets, toilets and dishwasher.
3. Rain Barrels
Place rain barrels under your home’s down spouts to catch rain water runoff from the roof. Use this water in the garden, lawn and flower beds.
4. Conserve Electricity
Turn off all lights when you leave the room. Unplug any electrical appliance when it’s not in use to prevent the usage of ‘phantom’ electricity. If no one is home during the day, set summer thermostat temperature to 78 degrees and winter temperature to 68 degrees.
5. Go Solar
Install solar panels to provide some, or all of, your electric needs. Solar panels can be installed on your existing home, work shop, garage, etc. so you can harness the power of the sun to save money and conserve energy. Better Earth can help with that.
Before tossing anything away, consider what the item might be used for other that its intended purpose. Try to get new life out of old items by recycling them.
Buy items in bulk when possible to reduce container and packaging waste. Invest in re-usable cloth shopping bags so you won’t need to use plastic shopping bags.
8. Stop Mowing
Consider replacing your grass lawn with other types of plants and hardscape to reduce the amount of mowing you need to do. Low-growing green ground cover provide a green landscape and eliminates lawn mowing.
9. Drought Tolerant Plants
Plant drought tolerant plants in your landscape to conserve water. Use native plants when possible, they have already adapted to the climate in your region and will require less maintenance to thrive.
10. Water Heater Temperature
Water doesn’t need to be hot enough to scald you when it comes out of the faucet, turn the temperature down and conserve energy.