Top 4 Ideas for Sustainable Living

According to Earth Policy Institute, the earth’s temperature has risen by 0.8 degrees Fahrenheit since the industrial revolution. This means that if we don’t reduce carbon emissions, the temperatures will continue increasing. When not controlled, the carbon emissions will affect our plants, animals, the environment, and well-being. For these reasons, it’s vital that we live sustainably.

If you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you should start by thinking about the choices you make on a daily basis. Below are four helpful tips on how to live a more sustainable life.

Travel more sustainably

Air travel accounts for approximately 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, using the train or carpooling may be better alternatives. However, if you have to travel by plane, you may want to search for flights that use solar panels to reduce their carbon emissions.

Go reusable

The 3 Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle are crucial to sustainable living. Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce the trash in our landfills. Unfortunately, only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled. When left in landfills, these bottles can take hundreds of years before they can fully decompose. This is why you should use reusable containers.

Here are three reusable things that you should consider:

  • Instead of using plastic bags, use reusable fabric or canvas shopping bags
  • Reuse PVC water bottles instead of plastic water bottles
  • Use reusable silicone, stainless steel, or glassware containers instead of Styrofoam containers

Apart from saving the environment, using these reusable items will help you to save more money in the long run.

Eat less meat

Meat is the main source of protein, and some people cannot stop their urge for ribs or steaks. However, the meat industry does more harm to the environment than emissions from vehicles. Carbon emissions from the livestock industry are very high. For instance, cows alone emit more than 100kgs of methane every year. This greenhouse gas is 23 times heavier than C02.  Additionally, meat processing companies use millions of gallons of water every year.

While not eating meat will help to protect the environment, how will you meet your protein needs?

There are alternative plant-based proteins that will provide your body with proteins, minerals, and vitamins. According to a No Evil Foods review, plant-based meats are great meat alternatives that can reduce climate change.

Grow your food

Visiting your local grocery store for a new batch of vegetables and fruits may be more convenient. However, a lot of energy is used to grow and deliver these products from the farm to the store. According to BBC News, the production of these foods contributes a ¼ of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The production of these foods harms the environment through the use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Additionally, there’s machinery needed to plant, grow, and also harvest the crops. Finally, there are fuel emissions when transporting the products to the store. Therefore, starting a garden can limit the emission of harmful greenhouse gases.

Changing your habits a little at a time will help you to lead a more sustainable life. Start your journey to sustainability by incorporating some or all the above ideas regularly. Whether it’s traveling sustainably, recycling items, adopting an eco-friendly diet, or growing your food, choose what works best for you and lessen your impact on the environment.

Tips For Building an Eco-Friendly Home

Creating a residential place for your family does not necessarily aim so much at perfection but authenticity. With the current transformation and changes that have taken place in the global climate, individuals who wish to build a home should ensure the houses constructed do not make our environment worse. Moreover, embracing a natural lifestyle is very beneficial to the human body, spirit, and mind.

What is an Eco-Friendly Home?

Eco-friendly homes are those built using materials and technologies that do not harm the environment further. For instance, a home that relies on wind and solar energy falls into this category. The current trend is taking a positive turn, where we have seen many people going for environmentally-friendly houses. However, some lack the knowledge to create such buildings. This detailed article will inform you about the best ways to build an eco-friendly home, whether you are constructing from scratch or renovating an old one.

Choose Timeless Finishes

vYou don’t have to feel limited when it comes to the finish you apply to your home. You can use outstanding finishes without sacrificing the house’s aesthetics. Years back, people looked forward to warm and welcoming spaces. However, today, to achieve environmentally-friendly abodes, it is recommendable to yearn for safe spaces conscious of our lives on earth.

When it comes to the interior décor, choosing colors, styles, and designs that do not require regular changing is a wise idea. The finishes should have permanence for you. For instance, using a matte black tapware finish on your kitchen cabinets can help them last up to 50 years. Therefore, do not look at how classic the finish is as long as it is timeless to you and it will serve you for years to come.

Make Sure Everything is Built to Last

Choosing sustainable materials for your construction is not an option if you want to achieve an environmentally-responsible home. Besides the aesthetic appeal, cost and life cycle are the other considerations to make when choosing the materials. Additionally, consider how easy it is to reuse or recycle the material. If you cannot reuse it, then disposing of that material in the future should not negatively affect the environment.

Many factors dictate the durability of a particular material. If you plan on having an underground tank, for instance, you should know that its construction, installation, soil conditions, and maintenance affect its lifespan. However, it can typically last for 20 years or more. Besides sustainability and cost reduction, having suitable construction materials reduces your exposure to life-threatening organic compounds and pollutants significantly. Some wall coverings, paints, and carpeting release toxic compounds that tamper with the air quality inside a house.

Considering the many hours you will be spending at home, it is advisable to minimize toxins’ exposure by getting healthier material alternatives. Using construction materials sustainably means their present use will not interfere with future use by affecting the environment or running out. Very few materials meet this requirement, and they are the ones you should get if you want an eco-friendly home.

Focus on Smaller Projects to Be Green and On-Budget

Small houses are not only eco-friendly but also cost-effective. Besides occupying a small footprint, a smaller home can save you a lot on the materials required and the energy consumed to warm or cool it down. In 2018, a report showed that the average monthly housing cost was $1,566. That shows the more extensive the home, the more money you spend on it. Statistics show that the average number [of people in an American home has gone down from 3.8 to 2.6, yet the home sizes have ballooned over time.

People need to understand that these improper size-to-occupant ratios are bringing additional issues to our environment. If we desire to achieve green projects, we should be ready to adhere to a more solid square-footage-per-individual code. However, we also need to shift our focus from total house size to proper usage of resources and quality green projects.

Lifestyle Practices That Help the Planet (Especially if You Don’t Want To Go Vegan)

Helping the environment is all about the lifestyle choices we make. Many people talk about a vegan diet being the perfect way to boost their health and the planet at the same time, but there are a wide variety of other practices that you can incorporate to benefits yourself and the world around you. Let’s show you some approaches that may help. 

Purchasing from Ethically-Minded Suppliers 

Of course, we could go to the farmers’ market to purchase food to minimize the transportation of goods, but it is also important to choose suppliers that have the ethical component as part of how they do business. For example, if you are looking to buy a product that benefits your health, like CBD gummies there are a wide variety of vegan-friendly options, especially as gummies may contain gelatin.

Eating Low-Impact Foods 

Low-impact foods are usually plant-based, such as legumes, whole grains, and vegetables. Low-impact foods will minimize the environmental impact of overall food production and form part of a strong sustainable diet. 

Growing Your Own Food 

If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, growing your food may not be a practical option for everyone, but if you are trying to contribute to the health of the environment, even growing some herbs on your fire escape can improve the quality of oxygen in your immediate area. This will reduce the toxicity in your body you are breathing, resulting in higher energy levels. 

Cook Only What You Will Eat 

We throw 40 million tons of food away every year. Being conscious of how much you need to eat is a little thing that can make a massive difference. When you think about all the foods that could go to starving people and being aware of how much food your body requires you can cut down your portions, which will also have a positive impact on your health and your weight. But if you have any food waste, such as scraps, you can always compost them. You can easily purchase a food composter to go in your home, which provides nutrient-dense soil for your plants, but will also help you to grow organic vegetables and fruits that are superior to store-bought brands. 

Trying Edible Insects 

Something that is somewhat controversial, but if you are someone who feels the negative impacts of a vegan diet because you’re not eating enough, you may want to go down this route. It is still relatively new, but there are significant benefits to eating edible insects. Insects are rich in iron and protein and can provide a solution to world hunger. But from the sustainability point of view, they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide stable income to farmers within developing countries. And while the idea may sound disgusting, 80% of the world’s population includes insects as part of their staple diet! 

Reducing Your Meat and Dairy Intake 

If you are someone who eats meat, and you want to impact the planet in a more positive way without going vegan, you may want to find a balance. Many people have meat-free days, and there are other ways you can get your protein intakes, such as legumes and lentils. However, if you are someone that requires a significant amount of protein in your diet, either due to a health condition or you are exercising, you can always choose locally grown or seasonal foods or purchase organic grass-fed meat, as this can protect water and soil. Pesticides and other chemicals used in traditional farming run into water and soil, which decreases their nutritional benefit, which then has an impact on the quality of our food. Organic grass-fed meat will have a higher level of Omega-3 fatty acids than traditional meats. 

Cooking Your Own Foods 

One of the best ways to make more sustainable choices in your life is to pick locally grown food in-season, which helps you to make more sustainable choices. More people are eating at home because of the current environment, which has seen a positive impact on their finances, which is always welcome in any money-hungry household. But when you start to recognize just how much you actually need to consume in comparison to what you think you consume, it is worth spreading the message. 

It is important to spread the word to help the environment. We can all try different approaches, but we have to remember that we can’t do everything to save the planet. Even choosing one or two of these components will have a positive impact.

9 Eco-Friendly Family Activities To Do This Spring

As the spring season approaches, it’s easy to start thinking about the warm weather and longer daylight hours, but it’s important to also think about the earth. Earth day falls on April 22nd each year, but it’s important to think about how to be eco-friendly year-round. Below are a few ideas of how to keep your family entertained and environmentally conscious this spring.

Make Recycled Crafts

Making fun crafts can be a great way to spend time together and make something fun. To add an eco-friendly spin to crafting, challenge your kids to create something that is entirely made up of recycled or reused materials. Depending on their age, you can give them a handful of materials to choose from, or you can let them loose to find things in your home and yard that are going to be discarded that they can use to make something new. This can help them develop their creativity as well as see that new things don’t have to be made up entirely of new materials.

Garden Together

Gardening is a great family activity that is also very eco-friendly. As the ground thaws in the spring, it’s a great time to get outside and get started on your gardening for the year. Your kids can help you with many gardening tasks, just make sure to take into account their age and ability levels when you’re asking them for help with different tasks. Plant some fruits and vegetables to be a little extra eco-friendly!

Find Ways to Save Electricity

There are many ways to use less electricity in your daily life, but if you work as a family to brainstorm ways to use less electricity, it can stick better in your kids’ minds. There are 5.5 million miles of local distribution lines for electricity in the United State’s electrical grid, and taking some of the stress off of that system can help it work more effectively and save energy. Something as simple as unplugging a device once you’re done using it or making sure that you turn the lights off when you’re the last one to leave the room can help save a lot of electricity over time. Figure out some specific ways that your family can decrease your electricity usage to make sure that you can actually cut back in your daily lives.

Bike Around Your Town

Once the weather is warm enough, start taking weekly bike rides to explore your town and the surrounding areas. It’s a great way to have fun family bonding time without worrying about polluting the environment. You can find new places that you might not have noticed if you were driving around your town, get some good exercise, and bond as a family. That makes bike riding one of the best eco-friendly spring activities for your family.

Cut Back on Your Water Usage

Similarly to saving electricity, talk as a family about ways that you can use less water. Only 1% of the water on earth is suitable for drinking, and while we can take that for granted in developed countries, it’s important to think about conservation. Some easy ways to cut back on your water usage include taking shorter showers, turning off the water while brushing your teeth or washing your face, and using a dishwasher instead of washing your dishes by hand. Ask your kids what they think they can do and try to achieve those water-saving efforts together.

Do a Park Clean-Up

Litter is a big problem everywhere, but especially in the places that see a lot of foot traffic, like popular parks or walking paths. Every time that you go to a place like that, challenge everyone in your family to pick up a certain number of pieces of litter. If you’re worried about what’s on the litter, you can pack gloves to use to pick up the litter as well as hand sanitizer. Over time, your family will be responsible for picking up a lot of litter and making the earth a little bit cleaner of a place.

Exercise Outside

When the weather starts getting nicer, it can be easy to want to spend every moment possible soaking in the outdoors. It’s a great opportunity to encourage some healthy habits with your kids by finding new ways to get moving outdoors. Depending on the size of your family, you can arrange games like soccer or basketball, or you can try for more solitary forms of exercise, like yoga. 28% of Americans have tried yoga at some point, and doing yoga outside is a great way to soak in the good weather and take care of your body at the same time. Getting outside to enjoy the weather while also getting out some energy and helping your body is a great way to spend the spring.

Go on a Flower Hunt

A flower hunt is a great way to spend time outdoors and keep your family entertained. Next time you’re at a park, challenge everyone to find as many different types of flowers as they can. If you can, have everyone take pictures of their flowers instead of picking them so that you aren’t disrupting nature too much. After you’ve found as many flowers as you can, go home and do some research to find out what kind of flowers they are.

Play in the Rain

Spring means a lot of rain in many climates, and playing in the rain can be a very fun activity. You don’t want to get sick from spending time out in the rain, so make sure that you’re being smart about it and properly layering up in raincoats and boots, and not spending too long outside. Once you’re done, dry off and warm up with a nice cup of hot chocolate or tea and watch a movie to get the full rainy day experience.

Being eco-friendly and bonding with your family can go hand in hand with these springtime activities. Teaching your kids about the importance of being eco-friendly is a great way to help prepare them to have eco-friendly habits as they grow up.

How to Create an Eco-friendly Wildlife Garden

Spring is the perfect time of year to welcome wildlife into your backyard. Even if you only have a small outside space, such as a balcony, you can still attract local birds and critters. In order to create the perfect eco-friendly wildlife garden, use recycled materials where possible to build feeders and habitats. You could also stock your outside space with local plants and flowers for pollinating insects. This way you can help maintain the ecosystem while encouraging some wild visitors. Here are a few tips on how to create an eco-friendly wildlife garden. 

Provide a water source

All animals, birds, and grubs will appreciate a water source. If you have space, you could consider building a pond. This will also make a stunning feature for your yard. Keep the water clean using filters or Tsurumi pond pumps in order to provide a healthy environment for fish and amphibians. Alternatively, you could DIY a small birdbath from recycled materials or upcycle old household items and fill them with water.

Local plants and flowers

For an eco-friendly garden, you should be mindful of the plants you choose. Opt for local plants and flowers that will grow well without disturbing the natural ecosystem. Avoid invading or non-indigenous plants. Colorful pollen-rich flowers will attract the right insects such as bumblebees and butterflies. Here are few tips on how to attract pollinating insects with native flowers. If you want to avoid other unwanted visitors always opt for organic pesticides rather than harmful chemicals.

Build homes for critters

As well as building sustainable exterior features for your home, why not add a few for visiting critters as well? You could DIY a bee hotel out of old bits of untreated wood. Simply drill a few holes in a log for a mini version, or you could go all out and build a bigger structure with different pieces of wood and bamboo. Set up a rock garden for grubs and small mammals. With a few small plants, this can also make an attractive feature.

Create a lawn for nature

Many gardeners overlook the lawn when it comes to wildlife, but it’s actually an important feature. Create a wildlife-friendly lawn by adding patches of meadow. Pollinators will like these. Let your lawn grow long and more flowers will start to appear. Longer grass makes a nice home for beetles and smaller animals. It gives them a place to hide and forage.

DIY feeders

Put out food for your wild visitors. Try making feeders using recycled materials and leftover food from the house. A simple bird feeder can be made from a recycled plastic bottle or mason jar, for example. Check out these DIY bird feeder ideas. You can even make a butterfly or hummingbird feeder with an upturned glass bottle filled with sugar water. Fill your wildlife garden with these upcycled creations, and you’ll soon get plenty of visitors. If you help encourage the ecosystem in your backyard, you can enjoy spotting local animals and birds.