Sometimes, changing small habits and recycling just doesn’t feel like enough to really reduce your environmental impact. However, many larger changes are expensive and the cost alone can be prohibitive. Luckily, there’s plenty of ways you can go green without breaking the bank, and it’s very likely you haven’t tried all of these options yet. Check out these tips for going green day today that won’t break the bank.
- Cut down on plastic: You might think recycling is enough to offset your plastic usage, but think again; people use a surprising amount of plastic on a daily basis, and it greatly affects the planet. Today the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year. Consider purchasing reusable items whenever it’s possible to do so to reduce your overall plastic consumption.
- Check out your yard: A lot of people use a surprising amount of pesticides to keep their lawn looking nice, as well as wasting tons of water on watering a lawn that doesn’t produce much. If you’re worried about the look of your yard or keeping weeds at bay, opt for natural solutions over harmful chemicals that leech into groundwater. A one-inch layer of small rocks can provide good weed control, rather than using chemical options.
- Keep up on home maintenance: It can be easy to fall behind on maintaining utilities and appliances around your home, but keeping everything updated and in good repair can help you keep your energy consumption levels low. You’ll use less electricity overall, and also reduce your monthly utility bill in the process.
- Change how you travel: Any time you have to drive to take care of chores, you’re using up gasoline and contributing to CO2 emissions. Instead, reduce your carbon footprint by splitting the drive between friends in a carpool, or aim to use public transportation like buses or trains. All of these options still create some degree of pollution, but it prevents you from adding more vehicles to the road and ultimately cuts down on total carbon emissions.
- If you can, add solar: While going solar isn’t an option for everyone, adding solar panels to your home to supplement your energy use is getting easier and more affordable by the day. As of mid-2017, the U.S. had a total solar power capacity of 47.1 gigawatts, which is enough to power 9.1 million homes. Even if you can’t add enough to power your entire home, see if you can switch your home over to partial solar power.
- Watch your waste: One of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact is to be more mindful of what happens to your waste once you’re done with it. Yes, this includes recycling, but it can also include things like donating old items that are still in good condition or even composting certain food scraps.
How do you plan to reduce your environmental footprint? Will these tips help you go green at home, or will you need to take extra steps to offset your total consumption?