Among a slew of unsustainable purchases and practices such as single-use plastic items and chemical emissions, there seems to be only a few options to go greener and care more for the planet. After all, not everyone has the privilege to buy electric cars and solar panels, as well as both wet and dry goods manufactured with minimal wastage of resources. However, we can all still do our part by correcting old habits and replacing them with newer ones that are friendlier to the planet. They don't have to be drastic: just a little change is okay. Here are 8 tips to make your home even more sustainable than it is now.
1) Practice segregation
Paper, plastic, glass. organic. These are the basic categories of waste segregation. Put your garbage into separate bags so that you help the garbage collectors in segregating the trash. This way, paper and plastic can go to the proper facilities so that they can be repurposed, glass can be also re-melted, re-shaped, and re-sanitized so that they can be of use again, and organic waste can also be appropriately used for whatever purpose it may serve.
2) Choose water-based paints
Zinsser Allcoat, Boysen Permacoat Latex, Dulux Water Based Paint. These are just some of the brands that offer latex paint or paint that's water-based. Whether it's a fresh coat of color or a brand new hue to make your walls livelier, make it a point to pick water-based paints over the oil-based ones. If you find that water-based paints are more aesthetically pleasing than paints that have stronger and more environmentally harmful ingredients (like others do) then that's even better!
3) Turn your food waste into compost
Feed and fatten your backyard soil with leftovers. Food waste and kitchen scraps can be made into compost (or potted plants if you don't have that big of a space for flora). You can put your coffee grounds, fruit peelings, meat scraps, and vegetable leaves inside a hole dug into your soil. If you want to, you can buy cheap compost cans from home outlets or even hardware stores so you can keep them. This way, you keep your soil nutrient-rich and put organic materials to use after their original purpose.
4) Buy quality secondhand goods
Furniture, appliances, clothes, vehicles, home installments. While many might be skeptical, there are quality sources of things at home that you don't necessarily need to buy brand new items of. If you see warehouses of home supplies that have really cheap prices, don't be shy and give it a go. You never know when you'll find the perfect addition to your home. Just make sure that the store you buy from has a guarantee of replacing the item you bought in case it gets easily damaged or destroyed.
5) Get supplies from nearer sources
It does matter where it comes from. Resources that come a long way from where you're located means that it took more carbon and other harmful gases to take them there. It's better to buy items like food, clothes, furniture, and appliances from the local market so you have less accountability on your part in adding to harmful chemical substances released to the environment.
6) Never let water sources run
Faucets, hoses, showerheads, water pumps. These are water sources that you should never let run on their own especially if you're not using them. When shampooing and soaping in the bathroom, it's better to turn off your shower first, and when washing your car, watch the nozzle of your hose to see if it's dripping and you'd need to locate the faucet and stop the water from flowing. Taking a bath, brushing your teeth, and washing your clothes can all use a little water conservation.
7) Unplug electronic appliances
Give mother nature a hug just by pulling the plug! The majority of the energy that powers house, establishments, and other spaces most likely comes from fossil fuels. Mitigate your energy demand and carbon emissions by unplugging your devices and appliances especially when they are not being used. Always make it a point to look out for the electricity consumed by your plugged electronics but aren't actively used. That laptop or AC unit shouldn't be turned on or charged for more hours and hours on end. Don't forget to unplug, unplug, unplug!
8) Get just enough of anything
Not too much, just enough. People often overconsume and end up with so much wastage. We don't always realize it, but the economy is built around finite resources such as water, oil, metal ores, gas, trees, and fertile land among many others. While humans don't really have a definite sense of contentment or satiation, we can always exercise self-control, and this goes for everything we do and consume. Don't get too much food on your plate when you have meals, don't do hauls of fast fashion clothes that will end up in the landfills after some time, and don't replace your phone every year especially when it's still fully functional.
How Would You Build An Eco-Home?
While some can't afford a fully eco-friendly lifestyle, they can still take baby steps and help out in their own little ways. Meanwhile, for those who can actually do large-scale actions and initiatives towards being more eco-friendly, they can start with their major purchases: get solar panels for their big houses, buy electric cars instead of the regular ones, move to green communities and design your properties to be more eco-friendly. You can also consume alternative options for food like meatless meat, organically-grown produce, or vegan selections at the supermarket.
It's up to you to find your match. Explore your eco-friendly solutions and be loud about them so that you can create a ripple effect for the sake of the preservation of the earth. Most of all, don't take all the blame for the planet's destruction, as there are giants that still need to be held responsible for the damages they caused. Boycott the bigwigs if you see that they don't contribute to the welfare of humanity and the environment. If one person has the initiative, the others follow suit. It all starts with yourself if you take the first step now.