Many of us are thinking about how to maintain a greener lifestyle and home.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to know what difference you can really make. Questions can come up around the real value (to you and the planet) of changes – and what the costs will be.
Whether it’s as big as installing solar panels on your roof or as small as timing your showers to conserve precious water, your efforts to be more eco-friendly have value inside and out. Also, I firmly believe that all efforts count – and that in fact, building small habits over time can be easier than forcing yourself into large projects and getting overwhelmed.
So what small habits can make a difference?
Getting a Home Energy Assessment is a great place to start and I have written about this previously. In the process, a professional assessor evaluates all the areas your home is using and losing energy and makes recommendations for improvements. Some changes are small, like adding weather stripping to doors and windows, while others are more involved, like replacing attic insulation.
After receiving your Home Energy Assessment you can plan how to best improve your home’s energy use and your home habits.
Greening your home is reliant on your home habits gradually shifting to be more environmentally aware and energy efficient. Easy changes include turning off lights in rooms you aren’t using, shutting doors and windows (especially when heating or cooling your home), running your tumble dryer less often and taking shorter showers.
In your yard, consider what water usage you really need. Lawns are always thirsty in Colorado so think about whether you could replace some of this “green guzzler” with native planting or xeriscaping – less water usage is better for the environment and definitely better for your wallet.
Greening Your Kitchen
We all know the basics: reduce, reuse, recycle. They’re great, but there’s a reason recycling is last. It’s really not the most helpful thing you can do in your kitchen practices. So focusing on reducing your waste and reusing products is more eco-friendly!
My favorite kitchen practice is composting. Even if you’re not into having a bin of decomposing banana peels on your counter, Colorado makes it pretty easy to compost through compost collections every other week. Less waste in the trash and more nutrients being biodegraded – it’s a win-win.
Green Home Products
Another super easy way to make eco-friendly changes is in your home products. Some of my favorites are for the kitchen and I’ll share a few of them here:
- Swedish Dishcloths — a great alternative to paper towels AND you can even put them in the dishwasher (which saves you laundry loads)
- Blueland — I’m especially fond of their produce bags (just say no to plastic ones at the store that you can’t even open) and refillable laundry soaps
- BagPodz — a convenient and sustainable way to have all the produce bags you need in one little pouch
There are hundreds of other sustainable, eco-friendly, and good-for-your-body products on the market, and some of best of which are produced right here in Colorado! I always feature a great local business in my monthly newsletter.
Paying special attention to developing one or two new habits will not only benefit your home and the environment, it will also help you pay more attention to new ways you can be eco-friendly. Intentionally and mindfully making new habits will help invite opportunities for more!
The great news is that you can start small – it all counts – and the more often you practice your green habits, the easier they will become and everyone wins!