Personal improvement truly comes one step at a time. It’s overwhelming to think about doing many different changes at once, but most of us can make a single change. You can reduce your family’s environmental footprint by looking through this list of five ideas. Choose one idea that you think would the easiest for your family to implement and do it. Once you are making a positive impact, choose another one. It can be from this list or you can brainstorm. One step at a time you can improve the environment in your home and community.
Landfills are filling up at a rapid pace. Think about everything that you toss out in the trash. There are cartons, cans, bottles, and other use containers. You are probably already recycling some or most of these. Another large component of your waste stream is food and other organic waste. You throw it away, it builds up in your trash, and then it gets shipped away to the landfill where it slowly decomposes. There is a better way.
You can start composting your kitchen and food waste. A compost pile in your backyard will provide you with a rich source of organic material that can improve your garden or even your lawn. Utilizing a purpose-built compost system, you can compost your kitchen waste in as little as 2 to 3 months. Your kitchen waste will turn into rich black soil. To make the collection of kitchen waste easier, you can buy a kitchen compost container or you can use an old coffee can and take the waste to your backyard composter daily.
Use Reusable Grocery Bags
If you live in California, you are probably already using reusable bags. In 2016, the state passed a bag law that ended the use of disposable plastic grocery bags in favor of reusable bags that cost 10 cents each. These are durable plastic bags that can stand up to repeated use.
If you aren’t in California, then you are probably still using the disposable plastic bags that are so problematic for the environment. You can change this today. Many of the disposable bags that you get from the store can be used more than once so take bags with you when you go to the store and ask the cashier to use them. You can also buy the reusable bags from the store and carry them along. It can be hard to remember to take them along when you go to the store so keep a few of them in your car at all times.
Use Cloth Diapers
Disposable baby diapers are a huge component of landfill waste. The plastic portions of the diaper take centuries to properly decompose. It’s estimated that a typical disposable diaper will take 500 years to decompose. Moreover, the untreated waste in a diaper can contaminate groundwater and lead to public health issues. Disposable diapers are clearly an environmental hazard.
Fortunately, cloth diapers represent a good alternative. They can be cleaned out, washed, and reused over and over again without a negative environmental impact and can be stylish if you get the accessories from Chunkabuns. If you really want your family to help the environment and have a baby in diapers, changing to cloth diapers would probably bring about the greatest impact. You don’t have to go all in either. You could choose one day a week to use cloth diapers exclusively. This alone would result in a 14% reduction in your disposable diaper usage.
Set Your Thermostat Properly
If you are like most busy families, your house stays vacant during the day. Parents are at work and the kids are at school. There isn’t a real good reason to keep it well heated or air-conditioned during the day when no one is at home. Unfortunately, no one likes coming into a hot or cold house. It can take time to heat or cool your house down and frankly, it’s quite uncomfortable.
If you already have an electronic thermostat, you can utilize the programming function in your thermostat to automatically set the temperature during the day to save energy and have it automatically adjust the temperature before family members arrive in the home. This allows your family to save money and help the environment while stay keeping things comfortable.
Use Reusable Water Bottles
If you are like most people, you buy a big pack of disposable water bottles when you hit the grocery store. They are convenient and easy to use, but they represent a tremendous environmental cost. Buy reusable water bottles and filling them yourself can save you tons of money and help the environment. Pick up a couple of reusable bottles for each member of the family and fill them from your water cooler. It’s easy and immediately brings about an environmental benefit.
Taking the initiative to help the environment is easy and can bring about tremendous benefits for your family. It doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to represent major changes. Changing one thing at a time is all that is needed to save the environment.