January 3rd is National Fruitcake Toss Day! The day is supposed to signify throwing out the holiday goodies and leftover potatoes and getting on track with a healthier new year. Well, food isn’t the only bad habit many people had in 2017. There are plenty of bad habits you can ditch in the new year, and we recommend reducing your carbon footprint first! There are plenty of ways to become more eco-friendly and take better care of the environment, and there’s no better time than the present to start. That’s why this week we’ve put together a list of eco-friendly habits to work on every day!
BUY BETTER LIGHT BULBS
Energy efficient light bulbs are a great way to use less and get more. Not only will these cut back your electric bill because they use less energy, but they also last longer than regular light bulbs. That means even though they cost a bit more than their counterpart, energy efficient bulbs will save you plenty in the long run. If possible, use solar lamps in your home! You can set them by the window so they take energy from the sun while you’re away at work. Then, when you get home, your solar energy lamp will be ready for use at night! Eco-friendly light bulbs are becoming more and more commonplace, so be sure to keep an eye out for them
About a trillion plastic bags are used globally every year. Unfortunately, only about 1 in every 200 is recycled. There are entire islands in the ocean made from trash, much of which is plastic bags and bottles. Switching to reusable grocery bags is an environmentally conscious decision that can drastically cut back your plastic usage yearly. For all the grocery sacks you have leftover from your last trip, use them as garbage sacks in your small bathroom trash can. Repurposing them instead of simply tossing them out will help reduce the amount of waste you produce annually. You can also shop for biodegradable bags, which are great for holding fresh food and compost.
TURN OFF THE FAUCET
Wasting water resources is a bad habit for nearly everyone. Taking an extra long, hot shower may be how you wake up in the morning, but it could be costing both you and the environment. The average shower puts out 2 gallons of water per minute. So if you cut your shower time from 20 minutes per day to 10 minutes per day, that’ll save you 20 gallons of water. Over the course of a year, that equates to over 7,000 gallons! In addition to taking shorter showers, there are all kinds of other environmentally conscious decisions you can make every day to reduce your daily water usage. Turning off the water while brushing your teeth or investing in eco-friendly products like water saving dishwashers can make a huge difference! .
It’s 2018; it’s time to start recycling. Separating your recyclable material from your trash is an easy way for your family to reduce their carbon footprint and engage in a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. If you’re not already a believer, you should know that according to Stanford University, the recycled materials from the university in 2016 alone saved over 70,000 BTUs of energy. That’s enough to power 613 homes for a full year! There are almost 20 recycling centers in Lincoln, NE, so there’s no excuse to throw away recyclable items. Designate bins for glass, aluminum, and paper products and run them by a recycling center on your way to work once every few weeks to reduce your home’s waste output.
CLEAN UP YOUR AIR
The EPA produced their peer-reviewed Report on the Environment (ROE), and they had a lot to say about the quality of the air Americans breathe. According to the report, Americans spend around 90% of their time indoors, and indoor air has anywhere from 2-5 times the concentration of pollutants as outdoor air. This is due to many factors, the main one being lack of ventilation. Invest in an air purifier to keep your air clean. Better yet, indoor plants are a great, eco-friendly way to help clean the air in your home while still looking like a stylish home decor choice!
In general, environmentally friendly lifestyles are much easier to uphold than they were in years past. Every year there are tons of sustainable products that are becoming more and more available to the general consumer. How do you resolve to help the environment this year? Let us know in the comments!