Living greener, sustainability, and being eco-friendly are topics that are hot these days. Businesses like Starbucks switched to paper straws in order to reduce plastic waste. A lot of new homes come standard with smart thermostats to increase energy efficiency. And of course, hybrid vehicles are becoming more and more popular.
While you may be an eco-conscious consumer who has made the move to electric vehicles and recycles regularly, there’s still a lot you can do to live a greener and more sustainable life. From renewable energy plans for the home to working with industrial recyclers for your business, there’s almost always something more we can do.
Whether you’re new to being a pioneer for sustainability or you’re just looking for more tips for living green, there are some tips below that may help.
For the New Homeowner
If you’re in the market for a new home or you plan on having one built, you should consider looking for one that uses bio-based building materials. Homes constructed this way are environmentally friendly, require less energy to maintain, and can save you money in the long run. Some of these materials include:
• Bamboo flooring
• Recycled wood and steel for building frames
• Low or zero VOC paint and sealants
• Concrete countertops
You should also inquire about installing solar panels if you’re able to. Even if you can’t install an entire solar system, you may be able to purchase and install enough panels for your water heater or other less demanding appliances and save on energy costs.
Finally, consider insulation. Not only will it help keep the temperature inside your home consistent but also prevent heat from escaping, meaning it won’t need as much energy to maintain a comfortable temperature.
As a pro tip, have the builder design and build a custom compost and worm farm for your garden. You won’t regret it.
For the Business Owner
Making your business greener isn’t only about reducing energy consumption, it’s also about how you dispose of materials. Partnering with industrial recyclers can help reduce waste and increase efficiency during the manufacturing process. Alternatively, you could look into working with businesses that offer green services such as waste management or transportation. San Francisco is even looking at recycling wastewater!
If you use a lot of paper, consider switching to digital platforms whenever possible. Not only will this save on paper usage but it’ll also make communication easier and faster for your staff. You could also look into leasing copiers and other office equipment that come with energy-saving features such as automatic shut-off when not in use.
Finally, many businesses are choosing to install solar panels as well. This practice can help the environment but it can also provide you with a good return on your investment given the discounts and incentives available for doing so.
For the Conscious Consumer
If you’re looking for ways to reduce waste and live eco-consciously, start by thinking about how you use the products and services you consume. Consider buying local produce and goods whenever possible, as this can help reduce emissions from transportation.
Additionally, look for products that are certified organic or non-GMO whenever they’re available. When you shop, try and buy items with less packaging or those made from recycled materials.
Finally, think about the products and services you consume when it comes to entertainment. Reducing emissions and waste in the entertainment industry is a hot topic and companies like Netflix are now offering users the option to stream their content without advertisements, which can help reduce waste associated with physical media such as DVDs and CDs.
Living a greener and more sustainable life isn’t just about reducing energy consumption, it’s also about the choices we make in every aspect of our lives. From how we choose to build our homes to the products and services we consume, everything counts when it comes to being eco-friendly.