The successive lockdowns and the current crisis we are facing have forced people to turn inward, not just figuratively but also quite literally. People have become more health conscious, more environmentally conscious and personally feel obligated to contribute their bit in saving this beautiful planet we live on. Often, we feel that sustainability comes at ‘a price.’ Daily costs of living shoot up when citizens like you and me make the switch to sustainable living. However, the gain in the long term has been consistently and considerably higher. In this article, we discuss how you can make your home sustainable without considerably pushing up the daily cost of living, as well as without making major changes to your lifestyle.
1) Composting at home
Use your kitchen waste to make compost for your home garden. Not only does this ensure the healthy growth of your plants, but also reduces, if not eliminates, the amount of wet waste that leaves your house.
2) Throwing out plastic bottles, making the switch to steel/copper bottles → also a healthier option
Single use plastic is the first thing that needs to be eliminated from our houses not only if we want to make our home sustainable but also if we want to switch over to a healthier lifestyle. Often, we use single use plastic bottles to store water in our fridges, or other plastic bottles to store liquids in our homes. Not only is plastic one of the most dangerous pollutants that we use, it can also have lasting side effects on one’s health. Making the switch to steel or copper bottles not only helps reduce plastic waste, but also has various health benefits
3) Segregate your waste
This is probably the easiest step to a sustainable home in this list and many of you must already be doing it. Ensuring that your waste is segregated improves ease of recycling and less waste going to landfills.
4) Making the switch to sustainable products
It may cause a short term gain in personal finances, but in the long term, it actually proves to be more beneficial, not just economically, but also health wise. Switching to sustainable products like shampoo butters, concentrates, reusable containers, conditioner bars. They’re easy to use, last longer than liquids, and a lot of them come paper-wrapped, so hardly any plastics are used to make them, and are travel-friendly too. The plus point is that not only is it economically viable, but the chemical-free nature of the products make them indispensable because of the health benefits they offer. Check out Rustic Art’s Shampoo bars and Shampoo butters to get started!
5) Being mindful and reducing the use of everyday items like tissue paper, bags, single-use plastic items
Often, we find it easy to make do with pulling three, four, five tissues out of the box when we really just need one. Or it’s much more convenient to buy a plastic bag from outside rather than carrying one ourselves. Being mindful of such small things goes a long way in reducing the waste we generate and doing our bit to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
6) Change your lightbulbs
Making a simple change from the conventional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs and tubes to LED light bulbs which are more safe and energy efficient. The fluorescent tubes contain toxic material like mercury and phosphorus. If such a bulb is broken the toxic mercury gets released as a gas harming the surrounding environment that is your home. The greenhouse emissions by LEDS are relatively far less compared to traditional lights and CFLs. LED bulbs last up to 10 times longer than compact fluorescents, and 40 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.
7) Reducing Purchases and Smart Buying
Sitting at home in the lockdown has made a lot of us shopaholics, browsing amazon and Flipkart all day leading to a lot of impulse buying. There are a few ways by which we can make our purchases eco-friendly. For example by only buying the things that we need, thinking of what impact the production of the product that we’re buying has had on the environment, what impact would its disposal have or replacing disposables altogether by buying more reusable products than disposable ones. this mindset is key to a sustainable home! To eliminate impulse buying you can also try the 30 day rule – wait 30 days after you first feel like buying the product. If after 30 days you still feel the need then make the purchase.
8) Make a garden, go green!
With so much time on hand and especially during the vacation season now, why not take a step towards going green by making your home green. Gardening can also be a great way stress-release along with helping the environment. Planting food crops and herbs that can be grown in pots can give you access to fresh, pesticide and chemical free items. And as discussed earlier, the wet waste can be made use for making home compost for the garden. Moreover, a lush green garden can give your house a fresh, new aesthetic look.
9) Skip the full dryer and Use the washing machine to wash a full load.
If you have a small family and the pile of laundry isn’t big enough to load the washing machine daily then it is way more efficient to wash the clothes once in two days or so. Doing this saves a lot of otherwise wasted electricity and water. Moreover in the summertime, clothes dry outside quickly due to the dryness and heat of the season. You can easily spread them out on a dryer rack in the balcony or near the window. So skipping the full use of the machine dryer can save energy. Drying clothes and bedding in fresh air and sunlight also makes them last longer.
10) Make your cooling sustainable
Keeping the AC on in summer for the majority part of the day has devastating effects on the environment. Instead we can use alternative methods of cooling. Like putting on thicker curtains, putting wet sheets on the window bars so that the air coming in cools, keeping the exhaust fans on etc. Incandescent bulbs waste about 90 percent of their energy in the heat they emit, so tossing them to the curb will make a small difference in cooling your home while lowering your electric bill. And finally treat yourself with good old iced drinks, dip your feet in cold water or keep cold clothes on your neck, wrist etc. All this will help minimize the constant need for AC and make your home more sustainable.