Caught a great list of 101 ways to live more sustainably, and while a lot of them were pretty common ones there were a few that got me to stop and ask myself if I could do better…
Here are a handful of them, along with some links they recommended which sent me down a rabbit hole for the past hour and a half, haha… But did you know Tesla also makes solar panels?? Or that the average U.S. household burns through 47 batteries per year?!
Definitely needing to up my game more here… Hopefully you find something new too as our planet needs as much help as it can get these days!
A dozen ways to be more sustainable AND save some $$$
- Stop lining your trash bins with plastic — Instead, Curbed recommends periodically washing and rinsing your containers – something I hadn’t even considered over my 40 years of life 🤦♂️
- Wash clothes in cold water — Around 90 percent of the energy used to wash clothes comes from heating the water! Only 10 percent comes from electricity for the washing machine.
- Make your own all-purpose cleanser — Reduce the environmental harm caused by the manufacture, use, and disposal of toxic chemicals by mixing your own cleanser. Here’s a simple recipe they give: Combine 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda with 1/2 gallon of water.
- Hang-dry your clothes — “After the fridge and the washer, the dryer uses the most energy. A clothesline in the sunshine is a zero-emission alternative (and your laundry will smell terrific). Here are some pointers to get you started.” I’ll admit this one sounds the most time consuming and hardest to pull off in today’s faster world, however I’m seriously giving it some thought now that we have a decent backyard and enough privacy for no one to see our skivvies ;) Knowing me though I’ll go through all the work and then accidentally leave ’em out in the rain!!
- Install solar panels — Because solar energy is still the most cost-effective source of renewable energy, “but you don’t have to use the bulky tack-on panels of the past. Companies like Tesla, Sistine Solar, and Forward Labs are introducing sleeker, lower-profile designs that blend into the roof of your house.”
- Join a time bank — Swap your services for someone else’s—and make the community stronger by working together. Putting an hour of time in could be as simple as giving someone a ride to the doctor.
- Use washable cloths instead of paper napkins or paper towels — The hardest one for me to break personally, but I’m back on round II of trying after a few years off :( So much harder with a million kids spilling stuff every 5 seconds!! But not giving up!!
- Switch to rechargeable batteries — “The average U.S. household burns through 47 batteries per year, according to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. Instead, you could buy just 12 rechargeable batteries every four years (the average life span of rechargeables).” Another thing I haven’t been the best at over the years… Just picked up my first 8 pack of batteries last month and going to try and replace ALL batteries going forward as I find and scoop up good deals… Kids go through SO MANY for their toys!
- Buy solar chargers for your electronic devices — Didn’t even know this was a thing??! They recommend the BigBlue 28W USB Solar Charger to plug in on the go.
- Eat less meat — A hard one to do in our family (or, mainly for me – I love meat!!), but I keep reading over and over again how bad it is for our environment. Making a single quarter-pound hamburger requires over 460 gallons of water – which is the equivalent of 30 showers! Wild!!
- Don’t get too cheesy — Some cheeses also have a surprisingly large carbon footprint. Cheddar and mozzarella, in particular, which use 10 pounds of milk to get one pound of cheese.
- And lastly, here’s a good carbon footprint calculator so you can see just how much your family is contributed to the overload –> EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator
What do y’all do that you’ve found is pretty effective? Any game changers that have saved you bank, as well as make this place more greener for everyone?
Here’s the list of all 101 recommendations again: curbed.com/a/how-to-live-sustainably
If we all do just ONE extra thing together this week we’ll have a nice little impact here :) Let’s make it happen!!
PS: Also stumbled across this site the other day for toothbrush alternatives: GivingBrush.com. The average person uses (and then throws out) roughly 300 toothbrushes during their lifetime, so their mission is to switch people to biodegradable handles using bamboo instead of plastic. Just ordered one from them over the weekend and excited to try it!
*Solar charger link up there is an Amazon affiliate link