There is no denying that these days, climate change and the Earth’s well-being are on the minds of many people. So, is it your goal to live greener in 2023? I hear you. While it may seem like a monumental task, implementing small changes around your home can lead to a reduction in landfill waste, cleaner air and the preservation of nature. Here are five ways you can start living a greener life.
Are you planning a home reno this year? Why not incorporate sustainable touches? For example, flooring options such as bamboo and cork are renewable resources that have less of an impact on the environment compared to hardwood. Energy-efficient appliances can help reduce energy waste, lower natural gas and water use while saving your household money. And paint with no or low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and eco-friendly wallpaper creates less waste while being made, and can cut down on airborne toxins.
Thinking twice about purchases enables you to be mindful of what you really need to buy. Being mindful can lead to better purchasing decisions. For instance, with a bit of research (hello, world wide web!) that amazing marble coffee table you’ve been swooning over may be available gently used at a fraction of the price. Buying used items helps reduce carbon emissions and saves on resources such as water and energy. If buying used isn’t an option, then why not buy locally? Supporting small businesses helps keep the community thriving and minimizes carbon emissions, not to mention a more personalized shopping experience as well.
Pause on plastic
Did you know that one million plastic bags end up in the trash every minute? And that plastic makes up 80 per cent of all marine debris. Shocking, right? There are simple things we can do to reduce our plastic use. Whether you are buying food or shopping for clothing, bring a recyclable tote along. Using a reusable shopping bag can decrease reliance on plastic bag production and protect the environment from plastic pollution. In the kitchen, why not substitute your plastic wrap for beeswax wrap? Beeswax is better for the environment and more breathable than plastic, ensuring your food stays fresher for longer. And, of course, cutting down on plastic bottle use is a must. With a little forethought, having a stainless-steel reusable bottle with you will cut down on the need to buy plastic when you’re in a pinch.
There are so many benefits to starting a compost. Not only does it keep food waste from being put in plastic bags that end up in landfills, but adding compost to your soil and yard is rich in organic nutrients, reducing the need for pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Composting can save you money and helps the environment. It’s a win-win!
Upcycle, sell, or donate
Furniture can take up a lot of space in a landfill. Do you have a piece of furniture you want to shift? First, ask yourself, can this piece be upcycled? With a new coat of paint and cool hardware, you can transform a dated piece of furniture into a one-of-a-kind statement piece. If upcycling won’t work, you could sell the piece on accounts such as Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. And, if selling is a no-go, give a new life to that piece of furniture by donating it to places such as Value Village. Remember, someone’s trash is another person’s treasure.