5 Simple and Effective Ways to Reduce the Ecological Footprint of Your Home

5 Simple and Effective Ways to Reduce the Ecological Footprint of Your Home

With the increasing awareness of personal impact on the environment, more and more people are paying attention to their “footprint” – the effect their lifestyle and choices have on the planet.

There are many aspects to everyone’s overall footprint (food, transportation, etc.) and one of the most important ones is how we keep our homes. While no one person can overcome the ecological challenges our world is facing, everyone can make choices that will reduce their footprint and contribute to the larger movement of responsible and sustainable living.

Here are 5 ways everyone can reduce the ecological footprint of their home:

1. Reduce your overall energy usage. From the insulation in your home to the electricity used to power it, energy usage is the number one way everyone can reduce their overall impact.

Steps you can take:

  • Ensure your home is well insulated and you’ve closed any gaps where “energy leaks” can compromise the heating/cooling of your home.
  • Set your thermostat a couple degrees lower in winter and higher in summer to use less heating or AC over the year. (monitor and manage your usage with smart thermostats like Nest)
  • Use energy efficient appliances and lamps, unplug devices not in use, or use smart home devices to manage electronics (such as Google Home).

2. Limit toxic products you use. Many home items (cleaning products, paint, etc.) are made with toxic chemicals that contribute to ill environmental effects during production and in usage.

Steps you can take:

  • Read the labels on the products you are buying and do a quick Internet search on their level of toxicity before you buy.
  • Ask about off-gassing when buying paint, cleaners, or other home renovation materials.
  • Learn about non-toxic alternatives. Almost every home cleaning / personal care product has a natural and/or non-toxic alternative that works just as well. Do some research and reading on the choices available and start using alternatives that are less toxic to our bodies and the environment.

3. Add plants. Plants in your home are not only beautiful, they help make it more eco-friendly by purifying the air around you.

Steps you can take:

4. Reduce reliance on plastic. From shopping bags to containers to toothbrushes to furniture, plastic has become an overused material that takes a heavy toll on the environment to produce and doesn’t break down when thrown away.

Steps you can take:

  • Consider alternatives. For almost every item in our home, there are non-plastic alternatives. Look for these before you buy.
  • Keep plastic longer. For items you do have that are plastic, try to use them as long as possible to get as much life from the product you can. This reduces the amount added to the waste stream and gives you more bang for your buck.
  • Reuse containers. Many stores have bulk food areas where you can bring your own container to refill on staples. Make that part of your shopping routine.

5. Buy responsibly sourced and sustainably made items. Many of the items we buy for our houses live with us a long time, so choosing responsible items from the start makes a big difference over the life of our products and our homes.

Steps you can take:

  • Choose products made from environmentally responsible materials. They may cost a bit more up front, however the overall impact and benefit far outweighs the cost. Natural materials that come from highly renewable sources are best.
  • Consider the durability and longevity of an item. When buying a piece to add to your home, imagine how it will live with you for not just a few years, but for decades. The more timeless the design and beautifully made – like Greenington furniture! – the longer it will have a place in your home, reducing the amount of turnover of products and resources you use.

These steps can help you not only have a happy home, but a healthy and environmentally-friendly one, too; ensuring you are doing your part in reducing your personal footprint on the Earth.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This