Living a green lifestyle doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. Like learning anything new, fully living a green lifestyle takes time. It is best to start small. You’ve probably already incorporated some green elements into your way of living already, such as carrying a reusable thermos and water bottle, buying organic, eating less meat, recycling at home, composting organic materials, driving less or using reusable bags at the store. All of the little things can add up, lessening the impact on our Earth. In addition to the everyday habits you’ve already established, you may find that applying a green lifestyle in your home is the best place to start.
Choose Sustainable Materials
When choosing elements for your home such as new wood flooring or a new dining set, be conscious of your selections. The Earth is changing, and it is changing rapidly. The small choices we make each day can help to reduce the overall strain on our planet. Wood is considered to be one of the greenest products for building and manufacturing, however, it is vital that it is sourced carefully to ensure that it does not contribute to loss of biodiversity or deforestation. When building or selecting decor items for your home, look for salvaged or reclaimed options first. Keep in mind that both Teak and Mahogany wood are the two most endangered wood species. Instead, opt for bamboo, as it is less threatened than other wood species.
Incorporate Eco-Friendly Lighting
Oftentimes when we are selecting items for our home, we want to make an eco-conscious choice but we also want products that will stand the test of time. When it comes to lighting, LED checks both boxes. LED, or light-emitting diode, is considered the most energy-efficient and rapidly developing lighting technology today. Not only do LED light bulbs last longer than standard bulb types, they are more durable and generally offer better quality lighting than traditional bulb styles.
LEDs are optimal for recessed lights and task lighting, as LEDs emit light in a certain direction that eliminates the need for diffusers or reflectors that can trap light. LED bulbs also emit little heat, much less heat than incandescent bulbs that emit 90 percent of their energy as heat and even CFLs that emit 80 percent. When choosing task lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, look for LED styles for optimal lighting and an energy savings.
Opt for Recycled Items
Plastics play a major role in polluting the natural environment. Despite recycling efforts, plastics are finding their way into the oceans, causing big problems for marine life. Thankfully, companies taking action to stop plastic pollution by repurposing plastics into other everyday items. For example, plastic bottle caps can be recycled into rakes, storage containers, brooms and ropes. Additionally, plastic foam packing can be recycled into items such as picture frames and even building products for your home. The next time you are shopping for decor items or accessories for your home, look for plastic products that are made from recycled plastics and make an informed choice to support manufacturers who offer goods made from recycled plastics.
From choosing sustainable materials and opting for items made from recycled goods to incorporating eco-friendly lighting, you’ll be on your way to living greener at home.