In today’s world, taking care of the environment we live in has become more and more important. Individuals, companies, and government entities are taking steps to preserve our world and to share meaningful ways we can all take part. Perhaps you’d like to learn more about how your own daily tasks and actions affect our planet and what you can do to decrease your environmental footprint.

Here are six ways you can live more sustainably.

6 Ways You Can Live More Sustainably

Fix Up Your Home

Did you know that 85% of the nation’s homes were built prior to 1980 and are in need of home improvement? This means that many old homes are in need of sustainable improvements, too. If you live in an older home, hire an inspector to check your home for leaks and other forms of damage. If your home has suffered one of the three types of water damage, which are clean water damage, grey water damage, and black water damage, be sure to hire professionals to ensure a sustainable and safe job well-done. You may need to have your home insulated, too, which can help with energy usage and costs.

Swapping out older appliances for new energy-efficient options would be a good idea as well. If you are in need of a new paint job and furniture for your home, be sure to check that your products are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals are harmful to the environment and human health. Additionally, consider installing energy-efficient windows and an updated HVAC system as well as having solar panels installed on your roof. Solar panels are a renewable energy source and can help reduce the harmful effects of fossil fuels.

Cut Down On Your Home’s Energy Usage

Alongside bigger home improvements, there are many small and easy ways to cut back on energy usage in your home, too. When it comes to cutting back on water usage, check out these ideas:

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn the water off when brushing your teeth
  • Use an energy-efficient dishwasher when it’s full rather than hand-washing your dishes
  • Fill your sink when shaving
  • Use a high-efficiency washing machine for full loads only
  • Utilize a water filter instead of buying plastic water bottles
  • Cheak toilets, pipes, and faucets for leaks
  • Insulate water pipes

To cut back on energy usage, look to these tips:

  • Swap your lightbulbs for energy-efficient ones
  • Unplug electronics and other devices when they’re not being used
  • Utilize power strips
  • Utilize natural lighting when possible

There are so many simple ways to cut back on water and energy usage in your home. You’ll be saving yourself money on bills all the while doing your part to help the environment.

Grow Your Own Vegetables or Shop Locally

The foods you buy and consume affect your environmental footprint. Less meat consumption can help, and eating more locally-grown and ethically sourced foods and products is best. Business signs are the reason 35% of customers find out about the business — and perhaps you’ve seen some signs promoting local farmers and food stands who are looking to sell fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables in your community. Look to these healthy and environmentally-sound purchasing choices, as you’re promoting sustainable agriculture and local businesses as well as allowing for less waste to be produced.

You can also grow food in your own background. Consider starting your own garden to grow your own vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, spinach, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, beets, and garlic. You’ll be living more sustainably and have the advantage of walking a few steps to your garden to grab ingredients for healthy recipes you can make in your very own kitchen.

Learn More About Recycling

Recycling is another major part of living a sustainable life. Do your research to learn what can and can’t be recycled and how you can go about making recycling an easy part of your daily routine. Setting up recycling bins in your garage with labels would be helpful to ensure you recycle the correct products. Additionally, look for ways to cut down on waste and plastic use in your home.

Shop Second-Hand

Many people don’t know much about the negative environmental impacts of clothing production. The clothing industry accounts for 10% of the planet’s carbon emissions and pollutes water sources. A high percentage of clothes are thrown out as well. Instead of buying new clothes time and time again, consider shopping second-hand at thrift stores and other consignment shops. Not only can you find cool clothing finds at thrift stores, but you can also find antiques, trinkets, cheap furniture, books, CDs, and gently-used artwork. Paintings are the most popular media, accounting for 83% of art collections globally. Find some unique paintings and other cool items and clothes at second-hand stores.

Walk and Bike When You Can

Cutting back on how often you drive is another way to reduce your environmental footprint. Car exhaust releases chemicals and gases that negatively impact the environment. Driving less reduces the emission of greenhouse gases. Plan driving trips ahead of time so you can run all of your errands at once. Consider walking or biking short distances as well.

Interested in reducing your environmental footprint? Look to these tips and share ideas with your family and friends. It isn’t too late to start living a more sustainable life now.