April 29, 2022
3 min. read

8 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable at Home

Medly

Climate change—long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns—can influence human health and disease in a number of different ways. In the coming years, new health threats will emerge while existing threats will intensify. Among the health threats of climate change are increased respiratory and cardiovascular disease, injuries and premature deaths related to extreme weather events, as well as threats to mental health.

While this information can feel both overwhelming and anxiety-inducing, the good news is that every little bit counts, and there are ways to make an impact—starting at home. From your dishwasher to your light bulbs, making your home more sustainable can help you not only help you feel empowered, but it can positively affect your wellbeing (and your wallet), too. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can make your home and daily habits more sustainable. 

Clean Your HVAC Filters 

HVAC filters are the part of your HVAC system that removes any air impurities such as pollen, pet dander, and dust. By cleaning or replacing these filters in your home every three months, you can prevent them from working harder than they need to, saving energy and money. 

Turn Off The Lights 

It sounds simple, but many of us forget to turn off the lights when we leave home, or even in rooms we’re not using. You can even invest in smart lighting technology where you can plug your lights on a schedule, or connect them to motion sensors.

Stop Lining Your Recycling Bins 

Many of us line our recycling bins with plastic bags—but those plastic bags can take 10 to 20 years to decompose. An easy way to make your recycling more sustainable? Try ditching the plastic bag and wash and clean your bins instead. 

Wash With Cold Water 

When it comes to your washing machine, 90% of the energy used is used to heat the water—only 10% is used to work the washing machine itself. Try washing your clothes in lukewarm if not cold water to save energy. 

Change Your Lightbulbs to LED or CFL 

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, about 2 billion sockets in the United States still have an energy-wasting bulb in them. But LEDs or CFL light bulbs in your home will save about 85% less energy. They also last up to 25 times longer, and are cheaper to run than incandescent light bulbs. 

Try A Smart Thermostat 

Paired with insulated windows—windows with two or more panes of glass—a smart thermostat can help your home avoid fluctuating between hot and cold temperatures, which is known to waste energy.

Optimize Your Kitchen Appliances 

The kitchen is a great place to cut down on energy waste. For starters, set your refrigerator between 35 and 38 degrees—anything cooler is unnecessary for refrigerator-safe foods—and try to stuff your freezer as full as possible. 

Hang Dry Clothes 

Besides the refrigerator and your washer, the dryer uses the most energy of all home appliances. You can save energy—and money—hanging your clothes out to dry in the sun, or on a drying rack in your home. 

Make Sustainable Food Choices 

Food that ends up in a landfill rarely has access to the air and sunlight it needs to properly decompose. This rotting food emits methane gas, a big contributor to global warming. Instead, find ways to avoid food waste—make a list before you visit the grocery store, save your leftovers, set up a compost bin, and don’t be afraid to use foods beyond their expiration date if they look, smell, and taste normal! If you have excess produce that you don’t plan on using on time, freeze it to use later in smoothies, soups, or stews.

By cutting down on waste and by reducing the amount of energy you use, you can make your home more eco-friendly. These simple tips for a more sustainable home will of course save you some money—but more importantly, they can have an impact on the planet’s health, and your health too. 

Sources 

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