As the new year begins, many of us are resolving to make more mindful decisions that will benefit both our wallets and the environment. There are plenty of steps we can take to incorporate sustainable living practices into our lives and help create a healthier, more sustainable world.
- Install a Farmhouse Sink
Installing a farmhouse sink is an easy way to add a touch of rustic charm to your kitchen while also helping reduce water waste. Farmhouse sinks, also known as apron-front sinks, feature large basins that provide ample space for washing dishes and preparing food. The deep basin allows you to soak pots and pans without taking up counter space in the process.
In addition, these types of sinks are typically more efficient than their standard counterparts because they allow for less water usage due to the space inside. A wash tub placed in the sink can be filled to wash the dishes and the ample space inside the sink can hold the soapy dishes waiting to be rinsed. They can be rinsed all at once instead of running the water constantly or turning the tap on to rinse each item separately as one might do with regular sinks.
- Use Green Cleaning Supplies
Green cleaning supplies are a great way to reduce our environmental footprint and ensure that the products we use in our homes are safe for both us and the planet. Green cleaning supplies often contain natural ingredients such as vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and plant-based surfactants which can be just as effective at removing dirt and grime while being much less harsh on surfaces than traditional household cleaners. Additionally, many green cleaning products come in recyclable or compostable packaging which helps keep them out of landfills.
- Ditch Plastic Bags
The use of plastic bags is an environmental disaster with harmful impacts on ecosystems and wildlife. It takes hundreds of years for these bags to break down, leading to huge amounts of waste in landfills and oceans. Plastic bags are a major source of ocean pollution, as they can be mistaken by marine animals as food or become entangled around them, suffocating them. Additionally, when burned the burning process releases toxic fumes that cause air pollution and health problems for nearby residents. As such, it's important to reduce our reliance on plastic bags whenever possible.
One way we can do this is by switching to reusable shopping bags made from more sustainable materials like cotton or canvas instead of single-use plastics. Reusable shopping bags come in all shapes and sizes so you're sure to find one that fits your needs perfectly. Not only will using these alternatives help protect the environment but they also often have designs or fun patterns which make carrying your groceries much more enjoyable than trying to juggle multiple bulky plastic sacks at once.
- Start an Organic Garden
Organic gardening is a great way to produce fresh, healthy food without the use of synthetic chemicals or pesticides. It also helps protect our environment by preserving biodiversity and reducing pollution from chemical runoff. If you live in a more urban setting, participating in a communal garden, or starting a rooftop garden are also great ideas. Growing your own food is a great way to cut back on contributing to the carbon footprint of food transportation.
- Support Local Farmers
Supporting local farmers is another great way to ensure that you're eating fresh, healthy food while also helping your community thrive. By purchasing produce and other goods directly from nearby farms you can help reduce the environmental impacts of large-scale industrial agriculture by avoiding long-distance transport of food items as well as wasting resources used in packaging and shipping. Check out your local farmer’s market and look into local Co-ops and memberships in CSAs (community supported agriculture) to help support local farmers.
- Use Public Transit or Switch to an Electric Car
Using public transit or switching to an electric car are two great ways for individuals to reduce their environmental impact and help mitigate the effects of climate change. Public transportation, such as buses, subways, and light rail systems, is a much more efficient way to travel than using private vehicles; it reduces traffic congestion in urban areas while also cutting down on emissions from burning gasoline since fewer cars are needed overall.
Switching to an electric car is another excellent option that can drastically reduce your carbon footprint while helping improve air quality in densely populated areas. Electric vehicles (EVs) have no tailpipe emissions, so they produce significantly less pollution than gasoline-powered cars—making them ideal choices if you're looking for a greener form of daily transportation.
- Look in to Going Solar
Going solar is an excellent way to reduce your environmental impact while also cutting down on energy costs. Installing a home photovoltaic (PV) system allows you to generate electricity directly from the sun, eliminating the need for grid power and reducing your reliance on fossil fuels. There are many tax incentives to go solar—and with the right system, many utility companies offer ways to sell excess generated power back to the utility grid.
- Purchase Energy-Efficient Appliances
While using solar power, purchasing energy-efficient appliances is an important step in reducing our environmental impact and saving energy and money. These types of appliances use less electricity or natural gas than their traditional counterparts, leading to lower energy consumption and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these appliances also offer rebates.
- Try to Buy Products with Sustainable Packaging
When shopping for consumer goods, it's important to consider the type of packaging used to minimize our environmental impact. Sustainable packaging is designed with materials that are recyclable or compostable, helping reduce waste and conserve resources. For example, bioplastics made from natural sources like corn starch can be broken down into their component parts relatively quickly compared to traditional plastics, reducing their presence in landfills significantly.
- Work to Conserve Water
Conserving water is an essential part of living more sustainably and protecting our environment for future generations. One of the easiest ways to reduce water consumption is by fixing any leaks in your home as soon as possible; even a small drip from a faucet or showerhead can add up quickly over time, wasting hundreds of gallons each year. Additionally, taking shorter showers, using drought-resistant plants in the garden, and avoiding leaving taps running unnecessarily are all simple steps that can have a big impact when it comes to conserving this precious resource.
- Compost Your Food
Composting is an efficient and eco-friendly way to deal with food waste. Aerobic composting your food scraps, not only keeps them out of landfills where they would produce more methane gas (a powerful greenhouse gas), but you are also creating a nutrient-rich soil that can be used in the garden or landscaping. Compost can provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium that help plants thrive while also improving water retention and aeration of soils. Additionally, compost helps reduce the need for chemical fertilizers which contain pollutants that can seep into our waterways over time.
The process of composting is relatively simple; all you need is a compost bin or pile located outside your home (or even indoors if preferred) filled with layers of organic materials such as kitchen scraps, yard trimmings and shredded paper products along with some brown material like dried leaves or sawdust for carbon balance. There are even plug in countertop composters that use little power that can break down scraps into compost in a day.
By making mindful decisions and changes in our everyday lives, we can do our part to create a healthier planet. Every sustainable choice counts, and the new year is a great time to think about ways to change our habits to do more good.
Need help taking steps toward sustainability? Start with Fossil Blu. Explore our wide variety of luxury sinks that are both sustainable and long-lasting. Contact us for more information.