With Earth Day fast approaching on April 22nd, people around the world are trying to figure out new ways to make their lives more environmentally-friendly. And while there are countless big ways to green, like switching to an electric car or buying a home at a building like 181 Fremont, San Francisco’s first LEED Platinum luxury condominium, there are also countless small steps a person can take to make their lifestyle greener and more sustainable without major cost or sacrifice. Don’t know where to start? Try these easy tips on for size:
Swap out your light bulbs for LEDs
One of the easiest changes you can make to create an eco-friendlier home is switching out your traditional incandescent bulbs for LEDs. In addition to using just one-sixth the wattage of a traditional bulb, a single LED bulb can provide up to 25,000 hours of light. You’d need 21 traditional bulbs to equal that kind of lasting power. Better yet, over that same 25,000-hour period, an LED will cost you just $30 to use.
Upgrade your insulation
If you want to make your home more comfortable and more energy efficient in one fell swoop, try upgrading your insulation. If you’re finishing new spaces in your house, it’s easy to add in traditional insulation, while spray foam can be added to existing spaces to help them retain both heat and cold air more efficiently. If you’re making an upgrade, make sure to replace any old windows, as well: they can be a major source of heat and air conditioning loss in the home.
Create a compost pile
You don’t even need to buy any special equipment to go green—all it takes is some scraps you already have in your kitchen. Collecting food scraps for compost is a great way to reduce the $640 worth of food the average American home tosses out every single year. Better yet, your compost can help you grow your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, eliminating the packaging you’d get with said foods in a traditional store.
Buy food in bulk
Want to eliminate waste on a daily basis? Try buying your food in bulk instead. Bulk food generally uses significantly less packaging than its traditionally-packaged counterparts. If you want to do even more for the environment, bring your own reusable containers, like Mason jars, to stores where they offer bulk items and fill them up instead of using plastic bags.
Unplug your appliances when they’re not in use
The easiest way to make your lifestyle greener is also one of the simplest: just unplug your devices when you’re not using them. Not only will this save you on your energy bills and reduce your use of resources, it may even lower your risk of having an electrical fire at home.
You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to make the planet a healthier, more sustainable place to live. With these minor changes to your regular routine, you can make every day feel like Earth Day.
Guest post by Candice Schaffer
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