Guest Post by Rachel Carollo
It’s no secret being environmentally conscious is good for our planet, but making eco-friendly changes in your life can have a positive impact on your personal health and finances as well.
This is why a growing number of people are looking for ways to lead more sustainable lives. In fact, Aquasana’s 4th Annual National Water Quality Survey found that 45 percent of Americans say they “always” seek out sustainable products, which is up from 27 percent in 2021.
If you’re looking for ways to participate in this eco-conscious wave, a great place to begin is in your home. From the appliances we use to the food we eat, there are simple changes you can make at home to be more environmentally friendly.
Here are four easy but impactful lifestyle changes to help green your routine:
When talking about ways to make your home more eco-friendly, you simply can’t ignore energy. It’s important to consider both the source of your home’s energy and your overall energy usage.
Tapping into renewable energy resources, like solar, wind, or hydroelectric, is another great way to kick off your eco-friendly home journey. If you want to dive right in, you can consider installing solar panels on your home. This can be a big investment, but many cities offer incentive programs to help cover some solar costs. If installing solar panels isn’t an option, opting to use a renewable energy source through your city or selecting a private energy provider that relies on renewables is also a great option.
One easy way to reduce energy usage is to unplug small appliances when not in use. Despite not being on, the coffee maker and toaster are still using energy when plugged in.
In addition to your home’s energy source, it’s important to think about your home’s energy efficiency. Appliances, like the refrigerator, are things people often don't think much about unless they are hungry, but they can have a negative impact on the environment. This is because large appliances are constantly plugged in and use a lot of energy. In fact, the BBC found refrigerators and air conditioners alone contribute to 10 percent of global Co2 emissions.
Although we can’t unplug the refrigerator, people can help by purchasing high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR certified appliances that help reduce carbon emissions, energy usage, and monthly utility costs. One option to save energy is installing a whole-house water filtration system, since most of these systems require zero electricity and eliminate the need for single-use bottled water.
In general, the way we use water impacts both the environment and our health. Water makes up 60 percent of the adult human body and is essential for vital functions, but it is also necessary for many daily activities at home.
Everyday chores like washing the dishes or taking a shower use a lot of water. This is why making small changes like using your dishwasher, waiting until the sink is full to wash dishes, or taking shorter showers make a huge difference.
How we consume water also impacts the environment. Each day, Americans throw away more than 60 million plastic water bottles, and 80 percent of single-use plastic water bottles end up in landfills.
This is why drinking tap water is the better choice when it comes to the environment.
However, many are weary of the quality of the tap water in their home. In fact, Aquasana’s 2022 survey found that 8 out of 10 parents agree that it’s necessary to filter their tap water at home, a figure that’s up 16 percent from last year.
A great way to ensure the water you consume is healthy, while still being environmentally conscious, is investing in a water filtration system to remove any contaminants that may be present in your water while also improving its taste and smell.
If you choose to purchase a water filter for your home, you should also be aware that not all systems are created equally when it comes to performance and the environment. Some filters and water softeners produce large amounts of wastewater, so you should do your research to find eco-friendly filters and consider a salt-free water conditioner as an alternative to softeners.
The food we consume contributes to both our health and the health of the environment. Agriculture is a leading source of pollution and greenhouse gasses in the United States.
Shopping locally is a great way to reduce your food-related carbon footprint because local farms use less land, require less energy to maintain, and your food has less distance to travel before it hits your plate. Shopping at farmers markets or subscribing to community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs are easy ways to incorporate more local foods into your diet.
Another fun way to eat local is by growing your own herbs or planting a salsa garden. Both can be done with minimal space and are a fantastic way to add flavor to foods.
If eating local is not possible, another way to be more eco-conscious in the kitchen is taking part in new routines like Meatless Mondays. Skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car.
Additionally, incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet can come with a wealth of health benefits, including lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Household chores also offer an opportunity to make more sustainable changes in your home. Many traditional cleaning supplies use excessive packaging, rely on single-use plastic, and contain chemicals and microplastics that contaminate the environment when they hit landfills.
Switching to cleaning products that are made with sustainable materials, reusable packaging, and featuring carbon-neutral shipping, like Blue Land, or making small changes like using a brush instead of a sponge to do your dishes, are easy ways to make household chores an environmentally friendly task.
You can also consider making your own multi-purpose cleansers that use non-toxic ingredients and can be stored in reusable bottles. Two popular options are vinegar and water or mixing baking soda with water. Natural remedies can be found to clean almost any surface in the home and usually require very few supplies, helping you save money — and the planet — in the long run.
Changing our daily routines may seem like a daunting task, but being an environmentally conscious consumer is easier than most people think. Making small adjustments to the way we shop, do everyday tasks, and eat are all easy places to start that can add up to big, impactful changes.
While our homes may be where we relax and spend most of our time, the Earth is everyone’s home and needs to be taken care of too.
Rachel Carollo is the Senior Director of Brand Marketing at Aquasana. She has brought over 20 years of experience in leading strategic marketing to the Aquasana team and has helped drive significant business growth.
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