As most of us continue to work from home, we’ve probably noticed an uptick in our bills. Electric, gas, water — we’re all using more of everything simply because we’re home more. And while an increase of energy and water usage is inevitable, how can we be more sustainable at home?
The answer: lots of ways. But to get started, we’re sharing five simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint now. Although these changes may seem small in the grand scheme of things, they can make a big difference.
1. Use less energy and water
One of the quickest (and easiest) ways to be more sustainable at home is using less energy and water. While we’re no expert in calculating kilowatts and Btu (British thermal units), it’s safe to say the US uses a lot of energy. That said, if everyone did a little to reduce their energy and water usage, the impact could be a lot. You can start by doing things like:
- Switching to LED lightbulbs (which use 75% less energy and last 25x longer!)
- Turning off lights, electronics, and appliances when you’re not using them
- Using power strips to plug things in
- Opening the windows when you can to reduce AC usage
- Air drying your clothes instead of running the dryer
- Drinking from the faucet
- Turning off the tap when you do things like brushing your teeth or washing your face
- Taking shorter showers and eliminating baths
If you want to reduce your energy and water usage even more, consider investing in energy-efficient appliances, windows, siding, vehicles, and anything else that uses less energy but still serves its purpose.
2. Try composting
In the US alone, it’s estimated that 30-40% of the food supply is wasted. That equals about 133 billion pounds and $161 billion of wasted food. One solution to that problem? Composting, which is the process of adding things like yard waste and food scraps to the soil. As a result, you’re wasting less food while also helping reduce methane emissions and the need for chemical fertilizers. Need help getting started? Check out this Composting At Home guide from Happy DIY Home.
3. Reduce plastic use
It’s no secret that plastic use takes a significant toll on the environment — especially oceans — in which an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic are dumped each year. There are tons of ways to reduce your use of plastic, like:
- Swap plastic straws for stainless steel or glass straws (yes, even at restaurants)
- Use reusable shopping and produce bags
- Request paper instead of plastic bags
- Drink from reusable cups
- Eliminate all single-use plasticware
- Pack and store food in reusable Tupperware
- Try to buy more household products in cardboard boxes instead of plastic
When you can’t entirely cut plastic out of your life, that’s where recycling comes in. Glass, paper, batteries, cardboard, and more — it can all avoid landfills and oceans by implementing recycling. To get started, check out the EPA’s guide to recycling. Then, be sure to research recycling programs and rules in your city. Many have curbside recycling, making it that much easier for you to be sustainable at home!
5. Use natural cleaning products
Simply put, natural cleaning products mean fewer chemicals in the environment, which means cleaner air and a reduction in air pollution. When it comes to your wood care products specifically, you should use solutions with low VOCs — volatile organic compounds. VOCs are not only harmful to the environment, but they can be dangerous if you’re exposed to them for extended periods of time. That’s why at WOCA, all of our natural woodcare products are low in VOCs, reducing our impact on the environment while keeping you and your family safe.
Go green with WOCA
Knowing how to be more sustainable at home can make a big difference in the world. And with a few small adjustments, you can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. At WOCA, we’re proud to do our part by offering plant-based wood care solutions that are both effective and environmentally friendly. Let us be a part of your sustainability journey — check out our natural wood care products to find the right solution for you.