Oftentimes people think that making sustainable, eco-friendly choices is expensive. But that’s a misconception. It’s actually more about convenience and changing habits, rather than purchasing new things. Yes, a hybrid car and organic foods can help, but those are not the only ways to contribute to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. But when it comes to buying sustainable products, many people are left with questions. How do I know this is sustainable? How much recycled material went into this product? Did making it cause more environmental damage than the product warrants? There are some truths that are important to remember.
Many of these suggestions will not only help the environment but will also help you save money!
One of the many amenities at Garden Communities Connecticut is the apartment maintenance available to our residents. Don’t waste valuable resources like water and heat by not fixing a leak or a gap. Contact your maintenance manager to report any faucet leaks or gaps in windows or doors. You can also put weather stripping around doors and windows to keep the outside air where it belongs: outside. This will allow your heating and cooling systems to work optimally, saving you money on unnecessary temperature adjustments and, worse, potential humidity issues.
What to Buy
You can invest in bulk-sized cleaning supplies so that refilling that hand soap or window cleaner is easy and only requires a once-a-quarter purchase. Switch to paper towels and toilet tissue made from recycled materials. Instead of using paper or plastic grocery bags, bring reusable shopping bags to the supermarket. Switch from bottled water to a reusable water bottle, as it requires up to three times the water a bottle holds in order to make the plastic bottle itself.
Save money and energy by being more efficient. Keep lights turned off when the sun is high or you’re not using a specific room. If you require light, try to use a task light instead of an overhead light. Switch from regular lightbulbs to energy efficient ones; not only will this save energy by not emitting as much heat and by using smarter energy to create light, but the bulb itself will last longer which will save you money overall. Turn your air conditioners to “Energy Save” mode in the warmer months. It will keep your space cool without breaking the bank. Another easy hack is to unplug electronics when not using them. Create a heating and cooling systems schedule so you are not unnecessarily using energy to heat or cool your home when no one is there.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
This is one that most people do, but often wonder if they’re doing it correctly. Recycling can reduce pollution, conserve natural resources, and ultimately save both money and energy. Certain plastics are not recyclable, and others are. The same is true of paper products. But how do you know which is which? A general rule of thumb is that clean bottles, clean cans, cardboard, and paper are recyclable.
But what about other things like aerosol cans, batteries, and electronic waste? The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has a handy breakdown of common household items, what is and what is not recyclable, and how to dispose of them safely
Other Home Hacks
Did you know that natural light is better for your mental and physical health than any other kind of light? Keep your curtains and blinds open during the colder months to help both warm up spaces and keep the lights off. You won’t have to adjust your temperature as much because the natural light will help do it for you. Not only is this a sustainable way to live, it will also improve your circadian rhythm.
Want another home hack? Green up your space with plants. Having plants in your home will help improve both mood and air quality, while also being a nice piece of home décor. Many plants can naturally filter out carbon dioxide while also absorbing moisture, ensuring a clean and dry environment.