How Homeowners Can Improve Environmental Impact Year-Round

by Luke Smith

As a homeowner, you have a unique ability to impact the Earth through your living decisions. You can reduce your environmental impact through the way that your house functions as well as the way that you choose to live within it.

While it’s easy to focus on green living at certain times and in particular seasons, though, it’s important to make it a year-round affair whenever possible. With that said, here are some year-round environmental living tips as well as a few others that can be added in as each season passes you by.

Eco-Friendly Living for All Seasons

Let’s start with eco-friendly living that can be kept up no matter what the current weather patterns may be. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can adjust your habits and upgrade your home to keep your environmental impact as low as possible all year long.

Reuse, Repair, Repurpose, and Recycle

While there are many specific actions that you can take to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s important to start with the right mindset. One of the best ways to do this at all times and in all seasons is by embracing four different “filters” as you make decisions. These are:

  • Reusing: If you’re done with something, don’t just throw it away. Consider if you’ll need it again in the future and hang on to it if that is the case.
  • Repairing: Before you throw something away simply because it broke, consider if you can effectively repair it in order to avoid waste.
  • Repurposing: Once something has run its course, once again, avoid throwing it away without further thought. First, consider if it can be repurposed into another area of your home or life where it can find new value.
  • Recycling: Finally, when you know that you have to get rid of something, still avoid that trash can at all costs. Whenever possible, take the time to properly recycle each item from soup cans to electronics and everything in between.

If you can learn to run through these filters as you make household decisions, it can naturally reduce the impact that your lifestyle has on the environment.

Upgrade Electronics and Technology

There are many areas of your home that can be slowly and quietly upgraded in the name of a long-term, environmentally sound lifestyle.

For example, you can purchase LED lightbulbs in order to reduce your energy consumption. They will also last much longer, which will cut down on waste. If you set up smart LED bulbs, you can even have them automatically turn off at certain times of the day or night.

Appliances are another area that can easily increase the eco-friendly nature of your home. From fridges to freezers, washers to dryers, furnaces to ACs, newer models almost always operate more efficiently. They will use less fuel, and the savings means they will often even pay for themselves over time.

As a final note when it comes to your HVAC system, you can also add a smart thermostat into the mix, as well. This can once again either reduce or raise temperatures in your living space (according to the season) in order to save fuel when you’re sleeping or not at home.

Reduce Your Water Usage

One of the biggest messages of the environmental movement is the need to conserve water. And yet, the average home uses up that precious H2O as if it was free.

This doesn’t just waste a limited resource (clean water) either. It also increases your CO2 emissions. If you’re taking a hot shower, washing your hands, or doing the dishes, you’re also creating CO2 by heating the liquid.

You can ameliorate the issue by reducing the amount of time that you spend on your personal hygiene. You can also install low-flow water fixtures throughout your home to lower the overall amount of water required for basic activities like showering or flushing the toilet.

Start a Garden

Gardening is an excellent way to help the Earth. It allows you to source your food close to home. It also adds to the vegetation growing around your home.

Most gardening is considered a spring, summer, and fall affair. However, if you’re committed, you can also create a container-based indoor garden for the winter if you want to. This enables you to tap into the powerful benefits of gardening all year round. If you live somewhere without a yard this can even be a permanent option for fresh veggies in the home.

Seasonal Green Living Tips

Along with these universal eco-friendly activities, it’s also a good idea to consider how you can improve your environmental impact with each passing season. Here are a few examples of ways to do so.

Walk When You Can

Walking can often only happen when it’s warm enough and the weather is cooperating.

Nevertheless, if you happen to live in an urban area or are close by to things like the grocery store or a friend’s house, try to walk whenever you can. You can also ride a bike if you prefer that option. Either way, this will reduce the emissions created by driving a car.

Compost When the Weather’s Warm

While you can garden indoors, composting inside can be a bit ...smelly. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to keep up an outdoor compost pile whenever the weather is warm enough.

This doesn’t just reduce the amount of waste that you’re creating. It can also be a huge help in maintaining your gardens, as well.

Buy Seasonal Produce

Along with growing a garden, buying local and seasonal produce is a great way to help the Earth.

This reduces the number of miles that your food has to be transported before it reaches your table. As an added bonus, it also is healthier and helps your local economy.

Carpool or Work Remotely in the Winter

Finally, you may not be able to walk or bike around in the winter weather. However, you can still be environmentally conscious in multiple ways.

If you have to commute to work, look for a carpool option. Public transportation is also a good eco-friendly choice. If possible, try to work remotely at times, too, in order to cut the need for transportation out entirely.

Fostering Earth-Friendly Behavior All Year Long

There are many ways to be eco-friendly. Some apply to a single season, others can continue on an annual basis. Some are personally focused and others apply to your home. Some are outdoor and others are indoor.

Regardless of the specific activity, it’s important to look for ways to reduce your impact on the Earth. By doing so, you join millions of others in doing your part to create a safer, more sustainable future.

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