Today I’m sharing a few tips for Earth Day to help you make some super small changes both inside and outside to be more green at home.
This post is sponsored by Greenworks, but all opinions and ideas are all mine! Thanks for supporting the brands that support Love & Renovations.
Happy Earth Day!
As Corey and I have been turning some of our efforts outside this spring and working on sprucing up the exterior of our home, we’ve also been spending some time thinking about how we can make some changes to be more green on a day-to-day basis. Since today is Earth Day, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share a few of the changes we’re committing to making in 2019, and I’d love to hear what you’re working on too!
Our friends at Greenworks are also really committed to helping people be more eco-friendly, so they’ve started a fun Facebook group where you can share not only how you’re working to be more green, but you can also share projects you’re working on around your yard and get tips and help from the pros! It’s a really fun community, and if you read to the end of the post I’ll give you some details on how you can possibly win $300 for joining! I’d love to see you over there.
Today, I’m teaming up with several other incredibly talented bloggers and friends to bring you some ideas for how to be more green at home. After you read this post, be sure to come back here to check out all of the other amazing ideas! Here are all of the bloggers participating with me:
- The Handmade Home
- Thistlewood Farms
- French Country Cottage
- Lolly Jane
- Refresh Restyle
- Sincerely Sara D
Basically, your reading schedule for the day is set, my friends!
And now, here are 10 super simple ideas for how you can be more green around the home. You won’t have to make any sweeping changes, and you’ll barely even notice the extra effort! These tips are great if you’re just starting to explore how to be more eco-friendly, and they’re a perfect jumping off point for some bigger changes down the road.
Earth Day Tips: 10 Easy Ways to be More Green at Home
1. Choose re-usable products over disposable ones whenever possible. I find that the easiest places to start are with re-usable water bottles and shopping bags. Every person in my family has (at least) one water cup or bottle that we take just about everywhere with us. It saves us from needing to purchase plastic water bottles at the store, and even when we’re out and about and get thirsty, we usually have our bottle with us so we don’t need to grab water on the go, either. I also always keep my stash of re-usable grocery bags in the trunk of my car so that I can pull them out when I get to the store. On the occasions where I forget to bring my re-usable bags in (it happens!), I always save and re-use the plastic grocery bags. They’re perfect for bringing food to a dinner party, picking up dog poop in the backyard, or stashing wet bathing suits until we can get home after a trip to the pool.
2. Plant a tree (or a few!). Not only is planting trees great for the environment, it’s a beautiful way to add some curb appeal and shade to your home! We planted an orange tree in our side yard last year and it hasn’t taken off like we had hoped (our ground is so rocky, I think it just can’t really root properly), but I’m determined to try again! I’d love to try another fruit tree, or maybe even a magnolia tree – my sister planted one a few years ago in her front yard, and it makes me smile every time I drive past her house! You’d be surprised at how affordable and simple it is to plant a tree at your home, and it’s a win-win for both the environment and you.
3. Donate used items + shop thrift stores whenever possible. You might not always think of being thrifty as a particularly eco-friendly choice, but if you think about it, shopping at the thrift store is one of the most green ways to shop! You’re re-using items that have been cast off by someone else, and it reduces your footprint when you aren’t buying new items for your home. Plus, it’s fun! When we have things in our home that we are ready to get rid of, we always choose to donate versus just tossing them (unless they’re obviously damaged or unsalvageable – don’t donate trash to the thrift stores, because that creates a whole other problem!). And, on the flip side, when we are looking for something new in our home we typically check our local thrift stores and Facebook Marketplace before we head out to the store. I have a whole series with ideas on how you can make over thrift store finds, so be sure to head there if you’re looking for ideas!
4. Be conscious of your energy usage at home. This one seems a little obvious, but you’d be surprised at how much of a difference you can make but just making a few small adjustments in your day-to-day life. Make a habit of turning off the lights before you leave the room. Shut down your laptop in the evenings before you go to bed. Unplug appliances that you don’t use as frequently (like your toaster or blender). Turn your AC up just a couple of degrees, or purchase a smart thermometer that can automatically adjust the temperature when you aren’t at home. These little changes can add up to a bigger impact, and they don’t require much of you!
5. Switch to CFL lightbulbs around the house. Compact florescent bulbs can use as little as 1/5 of the power of regular old incandescent lightbulbs and, while they’re more expensive than your old lightbulbs, they can save you a notable amount of money in the long run as they tend to last much, much longer. It’s another easy change you can make that will reduce the overall footprint of your home!
6. Choose plants that require less water. Another simple change we’ve been working to make around our home is to intentionally choose plants that require less frequent waterings and can handle the Texas heat a little better. Last spring we planted some pretty flowers in our front bed, but if I didn’t water them a lot every single day, they quickly began to die off. Not only was it not super sustainable for us to remember to do that, it also felt like such a drastic overuse of water. This weekend, we went out and spent some time choosing plants that are much better at handling the heat and require much less frequent waterings. It’s another win-win – our yard will look prettier with less effort for us, and we’re using way less water!
7. On that note, re-use water around the house to water your plants. I’ve been working on being better about re-using water around our home whenever possible – you can drain pasta over a bowl and use that water to water the garden once it cools. Similarly, you can toss a bowl in the sink when you’re washing produce and use the extra water in the garden! Rather than tossing leftover water from drink cups down the drain, I toss it into a plant. It’s a simple mindset shift that adds up to using a lot less water around the house. Of course, you can also add a rain barrel to the backyard to collect rainwater and use that for the garden if you want to take it even further!
8. Use cloth napkins at mealtime. I’ll admit, we have a bad habit of grabbing paper towels at dinnertime when we need to use a napkin. It’s a really unnecessary waste when we have perfectly good (and adorable!) cloth napkins – they aren’t just for fancy dinners! I’m making a commitment to pull those out every night instead of reaching for paper – it’s such a tiny change that will save so much paper over time!
9. Have a meatless dinner once a week. Did you know that eating meat actually has quite a large impact on the environment? I’m not about to go vegetarian (I love bacon far too much), but I recently learned that eating one less burger per week is the equivalent of taking your car off the road for over 300 miles! We’re going to be making an effort to participate in Meatless Mondays so we can reduce our carbon footprint as a family – and it’s also a fun way to stretch our culinary creativity and try new recipes!
10. Switch to cold water for your laundry. Unless you really need to sanitize your clothing (if someone is sick or you got something really gross on your clothes), there really isn’t much of a reason to use hot water in the washer. Your washer will use significantly less energy if you switch to cold, and you may be surprised to find that your clothes get just as clean! I’ve used cold water almost exclusively for years, and I haven’t ever had issues! I almost never use hot water but I will occasionally switch to warm if I need something sanitized or if it’s particularly dirty.
GIVEAWAY + FACEBOOK GROUP
If you want to join us in our pledge to be more green this year, be sure to join Greenwork’s Facebook group to help you stay on track! Plus, you’ll be entered to win a $300 Lowe’s gift card if you join and take the pledge (see more on the giveaway right here!). Oh, and you can get an extra entry by sharing your story in the Facebook group. I hope to see some of you there!