With the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this year, it's got us feeling pretty sentimental about the importance of eco-conscious-living and protecting our planet.
At Bird + Stone, we work hard to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of our business, from responsibly-sourced, upcycled materials to conscious production and making sure to give back to conservation efforts. All of this had us thinking, what simple steps can we take from home to help? Enter this blog post!
We're sure you've heard it before, but small changes from a lot of people make a big difference on a larger scale, even if you adopt a few of these it has an impact! Here are some ways you can be more eco-friendly in the comfort of your home (and actually save money!)
We know it's more of a hassle to break out the Tupperware for the leftovers rather than the plastic wrap or baggies, but these one-use plastics contribute to the eight metric tons of plastic that end up in the ocean per year. Making the switch can create a difference in your contribution to plastic pollution.
By introducing just one day of no meat per week, you can reduce the environmental impact associated with meat production, which makes up 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. One day without meat could save an estimated 100 billion gallons of water each year in the US alone! This switch is a simple way to make a difference, and a great opportunity to try new recipes!
Turn the tap off!
You might be wasting more water than you think; on average, through leaky faucets, inefficient sprinkler systems, and malfunctioning toilets, the annual household's leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water wasted. You can address this through finding and fixing leaks in the home with tips from the EPA on how to spot them. Additionally, you can further reduce water waste by not letting the water run needlessly while washing your hands, dishes, or brushing your teeth. You can also decrease the amount of water you use in the shower by adopting the good 'ole army showers!
It should come as no surprise finding ways to limit your electricity usage is an impactful way to help the environment. Simple changes like turning lights off in rooms that aren't occupied and unplugging electronics when they aren't in use are great ways to start (including the ones you might forget, like your ice-maker!). You can also use your smaller appliances in favor of your electric stove, which can be a royal energy-hog.
Laundry room reductions
Another great place to halt the unnecessary usage of electricity is in your laundry room! Did you know that approximately 75% of the energy used to do a load of laundry goes into heating the water? Cold water proves to preserve clothing colors better, and now most detergents are optimized to work with cooler water, making warm water unnecessary. You can also reduce the amount of electricity by skipping the dryer and hanging your clothes to dry.
Reduce food waste
It is estimated worldwide that ⅓ of the food produced is lost or goes to waste, which in turn wastes the resources that went into making it. How do we help? Make sure to store our foods correctly; things like garlic, onions, and shallots should not be refrigerated, for example. By preserving your food properly, you can cut down on spoilage! You can also designate a leftover day, make sure your leftovers are put to good use by not letting them overstay their visit in the fridge. Additionally, don't let the skins of produce go to waste, many people skip the peels, but they are full of nutrients that are good for you and don't have to add to the garbage bin. If you do have a few food scraps leftover, you can also make a compost pile or bin potentially with supplies you already have at home.
Fix it, don't throw it!
The cardinal rule of our grandparents, fix it first before going out to purchase a new one! We live in a world of convenience, and it's easy to view a minor break or tear as the end of the line for our belongings, but reusing existing items in our home rather than buying new ones reduces garbage in the landfill and doesn't waste resources used to make new products.