Sustainable living is growing in popularity every day. But what exactly does it mean to live sustainably?
At Sun Badger Solar, we believe sustainability starts with the energy that your home uses. However, it doesn’t stop there. Sustainability is also the clothes you wear, the food you eat, and much more. Basically, knowing what goes into the products that you’re consuming and using is essential.
So what does sustainability entail for you—and how can you live more sustainably? Let’s break it down.
What is Sustainable Living?
When something is sustainable, that means that it can be maintained at a certain level of growth. Sustainable living is used to describe situations where humans intentionally try to use less of the earth’s most valuable resources. These resources might be different minerals or simple things like water.
As we talk about sustainable living, we’ll focus on things that you can do to live more sustainable or eco-friendly lives at home.
How to Live More Sustainably
There are several ways that you can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of the more simple ways involve being conscious of how much water and energy you’re using. Here are a few ways that you can be more energy conscious around your home.
- Turn lights off when you’re not in the room.
- Upgrade to high-efficiency light bulbs.
- Upgrade to high-efficiency appliances.
- Hang dry clothes when you can.
- Reduce hot water use.
- Use smart power strips.
- Seal any air leaks and ensure that your home is well insulated.
These are just a few simple steps that you can take around your home to start living a more sustainable lifestyle. As you get started, living sustainably won’t always be easy. It can often take more work on our part, but the reward is always worth it.
Eating locally doesn’t mean going to the McDonalds down the street or shopping at Walmart. Eating locally can sometimes be more expensive, but it’s often much more sustainable. A solid way to start eating more locally is to look throughout your city or neighboring cities for farmers’ markets and local meat markets. In most cases, you can do a quick Google search and find tons of awesome farmers’ markets. Most of the booths throughout the market will be local farmers selling produce and goods that they’ve made in their homes.
Another way to find local food is to look for local farmers that regularly sell to the public. You can find farmers who grow corn, beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, and more depending on where you’re located. Some farmers will raise cattle, sheep, and pigs to sell for meat as well. A little research should get you a long way! If you’re having trouble finding a farmer, ask your local meat market if they know of any. Meat markets are often closely connected to farmers.
Plant a Garden or Trees
One of the easiest ways to live a sustainable life is by growing and producing some of your food. You probably won’t be able to make your cereal or grow enough wheat to make flour, but you can grow some tasty vegetables! Carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumbers, are just a few examples of veggies that are easy to grow and will turn out delicious.
You can also plant trees! If you have a yard that is mostly grass, trees are a great way to help out the environment, reduce your carbon footprint, and add some life to your backyard. Better yet, trees aren’t too much work. As long as you keep them watered in their first few years of life, they’ll take care of themselves.
If you want to double up on these strategies, you can purchase a fruit tree!
Change to Electric Transportation
Of course, you still have to get to work and run errands, grocery shop, etc. But what if you purchased an electric vehicle instead of a gas vehicle? Carbon emissions come from several different sources, but one of the largest sources of carbon emissions is the transportation industry. Electricity isn’t sustainably sourced in every region throughout the U.S., but it is in many places. Changing from fossil fuels to electricity can have a huge impact on the environment.
If you’re considering getting into an electric car, be sure to be on the lookout for local and state tax incentives. Tax credits and deductions can help make an expensive purchase much more doable. When you do make the switch to an electric vehicle, you might notice your electricity bill is rising. One way that we encourage people to save on electricity is by installing solar for their homes.
Solar is a renewable energy source completely based on the sun. The sun is one of the best natural resources available to humanity. After your initial investment into solar panels, you can expect an ROI within 10-15 years. But that’s not where the life of your solar panels will end. Solar panels can produce energy for 25-30 years and often longer!
The solar panels that Sun Badger installs come with a 25-year workmanship warranty. That means if anything goes wrong, we’ll make it right. Solar is also a viable means of saving money on your energy bills. When you install solar, it’s possible to offset your energy by 100%. That means instead of paying the never-ending energy bills, you can start paying off your solar loan. After it’s paid off, electricity will be completely free to you!
Don’t Use One Time Use Products
One time use products were once the wave of the future! Today it’s normal to use a razor once or to pull a paper plate from the kitchen counter. But with all that convenience, there’s been an overload of waste. The landfills are filling up, and there are trillions of pounds of plastic in the world’s oceans.
It’s not always convenient to use reusable products. Taking a plastic water bottle is sometimes easier than using your refillable bottle. But, when you start turning to reusable products regularly, living sustainably will become more natural. As a general rule, try to avoid single-use products.
4 Ways to Recycle
Recycling can be more than just the can full of plastic at the end of your driveway. Here are three ways that you should consider recycling around your home.
Buy Used Not New
When you’re looking for a new outfit or a new pair of shoes, you don’t always have to go to the local outlet mall to get a good deal. You can buy used and save a significant amount of money! And, when you’re buying used, you’re not just saving money, you’re saving the planet too. Clothes are one of the biggest wastes the world produces. There are trillions of pounds of clothes thrown out every year. Most of those clothes have nothing wrong with them at all.
Resell Unwanted Items
Before turning to the trash can, try selling stuff online. Many people would be surprised that their “worthless” junk is worth something to someone. You can sell things at a garage sale, but another great way is through Craigslist or Facebook market. The Facebook market has become a popular place to sell used goods. Whether you’re looking to get rid of your old record player, couch, TV, or gaming console, there’s going to be a buyer for you.
Recycle Your Plastic, Paper, and Metal Waste
Sorting your waste into a recycling bin shouldn’t be the only way that you choose to recycle, but it is an important way. With new technology every year and companies becoming more committed to creating products with recycled plastic and other elements, it’s essential to support the use of recycling and recycled products in our world.
Turn Food Waste into Compost
Composting is a great way to reuse yard waste and food waste. The process of composting is also really simple. Purchase a cheap compost buck from amazon or build your own, place the food and yard waste in the bin or on the compost pile and turn it occasionally. Add water when the compost gets dry, and after six months or so, you’ll have fresh, rich soil.
As you can see, there are tons of things you can do to live more sustainably. Sustainable living can be intimidating at first, but it doesn’t need to be something that you’re afraid of. Instead, dive into it and see what you can learn about living more sustainably. We’re all about becoming more environmentally sustainable, especially when it comes to the world’s energy production and consumption. If you want to learn more about how you could use solar for a more environmentally friendly power source, contact Sun Badger today!