Develop easy and eco-friendly habits to live a more sustainable, healthy life.
Living more sustainably is a laudable goal for many reasons: it empowers your family’s health, can save money and time, and protects the environment by reducing unnecessary waste. Contrary to popular belief, making your home sustainable doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, just making simple swaps to your habits can go a long way in making your home sustainable. We’ve put together a guide to eco-friendly habits—everything from reusable products to green cleaning tools—so that creating sustainability in the home can be an easy part of your everyday life.
Why Sustainability in the Home is Important
The choices we make every day have impacts beyond ourselves, whether it’s choosing to walk instead of driving or picking out a surface cleaner at the grocery store. Environmental experts have identified three pillars of sustainability, which you can use to guide the steps you take to live more sustainably. By living out these values in your home, you can make a big impact in advancing sustainability more broadly.
Sustainability Pillar #1: Environmental
Protect and sustain natural ecosystems by living more sustainably. Prioritizing air quality, water quality, and resource integrity are all ways to be more eco-friendly.
Sustainability Pillar #2: Social
This pillar of sustainability focus on the social impacts of sustainability, like protected and improved human health. Education around sustainability and living sustainably—as individuals and as communities—are also important.
Sustainability Pillar #3: Economic
Finally, living sustainability has economic impacts—for the broader economy and for your wallet. Taking steps to live more sustainably can save you money and time in the short- and long-term. Nationally, pursuing sustainable living can create jobs and ensure development of new technologies that support this way of life.
Learn more about the three pillars and the importance of sustainability here.
Sustainability Guide: How to Make Your Home Sustainable
#1: Be water-wise
Preserving water resources is an important way to ensure reliable water supplies today and for future generations. There are many easy changes you can make to your family’s normal routine to use water more efficiently. Try to take shorter showers—or even turn off the water while you lather up your shampoo. Another easy habit: check (and fix) leaky pipes. Small household leaks can add up to gallons of water lost every day. Finally, reduce the number of plastic water bottles you use by using a reusable, fillable water bottle. Not only do the nearly 38 billion bottles thrown away take thousands of years to biodegrade, but the average American spends $260 each year on plastic water bottles. Some studies even linked BPA, a chemical often found in plastic water bottles, to negative health effects for children and adults. Swapping plastic water bottles for reusable is a sustainable habit that’s good for your health, the planet, and your wallet.
#2: Green up your diet
You may already be a pro at healthy eating habits, but have you thought about where your foods are coming from? Making eco-friendly choices around what we eat is a surefire way to improve the sustainability of your home. When buying produce, try to shop local—scope out community farmers’ markets to see what’s grown nearby. Buying food locally cuts down on the average 1,500 miles that food typically travels. Another sustainable swap: limit the amount of meat you consume. Meat and dairy account for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization. That doesn’t mean you need to go vegan tomorrow, though! Try introducing a Meatless Monday to your weekly meal planning to naturally reduce the amount of meat you consume each week. You may discover more creative vegetarian dishes, all while living more sustainably.
#3: Think twice before shopping
If you’ve heard the eco-friendly mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” then this tip won’t surprise you. Every product we purchase has an environmental impact—from pollution during manufacturing to packaging waste in landfills—so an easy way to live sustainably is to think through your purchases before you make them. Ask yourself some questions to reduce unnecessary purchases: Do I really need this? Could I buy a gently used version rather than buying new? Could I buy this locally? Are there options with minimal or eco-friendly packaging?
#4: Hang dry your clothes
Skip the dryer and hang dry your clothes. Not only does line-drying clothes save on electricity bills, it’s a guaranteed way to help live more sustainably. In fact, air-drying your clothes can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year. It also reduces the risk of home fire and reduces the amount of wrinkles in clothing, meaning you may not have to iron as frequently. It’s a win-win sustainable swap.
#5: Clean (or replace) air filters frequently
Make sure your indoor heating, cooling, and purifying systems are working efficiently to avoid wasting energy and inadvertently raising your utility bills. Change your air filters frequently to increase the system efficiency and save energy. Replacing air filters frequently, particularly for air purifiers, can also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system and help maximize the life of your purification system.
#6: Opt for reusable cleaning cloths instead of paper towels
When life gets messy, reach for a reusable cleaning cloth instead of a roll of paper towels. Single use paper towels create a lot of waste—13 billion pounds of paper towels are used each year in the U.S. alone—so opting for washable cloths is a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative. When using reusable cloths, it’s important to wash them well so that you don’t smear old germs around when wiping up surfaces. SoClean’s PowerWipe easily cleans surfaces, eliminating the need for single-use paper towels, while the Device Disinfector makes it easy to refresh the cloth with just a push of a button.
#7: Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Some cleaning products are filled with harsh chemicals that can damage the environment. Look for green cleaning products that have biodegradable or recyclable packaging, organically-grown ingredients, and no phosphates or chlorine. You can also search the EPA database to see if your cleaning products meet the recommended requirements to minimize environmental impact. Using a home cleaning system can make it easy to stop using harsh chemical cleaners while still enjoying a polished, natural clean.
Making Home Sustainability Habits Last
Making big changes to your habits can be hard, especially when it comes to living a more eco-friendly life. The most important thing is that you take simple steps that can become a natural part of your lifestyle. After all, little changes add up to big changes. Try implementing just one of the tips above for a few weeks until you become acclimated. Then add in another—and another.
SoClean is committed to helping you make eco-friendly swaps easy and hassle-free. As a first step, try switching out paper towels for reusable cloths that can be easily cleaned using the SoClean O3 Smarthome Cleaning SystemTM.
As you live a more sustainable life, your home, your body, and the environment will thank you.