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Sustainable. We’ve heard that word a lot during the last few years. As we want to be frugal and simple people, being careful to not waste and pollute the earth fits into our overall goals. Living frugally works alongside the philosophy of sustainability.
What does Sustainable mean?
The economic benefits of leading a sustainable life can be great, especially longterm. If you take LED lights, for instance, they might cost a little more up front but will save money in the long-term. If they last much longer, then there will be less of them added to landfills. But, sustainability can apply to many other things.
In past times, our ancestors did a better job with having eco-friendly homes. They might not have had LED lights, but they were great at re-using what they had. When they grew food, they canned it in re-usable glass jars. They collected rainwater to use. Table scraps were used to feed the pets or farm animals. A torn shirt was mended and worn until it was no longer wearable.
In our day and age, we can learn much from them. The modern homesteading movement follows the template that goes way back. And, regular home owners can do many things in our homes to create less damage to the earth and save money at the same time.
I love using glass containers and bees-wax wrappers instead of plastic bags and disposable containers. It’s healthier for our bodies and for the planet to re-use natural products. I hope to keep re-using glass jars and containers for decades.
Tips for creating a more sustainable home
Here are some great ways to have a more sustainable existence in your home:
- LED lightbulbs
- Compost food scraps
- Solar panels or solar lights around your home for security
- Insulate your home well, to save on energy costs
- Use rainwater collection to water plants
- Use less plastic containers
- Recycle everything that you can: paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, newspapers
- Mend clothing
- Buy energy efficient appliances
- Bees wax sandwich wrappers instead of plastic bags or foil
- Use natural cleaners or make your own
- Hang clothes out of doors to dry
- Do it yourself projects that use natural methods
- When remodeling, use eco-friendly building materials to create a less toxic home
- Shop local to prevent so much online-shopping packaging
- Re-use paper shopping bags for gift bags, wrapping gifts, or crafts
- Recycle plastic bags or create crafts, better yet, use re-usable grocery bags
- Donate unused items to a thrift store so that items can be used by someone else
- Up-cycle unloved items: home decor, furniture, clothing
- Re-use paper clips, rubber bands, and office supplies
- Use the back side of used paper, write notes on junk mail envelopes, etc.
- Pay bills online to cut down on mail
- Unsubscribe from junk mail when you can
- Use electricity plug-in strips and turn the strip off when it’s not needed
- Turn off lights in rooms you’re leaving
- Keep things clean, so that heavy-duty cleaners aren’t needed
- Clean labels off jars (or other things) with a little peanut butter and a rag
- Disposable make-up removing wipes are handy, but it’s better and cheaper to use a bath cloth and facial cleanser.
- Use re-usable coffee mugs and water bottles and take your drink from home.
- Shop at local farmer’s market for fresh food
- Plant a tree, that will someday provide shade or fruit
- Shop used, and keep an open mind
- Don’t run the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth, or washing hands (while singing happy birthday)
- Plant a garden
- Heavy curtains can be pulled at night or on bitterly cold days or when the sun is heating your room in the summer.
- Live in a tiny home?
- Instead of buying new construction, look for homes that are already built to save money on energy or can be remodeled in a method that is eco-friendly.
- Energy-star windows
- Air conditioners and heaters use the largest percentage of energy in the home, so adjust the thermostat up or down to save money. A programmable thermostat helps.
- Buy less of everything and be content.
We all know ways that our parents taught us that can create a more sustainable home. What are some of the ways that you have learned? Is this a goal for you and your family? Please share your best tips.
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman