Sometimes, it's the little things in life that make the biggest difference. While big changes like a fancy thermostat or new solar panels can have a big impact on your home's energy efficiency and thus sustainability, there are a few small changes you can easily make today that will add up to significant energy and money savings in the long run.
1. Grow houseplants.
Besides literally making your space more green, houseplants have a number of health and energy benefits. They really do improve air quality, but not just by reducing carbon dioxide and increasing oxygen levels. They also increase humidity, reduce airborne dust levels and help keep air temperature down. There's also research finding that houseplants help improve mood and even reduce recovery time for surgical patients!
2. Swap in LED bulbs.
If you haven't done this yet, do it now! Gone are the days where LED bulbs were expensive and cast a spooky, cold blue light over everything. They've gotten warmer, cheaper, and increasingly more efficient. Probably their biggest advantage, however, is that they last years or even decades.
3. Work on using dishtowels more than paper towels.
Switching to a paper-free kitchen is one of those "why didn't I do this before?" moments. I kicked my paper towel habit recently by just hiding the paper towel roll under the sink and replacing it with a stack of tea towels on the counter. It wasn't long before I realized I didn't miss the paper towels at all, and finally got to use and display all of the nice tea towels I'd accumulated over the years but kept stashed in a back drawer. Also, it occurred to me that paper towels are one thing you never see in professional restaurant kitchens. If it's good enough for a Michelin-starred kitchen, then it's good enough for mine!
4. Clothes swap parties and/or thrifting.
A clothes swap, kitchen swap, or toy swap is probably the greenest type of party you can host. There are lots of ways to do this, but basically you'll want to set a date, clean out your closet/cupboards/kid's room, invite everyone to do the same, and then gather. There are also lots of swap meetups that happen on a monthly basis, which can be a great way to change up your wardrobe in a sustainable and affordable way.
5. Switch from plastic bottles to a refillable pitcher.
This one's a no-brainer. Every Brita water filter used means 300 water bottles are saved — that's a lot of plastic! Switching to an at-home filter and using it with a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest and biggest ways to make your home more sustainable. Brita's new Stream pitchers make it easier than ever, since they filter water as you pour it out. In other words, no more waiting for tap water to drip through a filter and into the reservoir before you can drink it.
This post was created by the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio and is sponsored by Brita.
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