The benefits of going green are many, including a way to minimize your household’s overall carbon footprint as well as the opportunity to save yourself some money. Taking steps to go green in 2016 doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort in order to see some results. Modernize has put together a list of five fabulously easy ways to go green this year without sacrificing your comfort or convenience—check them out:
Stock up on Reusable Bags
The typical plastic shopping bag can take up to a whopping 1,000 years to decompose in the landfill. And thanks to a lack of air or sunlight in landfills, paper bags aren’t a much better option for consumers. By simply stocking up on a few reusable canvas shopping bags, you’ll help to keep landfill waste down and make an invaluable positive impact on the planet overall. Be sure to keep them clean or they can harbor bacteria.
Try Buying Local First
Buying fresh, local foods when possible is an awesome way to go green because there aren’t any expensive trucking requirements involved, which helps to cut down on air pollution and oil usage. Heading to the farmer’s market and local CSA programs on a regular basis will ensure that you’re getting the most bang for your buck too, because your food will be fresher and have more nutrients than those that come from hundreds of miles away.
Cut Down on Food Waste
In addition to buying local, it’s important to minimize food waste at home so you don’t have be a participant in the more than $162 billion dollars’ worth of food that is thrown away each year in the United States alone. To make minimizing food waste easy, plan and commit to a weekly meal plan and put a small compost bin in the kitchen to hold any scraps that you won’t eat. You can then use the compost to grow a beautiful veggie and herb garden in the yard that will further enable you to save money on food and minimize its waste.
Conserve Energy at Home
Conserving some energy within your household will not only help lower your carbon footprint, but it should also save you a noticeable amount of money on your monthly electric bills. An easy way to get started is simply to make sure that you turn off every light in the house that is not being used, especially before you leave the house. Leave yourself a reminder note on the wall next to the front door so you don’t forget to check every room.
Sealing your windows and doors with caulking or spray foam insulation, as well as installing cellular shades on the windows will also make a big difference in both your energy usage and your comfort levels.
These tips and tricks should be easy to implement right away and once you get used to them, they are sure to become a natural part of your overall lifestyle.
Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currently works as an Editor for Modernize. In addition to regularly contributing to Home Remodeling and Design websites around the web, her writing can be found on Lifehacker and About.com.