The start of fall, it’s the perfect time to begin new sustainability projects. Fall offers all sorts of changes to the outside world, so it’s only fair that we should change some of our habits alongside it.
If you’re not making changes to better the environment, this season is the perfect time to start. In addition to these new habits being more eco-friendly than some of your old ones, you might also find that you save money in some places. Green solutions that stay within budget are always a win!
10 Exercises in Sustainability to Try
Living a sustainable life is easier than you might think. By swapping out little habits with ones that make more sense from an ecological standpoint, you can make a difference in your own life and inspire change for other families.
1. Shopping Secondhand
Buying your clothes secondhand can immensely help the environment because around 85% of clothing items finish their lifespans in landfills rather than recycled. Giving back to your community when you have clothes you don’t want anymore can help you feel like you’ve done your part.
Shopping secondhand is a great idea if you have kids who seem to constantly be growing. By buying secondhand, you know that these clothes will only last them a season, so you won’t be shelling out too much money for something they won’t wear past this growth spurt.
2. Planting Flowers
More flowers for bees to visit encourages pollination. Without the bees, many of our food sources wouldn’t be pollinated. Setting out flowers, especially early in the spring before honeybees’ first food emerges, can help bees survive. Plus, it would be a fun activity for your whole family to enjoy.
3. Eating Responsibly
Knowing where your food comes from is essential to supporting an eco-friendly source. Checking in with the places you purchase your meat can ensure that it was farmed or caught in a sustainable way, which is much better for the environment. You can be sure that the animal’s population and the ecosystem were considered during the process. We want food that tastes good, but knowing that the way it gets to your plate doesn’t harm the environment is important, too.
4. Volunteering Time
As a family, you could volunteer your time toward a worthwhile cause. By cleaning a river or picking up trash from a highway, you’re getting some time outdoors with your family while making a difference in the world. Volunteering might be more of an infrequent habit to take up. Still, it can make a difference in your local community.
5. Planting a Garden
Flowers are lovely to look at, but have you considered adding other greenery to your home? Large plants and trees can provide welcome shade to your home in the summer months, and if you plant the proper variations, you can even eat the fruit your trees bear.
You may choose to opt for another type of garden that provides your family with home-grown food. Planting vegetables in their correct season can save you a lot of money on your grocery bill, plus you’ll know exactly where your food comes from and what you used on it.
6. Composting Waste
If you have food waste, don’t dump it in the trash! You can start your own compost pile so that certain ingredients in your dinner can decompose naturally. What’s better is that it’s an all-natural fertilizer you can use for your personal garden. By saving your compost for later use, you won’t have to worry about your leftovers' effect on the environment by wasting away in landfills.
7. Planning Meals
Planning out your meals is another way to reduce the amount of food waste your family has left at the end of the week. By planning your meals ahead of time, you can use coupons and bring your grocery bill down even further. You can shop for groceries with a set plan in mind so you aren’t distracted by the numerous options on the shelves. Besides, sharing a weekly menu with your family could leave them excited for dinner!
8. Buying Local
If you can, supporting local farmers is always an excellent option over buying from a grocery store. You can know that your produce has been grown with love. Even if you’re only looking for decor, such as gourds or a bale of hay, you might find the same things for cheaper at your local farmer’s market and support a family to boot.
9. Using Homemade Detergent
By using shaved bar soap and a couple of other easy-to-find ingredients, you can make your own laundry detergent and won’t have to rely on overpriced store-bought jugs. Making your own items, like laundry detergent or shampoo, can save you money in the long run, as well as cut down on the plastic containers you bring home.
10. Substituting Single-Use Items
Consider swapping your plastic bags at the store with canvas tote bags that are sturdier and can be used for much longer. You can also eliminate your dependency on plastic water bottles by buying a reusable water bottle and a water filter for your faucet or fridge. Single-use plastics are detrimental to the environment, so finding options that will outlast them is crucial to making a difference.
Go Green and Stay Positive
You’re only one household, and it will take more than just your family to stop the effects of climate change. Sometimes, you can do everything and still feel like it’s hopeless, especially when the wealthiest 10% produce around half of the total carbon emissions.
Just know that you’re making a difference in your family’s lives and encouraging others to be eco-friendly with these healthy, green habits. If you feel better by doing the sustainable activities you love, you should continue to do them. You’ll be making a difference, one plastic bottle at a time.