15 Eco-Friendly Habits for Your Home - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Apr 15, 2019

15 Eco-Friendly Habits for Your Home

You know how important it is to be environmentally friendly, but perhaps you’re not sure where to start. The good news is that being eco-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult!

A great first step to reducing your carbon footprint is to reassess some of your home habits and practices. Your home, after all, is where you spend most of your time and where you create your day-to-day routines.

Work these simple habits into your home routine for a greener lifestyle: 

1. Start recycling 
Recycling is one of the best things you can do for the planet. Set aside different bins designated to paper, cans, bottles and different kinds of plastics. For plastic containers, look for the small number, usually located on the bottom of the container, to determine the type of plastic and sort appropriately. 

2. Reduce water waste
Try to limit the number of times you run your dishwasher and washing machine. Wait until they are completely full! Also, turn off faucets when you’re not using them. 

3. Ditch plastic storage containers
They’re cheap and, at times, convenient. But storing your leftovers and lunches in plastic containers can be harmful to both the environment and your health, especially when used to reheat food in the microwave. Plastic is made of chemicals that can leach into whatever it comes in contact with. Consider investing in glass containers instead. They’re more expensive up front but they last longer and are more suitable for reheating food. 

4. Use canvas bags instead of plastic 
Invest in some inexpensive canvas bags and use them while you’re out running errands. Aside from being environmentally friendly – canvas bags are also much sturdier than both plastic and paper. Never worry about ripped grocery bags again! 

5. Swap paper towels for rags
Using rags made from old clothing works just as well (if not better) for cleaning than paper towels. Plus, they can be washed and used over and over again. A win for the planet and your wallet! 

6. Start a compost pile
Start composting food scraps instead of throwing them away. Its free fertilizer, plus you’ll have to empty your trash can a lot less. Place a container with a lid under your kitchen sink and throw in coffee grounds, egg shells and fruit and veggie scraps. Dump into your outside compost when full. You’ll thank us later! 

7. Invest in energy-efficient light bulbs 
The next time one of your light bulb blows, replace it with an energy-efficient LED bulb. Sure, it’ll cost more up front, but it will last much longer than a traditional bulb and conserve energy in the process.

8. Use natural cleaning products
Cleaning products made from harsh chemicals are bad for the environment – when you wash them away you’re washing them into the water supply. Instead of spending money on hazardous chemicals, consider making your own cleaning solutions from household items such as vinegar, baking soda and acids found in citrus fruit. Check out our recipe card for homemade multi-purpose cleaner at the end of this list! 

9. Ditch the pod-based coffee
Pod-based coffee systems are convenient – but they’re bad for your wallet and the environment. Using a traditional drip coffee pot can significantly cut back on the number of coffee pods being deposited into landfills. 

10. Get some plants
Plants are not only great for your home décor, they also convert carbon dioxide into oxygen which is great for air quality. A window sill herb garden is great for décor and adding flavor to your food. 

11. Buy a water filter 
Buying a water pitcher with a filter is a great way to cut costs and reduce plastic consumption. No more lugging huge packs of water bottles from the grocery store for you! Don’t forget to also treat yourself to an eco-friendly reusable water bottle. Pro tip: The thermoses that keep your coffee super hot will also keep your water super cold. 

12. Pay your bills online
Cut down on junk mail and save some trees in the process. Many companies also offer discounts for paperless billing!

13. Line dry your clothing
Whether it’s a drying rack or a traditional clothes line, line drying is great for the environment and will help your clothes last longer.

14. Reduce oven use
Appliances such as toasters and microwaves use less energy than conventional ovens. Make and reheat foods using these kitchen tools to save energy. If you do use the oven, cut back on the number of times you open the door to keep the heat in. 

15. Try meatless Mondays
Did you know that skipping out on eating meat can have a huge impact on the environment? This is because of the stress factory farming has on the planet. According to Earth Day Network, eating one less burger a week for a year has the same environmental impact as taking your car off the road for 320 miles. 

Whether you choose to adopt one of these habits or all fifteen, know that every little bit helps in protecting the place we call home. Stick with these practices every day and your carbon footprint will be smaller in no time! 

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