Jul 14, 2017

Sustainability Made Simple: Ten Simple Changes Families Can Make Today - Sponsored Post

I'm not sure how it became that my father became such a conservationist.  Whether it was living during a depression, working in the environmental field, or just having a strong connection to the world around us, but he's been working toward sustainability before it was even a popular phrase.



I grew up working in rooms with natural light, recycling every scrap of plastic and metal, composting almost every bit of food waste, growing food in our garden, using grocery bags for our garbage bags.

There are so many ways that you and your family can have a positive impact on your environment, plus these tricks and tips will actually save you money.  A little bit of time is all you need to move toward a more sustainable lifestyle.

Like these tips?  Find more in the book: Sustainability Made Simple: Small Changes for Big Impact 

1. Re-use Your Drinking Cups

This is a simple way to save water and energy.  By using drinking cups multiple times before you wash them you are washing less and in turn saving money, water & energy.  If you have a large family, having water bottles that are color coded or even labeled with names can help with this task.  We also have a designated place for our bottles, so the kids know where to find them when they get thirsty throughout the day.

2. Wear Your Pajamas (or Clothing) a Couple of Times


So this follows along the same lines as the drinking cups.  Use clothing until it becomes soiled before you wash it.  (This also applies to bath towels.) The less laundry you do the less money you spend on water and energy.  Added bonus, less laundry means less folding and putting away, which is one of my least favorite household tasks.

3.  Save Money in the Bathroom

The average shower head uses about 2.5 gallons of water per minute, so limiting your shower time is essential to saving water and energy.  You can reduce your time in the shower (30 seconds can save about 1 gallon) and replace your shower head with a more efficient model.  For those that want to be super efficient, you can turn the water on briefly to get wet, turn off the water, lather up, then turn the water back on to rinse.  Setting a timer can also be helpful in reducing water use in the shower.

4.  Don't Let Your Parked Vehicle Idle

You can reduce your carbon footprint by turning off your car when you are not driving.  Every ten minutes your engine is running it produces one pound of carbon dioxide.  Turning the car off as soon as you park and reducing the warm up time can have a positive impact on the environment.

5.  Bring Reusable Bags to the Store

You can cut down on plastic waste by bringing your own bags to the store.  Doing this at the grocery store can have a huge impact on your footprint.  Some stores even offer a discount if you bring your own bags.
I love this Lotus Trolley Bag from Amazon.com (affiliate link): http://amzn.to/2tRchvi

6.  Donate, Recycle, Re-home

When you are ready for items to leave your home, you should think about how to keep them out of the landfill.  If someone else might be able to use the item, you can have a garage sale, list the items in a local Facebook group that does buy/sell/trade, donate the items to a local charity, list them on FreeCycle.org or give them to someone you know that can use the items.  If the items are not usable, then you may be able to recycle them.  Many Metro Detroit Communities have curbside pick up for recycle items.  Our city actually makes money on its recycling program.  For food waste, consider a compost option that will help your gardens by providing nutrient rich soil.


7.  Support Local 

Buying items that are made locally supports our micro economy but it also has a positive impact on our environment.  Locally owned businesses will often locally source their supplies, reducing the carbon footprint caused by transportation.

8.  Turn Off the Lights

A super easy way to reduce your electric bill and carbon footprint.  At our home, we have one child who is charge of this task.  Carlyn takes pride in making sure lights are off when we leave the house.  Also, consider not turning on lights when natural lighting will suffice.

9.  Turn Down Your Water Heater

Most people have their hot water heater set to 140 degrees.  However if you reduce that to 120 you will save about $40 per year and also extend the life of your pipes.  Reducing the temperature of your hot water heater will also reduce the risk of burns from hot water at the sink or in the tub.

10.  Eat Local and Seasonal

Food travels and average of 1,500 miles from farm to your table, so seeking out food that is locally grown can have a huge impact of GHG emissions.  Locally grown food is also fresher and taste better because it is picked when it is ripe.  There is nothing like picking your own fruit and veggies from the farm or visiting a local farmer's market.  It's a great way to get your family involved in the meal prep process as well.

You can find these tips and so many more in the book: Sustainability Made Simple: Small Changes for Big Impact  Follow the Authors, Lauren and Rosaly’s blog: https://thesustainabilitycooperative.net/

Please follow Lauren and Rosalyn onTwitter: @sustain_cooptve or on Instagram: @sustainability_cooperative
What do you and your family do that has a positive impact on our world?  Please leave a comment below.

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