How to Incorporate Eco-Friendly Products

 


From rising sea levels and temperatures to shrinking ice caps and rainforests, it’s no surprise that climate change is becoming a hotter topic—literally. 


Before you get discouraged, know that there are many ways to personally support your home planet. Between home renovations and better shopping habits, here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate green products into your life.


#1 Inspect Labels

“All-natural,” “organic,” “chemical-free”—eco-friendly marketing has become a confusing haze. When companies greenwash (as in, falsely market themselves as more sustainable than they truly are), they can trick us into believing our purchase helps the environment when it doesn’t.


Before you hit the stores, put on your detective cap and do a little research. For clothing options, check for certifications by environmental organizations like the World Fair Trade Organization (WTFO) or Made-By.


Unsure what “organic” really means? The USDA’s National Organic stamp of approval guarantees sustainable production. And if you find yourself lost among the aisles, nifty smartphone apps can point you in the eco-friendly direction. 


#2 Research Energy-Efficient Appliances

Looking for a more permanent change? Energy-efficient appliances will not only lower your negative environmental impact, but they’re also the gift that gives back—your monthly heat bill will be a little shorter with each green choice. 



These sustainable options are proven to lower your energy bill:


  • Temperature control – As with most problems, start by going right to the source. Installing an energy efficient HVAC system will immediately cut down on your home’s energy usage.


  • Refrigerators – Leaving the fridge door wide open while you whip up your latte or prep the vegetables for dinner isn’t the only way this appliance wastes energy. Choose a model with a top-mount freezer and EnergyStar certification for maximum eco-friendliness. 


  • Laundry machines – Soccer practice, school uniforms, and messy eaters add up to multiple weekly loads. Keep your laundry green (and clean) by choosing machines that cut both detergent and time, such as this Fisher & Paykel model.


#3 Buy Local & Second-Hand

You’re right, you’re right, it’s hard to refuse overnight Amazon Prime delivery. These days, you don’t even have to change out of your PJs to buy milk and cereal. But delivery trucks and cargo airplanes are not exactly eco-friendly. 


It’s about time you started buying locally. For groceries, stock up on nutritious vegetables at your nearby farmer’s market or use apps like Locavore to explore your city’s options. Food cooperatives are another great way to buy local and find a community within your community.


Don’t be afraid to purchase used furniture and clothing from neighbors and friends! Second-hand and thrift stores help recycle quality goods with a bit more charm than that run-of-the-mill IKEA table, anyway.


#4 Push Away the Paper & Plastic

The little things your household does—printing out directions and recipes (seriously, mom, why?) or using heaps and heaps of paper napkins for every little spill—can seem insignificant in small doses. But if you zoom out, you’ll notice that paper and plastic overuse is everywhere. From the grocery aisles to the bathroom stalls, disposable materials are sadly the standard.


As a consumer, this is where smart purchases can make a massive difference on your landfill contribution. Here are a few of our favorite products to battle excess waste: 


  • Reusable totes – With more states imposing shopping bag taxes, it’s an excellent time to stash a few reusable totes in your car and closet for on-the-go shopping. For bonus points, buy already-recycled materials like cotton or denim—that checks the reuse and recycle boxes!


  • Cleaning supplies – Ditch the Bounty rolls and opt for machine-washable microfiber towels instead. Add in some eco-friendly cleaning liquids, and you’ll have the greenest kitchen around.


  • Food storage – Just think of how many sandwiches and crackers you’ve packed in Ziploc bags over the years. Forget the single-use plastic and incorporate reusable options like beeswax wrap into the school lunchbox (plus, the designs are way cuter). 


Say Later to Litter

At the end of the day, building a sustainable lifestyle is a process best done slow and steady. Make one new decision at a time, and you’ll be able to permanently stick with any eco-friendly additions to your home. We hope this guide will inspire you to choose green—today and every day.  


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