Here at Open Farm, we eat, breathe, and sleep sustainability—and so do our dogs! One of the most common misconceptions about making sustainable choices is that it takes a lot of effort. But we’re happy to say that this simply isn’t true! If you want to reduce your carbon footprint but you’re not sure how, check out these 7 sustainable life hacks to live a more healthy, eco-conscious life!
1. Clean Green
Natural, homemade cleaning solutions are not only better for your family and the environment, they’re way cheaper than store-bought versions! Check out these home cleaning solutions from goodonyou.org.au.
- Clean windows with a solution made of one part vinegar, four parts water. Pour into a spray bottle and spay, swipe, and shine!
- Clogged drain? Skip the chemical-filled gels. Pour a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a 1/2 cup of vinegar. Cover with a damp cloth, wait five minutes, then run hot water to clear the crud.
- For an all-around cleaner, make a paste out of 1/2 a cup of baking soda and two tablespoons of vinegar. Once the fizz has subsided, scrub pots and pans, tubs, toilets…everything!
2. Be Thrifty
Lucky for us, thrift shopping is cool. Rather than buying new, check out thrift and consignment stores. Likewise, when you’re ready to get rid of things, donate rather than dump them. You can even try to re-sell your items (think yard sales, Craigslist, or consignments shops) to make some extra cash!
3. Switch to Reusable Drink Containers
You’ve probably heard time and time again that society’s obsessive use of disposable plastic bottles is creating waste. The solution? Get a reusable water bottle that’s not only eco-friendly, it’s chic too! Also, save time, money, and the planet with your daily cup of joe. Pour home-brewed coffee into a reusable travel mug rather than buying it and tossing the cardboard cup. But if your store-bought soy latte is the highlight of your day, get it from a place that offers reusable mugs (and with it, discounted coffee refills.)
4. Save Some Energy
The easiest way to do this is to switch lights and appliances off when you leave the room! And all those chargers for your many electronics? Make sure you unplug ‘em when they’re not in use. Turn down the heat or AC when you’re not home, and get low energy lightbulbs for your light fixtures.
5. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags
Get a handful of cool canvas tote bags to stash in your car for when you go grocery shopping or run other errands.Think how many plastic bags you’ll save from landfills…just don’t forget to bring them into the store!
6. DIY Dog and Cat Toys
Whether you have a dog or a cat—or both—you know that buying new toys is sometimes an all-around waste. Many dogs love to destroy, while cats remain completely disinterested. Upcycle some household items by trying your hand at homemade pet toys! Your dog will love the crinkle of a water bottle wrapped in an old T-shirt, and your cat will go crazy over her homemade cardboard hideaway. Check out these awesome ideas for dogs and for cats.
7. Go Paperless
When available, sign up for “paperless” settings to pay your bills and receive information. After all, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all that loose mail strewn about the house!