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In recent years, many Americans have come to understand the impact humans have had on the planet. A growing number of people are making a conscious effort to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle to slow down pollution and global warming as much as possible. Courtesy of Confront the Climate Crisis, here are some steps you can take to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
One of the easiest ways to reduce your home's carbon footprint is recycling. Only 9% of plastic is recycled in the United States. About 12 billion metric tons will overwhelm landfills by 2050. When you recycle items such as old paper, plastic, and metal cans, you prevent them from ending up in a landfill where they may take hundreds of years to decompose. You can even recycle old appliances, cell phones, and other electronics by calling your city's recycling department to see what they accept.
Stop Using Disposable Plastic Bags
Another easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is using reusable bags for grocery shopping. In many areas, plastic bags are now subject to a small fee, which may be enough to sway you to remember your reusable bags. If not, consider bringing some cloth or mesh bags with you on your next shopping trip.
Use LED Lights
If you can choose between two otherwise equal light fixtures, choose the one with an LED bulb. These lights use 80% less energy and last up to 20 times longer than traditional light bulbs. This can mean significant savings on your electric bill and a smaller carbon footprint.
Install Solar Panels
Update your house with solar panels. During the upgrade, consider adding dual-pane windows to improve insulation and further lower your energy bills. Be sure to consult with a contractor to learn more about the costs and benefits of adding solar panels.
Homeowners looking to sell their home soon might consider other eco-friendly upgrades, such as replacing the roof to save more on energy costs and reduce usage. If you're in the market for a new house, look for homes with solar roof tiles, which provide a lovely aesthetic, boost your home's value, and help the environment.
If you live in an arid climate, you can help your home's water usage by planting native plants, which better tolerate drought conditions. Residents in California, where water shortages and wildfire danger can be a concern, have responded well to this eco-friendly landscaping trend. Take before and after pictures of all home improvements and keep receipts and paperwork for tax purposes.
Consider starting a compost pile for your organic waste. This can help reduce the amount of trash headed to a landfill and improve soil fertility. If you don't have the greenhouse space for a compost pile, consider home composting kits that are easy to use. Also, add rain barrels to your home to collect water from your downspouts and use it for plants in the yard.
Help Save the Environment
There are several ways to limit your environmental impact and help the planet. If you're not recycling, start now, and make some upgrades to your home to do your part to reduce pollution.
Confront the Climate Crisis is committed to fighting for climate justice in Indiana. Learn more about how you can take action and make a meaningful difference.