Three Simple Steps to Making Your Home More Planet Friendly
Sustainable. Compostable? Biodegradable! Carbon footprint?! Eco-friendly jargon can be just as confusing as cryptocurrency sometimes (for the LOVE, what is the story with cryptocurrency?!) For those of us who already have a lot on our plates—and also have to cut up the chicken nuggets on the plates of the little people at the table—a short, simple explanation of how to do better for our planet in our everyday life is the best-case scenario because we all want to improve the future of our Earth for ourselves and our children. So, without further ado, I present to you three changes you can make in your home that will have a positive impact on the planet and ultimately the people who live here.
1. Compost your kitchen scraps.
Organic waste like eggshells, coffee grounds, and fruit/veggie clippings are all compostable, meaning a product that is "capable of disintegrating into natural elements like soil in a composting environment, leaving no toxicity in the soil" (1). Compostable foods that are instead sent to landfill generate the greenhouse gas known as methane. According to the United Sates Environmental Protection Agency, methane emissions are significantly reduced through composting (2). Families with private lawns can build mini compost areas in the yard. If this isn't an option for you, many communities offer local compositing sites at which you can drop off your scraps. Counties with compost sites often provide a free bin and compostable bags for collecting your organic waste - so it can be a virtually cost free process! Best of all, this is a rewarding activity to start with your kids - they will love helping transfer the scraps into the bucket and meanwhile, you can chat with them about the devastating effects of greenhouse gases on the future of our planet. Ok, maybe that's a little intense. BUT, nonetheless, instilling respect for our planet now at a young age will no doubt have a positive impact on their futures and the way they go about their daily lives.
2. Understand your community's recycling rules.
For many people, recycling has been the norm for a long time. But, did you know that many things thrown into recycling bins are actually not recyclable and in fact, may even be harmful to the system? It's important to become familiar with your local recycling program and understand what is acceptable to put into the bin in order to maximize the successful processing of those accepted items. Typically, this information is located on your community's website. This can also be a fun activity to share with your kids! Make a list of acceptable and non-acceptable items and let them sort through and throw things into either the landfill pile or the recycling pile!
3. Use less water.
This sounds simple, but using less water tends to be a difficult task for many families. Loads of dishes and endless laundry, tubs full of water to soak those cute little tushies, and long, highly-anticipated showers parents take as a well-deserved treat after a long day. As water is not an endless resource, the overuse and waste of water in developed areas leads to a decrease in availability for other communities. It also takes water from agricultural use as well as freshwater dwelling and consuming animal species. In addition, it takes a lot of energy to process water so that it is suitable for drinking. Ultimately, the effects can be detrimental in some parts of the world (3).
So, as a privileged group of people who generally always have access to abundant, clean water, it is our duty to be responsible with our usage. Shorten your showers by setting a timer - an average of around 2 gallons of water is used per minute in the shower (4)! Fill your kiddo's bath slightly less than usual. Turn the water off when you're polishing your gnashers! While there are more intense steps to further decrease your water wastage, these are practical, easy-to-try-today steps.
These three simple changes you can make in your home will help to improve your connection with your children as well as your whole family's connection to your community and the planet. And let's be real, who wouldn't want to create a healthier, happier planet to enjoy our families on? Give these steps a try and let's chat about all the ways they impact you and your family.
Thanks for reading friends. Grateful for you!
Founder of Nordbo