Are you trying to live an eco-friendly life? Do you care deeply for the environment and want to live a sustainable lifestyle?
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash
There are plenty of ways to make your home sustainable, so here are 3 ideas to start.
1. Get a bidet for your bathroom
Nothing is more eco-friendly than a bidet. A traditional bidet is a bathroom fixture attached to the wall and connected to your plumbing that you use to rinse off after using the toilet.
If you don’t want to, or don’t have room to install a full-sized, free-standing bidet, you can get a toilet seat bidet. A toilet seat bidet will replace your existing toilet seat with one that has a bidet attachment. Many toilet seat bidets come with a heated seat and a dryer, so you don’t have to walk away wet.
Using a bidet is better than toilet paper for the following reasons:
Toilet paper is extremely wasteful. The product itself is designed to be thrown away, but the manufacturing process is also wasteful. For instance, according to Scientific American, it takes 37 gallons of water to produce one toilet paper roll. It takes roughly 473,587,500,000 gallons of water every year just to sustain America’s toilet paper habit.
A bidet uses around 1/8 of a gallon to flush, but if you have a toilet seat bidet, you only have to flush once. Either way, you’ll use far less water with a bidet. However, water isn’t the only source of waste.
Producing each roll of toilet paper requires 1.5 pounds of wood and 1.3 kilowatt hours of electricity. The average person will use 384 trees in the form of toilet paper in their lifetime.
· Sustainable toilet paper is not the answer. Be careful not to fall into the trap of believing that “sustainable” toilet paper is somehow good for you and the environment. While some companies use recycled paper to produce their toilet paper, most don’t. Still, sustainable toilet paper contains all the toxins of the processed paper it’s made from, especially when it’s re-bleached.
It’s a mixed bag, but you can expect to find at least some levels of BPA, formaldehyde, chlorine, dioxin, and furans. If you don’t already know, dioxin and furans are the most toxic chemicals known to humans. They are considered a known human carcinogen, just like formaldehyde.
2. Put your small appliances on power strips
Electricity is a major source of wasted energy. Did you know that every appliance draws electricity when plugged in, even if it’s turned off? You’d be surprised at how much electricity you’re wasting just by keeping your appliances plugged in at all times.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average household spends $165 per year on electricity being sucked by inactive devices. That amounts to $19 billion in wasted electricity each year.
Obviously, it’s not practical to run around your home and unplug everything until you need to use it. That would be time-consuming and difficult. However, you can plug most appliances into power strips.
For example, a power strip in the kitchen can accommodate your coffee grinder, coffee pot, water kettle, and blender. Simply turn the power strip on when you need to use a device, and turn it off when you’re done.
When the power strip is turned off, the plugged-in devices can’t draw any power. However, make sure you get power strips with surge protection, and never plug space heaters and large appliances into a power strip or extension cord.
3. Ditch your coffee pods
This one might hurt, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you really want to be eco-friendly, ditch your coffee pods and go back to brewing freshly ground coffee.
In 2014, the world threw away 9.8 billion K-Cups. Nearly eight years later, that number has grown exponentially.
Wired.co.uk reported that in 2018 alone, there were 20.7 million coffee pod machines sold. That’s just the machine, not the pods. Other sources report 59 billion coffee pods were produced in that same year.
Although some pods are recyclable, that doesn’t mean they’re getting recycled. Coffee pods are so bad for the environment, even the creator regrets his invention. However, you can buy reusable cups and fill them with fresh coffee.
Technically, coffee pods are rather stale, and you’ll get more flavor from sourcing local coffee and grinding your own beans.
Creating a sustainable household is a processYou won’t become completely sustainable overnight. However, you can take small steps to get closer to your goal. Creating a sustainable home and lifestyle is a process that may not have a final destination, as there’s always something else you can change.