Going green used to be considered a time-consuming commitment, forcing families to give up their comfortable convenience in order to save the planet. But now, it’s easier than ever to substitute sustainable products in your everyday life. While the size of the average American home has nearly tripled over the past 50 years, you don’t necessarily have to give up your spacious homestead to reduce your carbon footprint significantly. By starting with just one room — in this case, the kitchen — you may be able to make a huge difference in your energy consumption and give back to the earth.
You don’t necessarily have to go all-out to go green. Small switches are a great place to start; you likely won’t notice much of a difference in your experience, but you’ll be secure in the knowledge that these alternatives are better for the environment. For instance, changing out your existing lightbulbs for LEDs, opting for compostable trash bags and biodegradable cleansing wipes, and making sure to recycle and compost won’t represent any kind of sacrifice for you — but these efforts can lead to a more eco-conscious lifestyle. Even making sure to fill the dishwasher up all the way before running it or keeping a small herb garden outside the kitchen window can benefit your bills and the planet.
Of course, energy efficient appliances are preferred here. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re better for your monthly bills as well. But it’s not just the big-ticket items you’ll need to consider. Smaller appliances can eat up a lot of energy too (if you leave them plugged in all the time). And if you rely on your Keurig for your morning jolt of caffeine, consider making the switch to reusable filters to keep the K-Cups out of landfills. Going green doesn’t have to mean going without; sometimes, we just need to be more mindful about our choices.
Install New Floors
If your kitchen floors could use an upgrade and you’re up for making a bigger change, you might want to consider taking on this renovation. Not only will it add more value to the space, but it can be a long-term step towards eco-friendliness. Linoleum, for example, is made from renewable raw materials and is made with no artificial chemicals. It can also last for 40 years or longer if properly maintained. Sustainable hardwood floors are also an option, as are natural stone tiles. These options don’t require a lot of maintenance (though you should make sure to switch to eco-friendly cleaning products when you need to wipe up spills!) and will set the stage for a more sustainable home.
While it’s certainly possible to embrace a green lifestyle by making big changes in your home, you don’t have to uproot your entire way of life to be more eco-friendly. These simple changes in your kitchen can help your family preserve our precious resources in a snap.