The month of April has been coined Earth Month by environmentalists around the world, and provides a focus for people wanting to minimize their impact on our planet. It is true that modern living can take its toll on the environment in lots of ways, and increasingly people are asking what they can do to live in a more sustainable way. Luckily there are many small and easy changes environmentally-conscious homeowners can make to their lives and their homes to help protect the world for future generations.
Minimizing waste and consumption is not only good for the environment, it can also improve your sense of overall health and well-being. At Stiltz Home Elevators, we take a look at five simple changes people can make to live more sustainably, and help to keep our planet beautiful for their grandchildren.
1. Avoid single use plastic
Plastic that is used only once has become ever popular with takeaways and supermarkets because of sheer convenience. However, once in the garbage, we all know it does not just disappear. Plastic takes up to 500 years to decompose, and turns up in rivers and oceans, damaging precious ecosystems. By making simple swaps for single use items, we can help to cut down on plastic waste. Invest in reusable metal straws, tubs and pots for the refrigerator rather than Saran wrap, and reusable bags for shopping trips.
2. Cut energy consumption
Using less energy in the home is good for everyone as not only does it mean less impact on the environment, but gas and power bills are lower too.
The top three tips for homeowners wanting to save on energy are surprisingly simple: switch to LED lightbulbs, only boil the water needed rather than a full kettle, and use pan lids when cooking. Other ways to save on power are to turn off appliances which are on standby, unplug any chargers that are not in use, and opt for low energy consumptions appliances.
At Stiltz we are dedicated to making sure our residential elevators use as little energy as possible and employ the latest technology to ensure power consumption is low. Once installed our home elevators plug into a standard power socket, and each journey uses as little energy as it takes to boil a kettle.
3. Switch your energy provider
The single most impactful thing you can do as a homeowner is to switch your energy supplier to one who generates power from renewable sources. This is also one of the simplest changes you can make as it brings no physical change to your energy supply, is likely to cost the same or less, and requires only the time spent online looking for the best supplier.
Recycling is an easy way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and harmful chemicals that are released by the waste in landfill sites. Recycling materials also reduces the need for raw materials, which means wildlife rainforests, and natural environments can be preserved.
Reusing and repurposing are even better than recycling, which of course requires energy and haulage. If you can reuse a plastic bag one a week over the course of a year, you have saved 52 bags from being made and thrown out. Or if you can find a new use for something, like turning a jelly jar into a pretty tealight candle holder, better still.
Composting is a simple and satisfying way to be green at home. Turning your organic home waste such as kitchen scraps and green waste from the garden into compost, means that less waste goes to landfill. Organic waste is full of nutrients for plants, vegetables, fruit and young trees.
Home composting is easy too. Simply make or buy a compost bin for your backyard, and put all of your food scraps inside. In about six months you will have a rich brown, crumbly loam to enrich the soil around your plants. Hot composting, which requires a specialized compost bin is even faster, at around six weeks to create useable compost, and also means that a wider variety of waste can be added such as small chicken bones.