10 Sustainability Tips for a Greener Lifestyle in 2024
Starting Fresh: 10 Sustainability Tips for a Greener Lifestyle in 2024
With the start of the new year, there's a lot of buzz you'll see about resolutions - whether it's about your health, finances, career, family or other important goals. While we tend to focus on our personal health, it's easy to lose sight of the health of our shared environment. Not to mention how daunting it may seem to make sustainable lifestyle switches with all of the new tech and options out there.
We'll discuss ten ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint, reduce food waste, and contribute to the planet generally with sustainable living in 2024. These small but impactful changes and new habits will contribute to the bigger, greener picture of a healthier planet for future generations to come!
10 Sustainability Tips for 2024
Whether you're looking to start small with baby steps or dive head first into larger sustainable solutions, these tips will help you stay on track for your greenest year yet.
1. Switch to better bulbs.
If you're looking to update your home to align with ecofriendly best practices, upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs are low-hanging fruit that will save energy and money in the longrun. Since these bulbs have been around and have become more popular in recent years, there are now several options that you can purchase:
- LED light bulbs: LED light bulbs are your best bet in terms of low-cost, high-intensity light bulbs. They emit the most light while consuming the least amount of energy.
- CFL bulbs: CFL bulbs, or florescent bulbs, still have less energy consumption than incandescent bulbs but are not as energy efficient as LED light bulbs.
- Smart bulbs: Smart light bulbs can be controlled remotely either via voice command or another smart device. Getting yourself set up with smart LED light bulbs is a great way to limit your energy usage while having more control over your lighting.
2. Put your new phone purchase on hold and consider secondhand.
Thinking about buying a brand-new phone this year? While the carriers may be offering enticing offers of new phone upgrades in exchange for signing a contract with them, take a moment to reflect on your buying choices. The environmental impact of creating new tech every year goes hand-in-hand with our growing electronic waste problem.
There are several secondhand options for smartphones that will not only help you to save hundreds of dollars, but also cut down on consumption by giving that device a second chance at life. We recommend checking out Gazelle.com to upgrade to a certified refurbished device at a much lower price than a brand-new phone.
3. Start meal planning to reduce food waste.
The new year is the perfect time to think of ways to prevent food waste. One simple and cost-effective way is to meal prep at home. By planning out and cooking prepared meals, you'll be leaving little up to chance in terms of food waste. You can cook portioned servings and throw them in the freezer if you plan to eat them at a later date.
If you're looking to create more sustainably sourced meals, consider cutting down on your meat consumption and hitting the local farmer's market for locally produced food. We promise you'll be able to tell the difference of organic food!
4. Take inventory of what you have.
What better way to start your year off on the green foot than by taking inventory of what you already own? It may seem time consuming, but it could end up saving you upwards of hundreds of dollars in the long run by not double-purchasing certain items. Here's where you should take note of your belongings:
- Kitchen: Do you have a reusable water bottle, or maybe 5? Take note of your reusable wares before you purchase more!
- Bathroom: Similar to the kitchen, take inventory of all of your toiletries.
- Closet: Noticing some duplicates or untouched pieces of clothing? Now is a great time to clean out that closet and sell or donate any clothing you no longer use. This process will also give you a better idea of what you already own to help from buying in excess this year.
5. Rethink your cleaning supplies.
When it comes to cleaning supplies, there are several areas you can make sustainable switches in. One of our favorites is opting for baking soda when cleaning ovens, pans and other cookware. You can also invest in reusable linen or cloth towels for cleaning, which are a great alternative to disposable paper towels.
If you're on the hunt for green cleaning supplies, opt for products that use natural materials. There are several natural alternatives to many cleaning supplies readily available in many retailers. While these natural cleaning supplies are often a little more expensive than standard cleaning supplies, you'll have peace of mind that you aren't using harsh or even toxic chemicals to clean your household.
6. Bring even more green to your garden.
There's nothing quite as satisfying as working on your home garden, but it's easy to lose track of just how much water you're using. This year is the perfect year to build a water conservation system such as a rain barrel that catches water. Other options include drip irrigation, timing your watering schedule properly and safely reusing gray water.
7. Opt for green delivery options when shopping online.
In the age of internet shopping, it's easier than ever to order just about anything online and have it shipped to your front door step expeditiously. While it may seem like you're doing a solid for the environement by not getting in your car and driving to the store, the reality is that those quick, single item or small order shipments can add up in terms of carbon emissions.
When choosing to ship, do some research to see if the company you're shopping with offers sustainable alternatives. This may mean shipping items in one box instead of several, reducing carbon emissions for a smaller environmental impact, refraining from supporting fast fashion, eco-friendly packaging and more. There are some great zero waste stores and companies that pride themselves on preserving natural materials and working towards a sustainable future.
8. Save money and cut down on emissions by enjoying the outdoors more this year.
A very basic but solid reminder that enjoying the scenic world we live in can be virtually free! If you're stuck on things to do, make a quick internet search for outdoor activities around you. A simple neighborhood stroll, visiting a local beach or park or planning a camping trip can not only save you money over expensive travel but also help you feel reconnected with the earth.
9. If you haven't yet, it's time to go fully reusable and sustainable.
We mentioned taking inventory of what you already have, so why not make note of what you may need or what you could replace with reusable or energy efficient items? Here are some of our favorite quick additions that can make a lasting impact:
- A compost bin: A classic staple in any sustainable household. Create a compost bin from any old container that is large enough to hold your compost.
- Recycling bin: Although maybe obvious, having a recycling bin is one of the first steps towards a sustainable household.
- Resuable alternatives: Just about any disposable item in your kitchen now has some kind of reusable alternative. Check out reusable bags, utensils, cups, paper towels and more to bring green into your home.
- Energy efficient appliances: If it's within your means, upgrading to energy efficient appliances can cut down greatly on your energy consumption.
10. Properly dispose of your used, old and broken electronics.
Those old phones collecting dust in your drawer aren't doing you any favors other than taking up space, or even worse, eventually becoming electronic waste. The new year is the perfect time to clean out those drawers and closests and recycle or sell your used smartphones. ecoATM has over 5,000 locations across the US for convenient and quick recycling. You may receive some instant cash in return if your device has monetary value. Even if it doesn't, we will happily recycle it for you and you can have peace of mind that your old electronics have been disposed of properly!
Learn More Sustainability Tips with ecoATM
We're thrilled that you've decided to embark on a greener, more sustainable lifestyle! ecoATM is not only a green option for your used devices, but also a community where we strive to educate others on the importance of reducing electronic waste and working towards a healthier planet.
If you're interested in visiting one of our kiosks to learn more, head over to our locator tool and visit a neighborhood ecoATM today!