Usher In a Green New Year
Are you looking for ways to make this year a greener, more sustainable one? Reducing your carbon footprint benefits you, your family and the planet. Even small changes can have a big impact. Here are our top choices.
Remember Your Reusable Shopping Bags
It takes plastic shopping bags take up to 400 years to break down in a landfill. The microscopic pieces are non-biodegradable and end up in our food and water supply. Yuck! Instead of opting for plastic bring cute, reusable bags with you. They are inexpensive, last longer and are better for the planet.
Plant a Garden
A garden can reduce your carbon footprint by 68 pounds each year by reducing the number of trucks needed to transport food from farms to grocery stores. If you avoid synthetic fertilizers, you reduce the amount of chemicals released into the ground. Composting food waste to nourish your garden keeps food scraps out of landfills. Harvest Green residents can opt to add a ready-to-grow backyard garden, join our Farm Club, join our CSA and shop our farmers market.
Use Energy Star Appliances
Harvest Green builders include Energy Star appliances in the homes they build. If you own an older home somewhere else, your appliances might not be very efficient. Energy Star appliances uses energy more efficiently saving you money on your energy bills —an average of $575 per year. You’ll reduce your carbon emissions by more than 5,500 pounds as well.
Turn Things Off
Turning off the lights when you leave the room seems like a small way to reduce your carbon footprint. If everyone does, the savings add up. Unplugging small appliances when not in use also saves energy. Electronic devices with standby modes can be energy vampires, using energy even though they are technically “off.” That can add up to 10 percent of your electric bill according to the Department of Energy. Use a charger that automatically stop drawing energy when a device is fully charged.
Go Eco-friendly When Cleaning
Use eco-friendly cleaning products. A number of environment-friendly detergents, disinfectants and degreasers can be found in most grocery stores. Many are priced competitively. If you want to save money, you can make your own.
Instead of throwing things out, find new and creative ways of using them. Popsugar offers 185 ideas for upcycling that you can DIY including crafting wine bottle pendant lights, turning paint cans into planters, denim into wreaths and more.
Eat Less Meat
You don’t have to go fully vegetarian or vegan to help the planet. A report by the University of Michigan estimated that eating one vegetarian meal a week could save the equivalent of driving 1,160 miles. If you don’t think you can give up beef, shop locally or buy organic.
Challenge yourself to buy less. Fast-fashion dumps millions of pounds of fabric into our landfills every year. Purchase high quality, long-lasting clothes instead. Shopping locally rather than ordering online also reduces waste since you aren’t tossing shipping boxes and packing materials.
Invest in Solar
Solar panels are less expensive than ever and will save you money in the long run. You might be able to get rebates when you install them. New homes in Houston are now required to have solar panel friendly roofs so even if you can’t afford install them now, you can easily do so at a later date.
Purchase an Electric Car
Like solar panels this is an expensive thing to do but when it is time to replace your car consider a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. Many new homes come with charging stations already installed.
Purchase a Home in Harvest Green
From our eco-friendly builders to our 12-acre Village Farm, we’re all about the green. Purchasing a new home in Harvest Greens allows you to easily reduce your carbon footprint. Visit us today to find out how.