Count us out of the race to Mars. Here at SaltyLama we believe that Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for. And not only are we here to offer the most sustainably made products, but we’re here to suggest ways you can help our collective home. From the way you treat your dwelling to the way you eat, here are 15 of them.
1. Use SaltyLama laundry strips
Not to sound self-serving, but trade in the Tide pods for some eco-friendly SaltyLama strips. Our detergent is easier on the body, gentler on fabrics, kinder to the environment, and cruelty free without any animal testing.
2. Don’t tumble dry
Dryers use up a lot of electricity — almost more than any other household appliance. Air drying not only saves money, but the consistency of your clothes. We recommend investing in a portable drying rack for an eco-friendly task that busies your body and sets your mind free to wander.
3. Install solar panels
“But they’re so expensive!” We know. Although the solar panels require a significant upfront investment, the prices have decreased over the years, as new technologies have been discovered. Solar panels take advantage of one of nature’s most powerful resources: the sun. And with solar panels, not only are you generating year-round electricity production but you’re increasing the market value of your property while reducing your carbon footprint.
4. Install double glazed windows
Double glazing is the process whereby two layers of glass are fitted so that a small gap of air is created in between to reduce heat loss and noise. Installing double glazed windows or double glazed doors can add significant value to your property. A building equipped with double glazed windows and doors can lead to a total temperature difference of up to 20 degrees between the inside and outside of the building. This is a great Earth-saving choice for those looking to remodel or looking to increase their property value.
5. Insulate your home
You know that foamy-looking stuff that people spray into their attics? That stuff is magic! Insulation can help stabilize your home’s temperature all year round, protecting it against the cold in winter and the heat in summer. Insulation is also useful to reduce noise pollution. You can choose to insulate your roof, floors, walls, windows, and doors. A well-insulated house is very energy efficient and will need very little additional heating and cooling, potentially saving you a boatload of money.
6. Full loads on cold
If your grandma is like ours, half-loads are a sin, punishable by scolding. Always wash full loads in cold water. It takes as much energy and water to wash a full load as it does a half load unless the machine has special sensors or half-load setting options. Studies have shown there's little difference in wash performance between washing in warm or cold water, especially if you're washing non-whites. If you use a hot or warm wash, choose a cold rinse — it uses less energy. But if you wash in cold water, you’ll need to do a hot wash regularly to clean your machine.
7. Turn off lights you don’t need
How many of us turn lights and lamps on in rooms we rarely spend time in? We’re guilty of this. But we’re working to be better. By turning off unneeded lights, you save money and prolong the lifespan of your bulbs, adding to annual cost savings on electric bills and bulb replacements.
8. Take faster showers
Who doesn’t love a long, hot shower that sets the scene for deep thinking and the making of life decisions? In fact, we came up with the idea for SaltyLama in the shower. (Kidding … maybe.) Now, we know, it’s glorious. But taking shorter showers not only reduces water use, but can save up to 350 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year while shrinking your energy bill.
9. Don’t throw old clothes away
You cringe them every time you open the closet: clothes that haven't left their hangers in years, or shoes that felt perfect in the store but caused blisters on their first (and last) trip out of the house. But what do you do with that mound of clothes you're ready to get rid of? We recommend donating, selling, and swapping them instead of filling the landfills with them. There are a ton of great options for this, including Goodwill, eBay, Craigslist and your local thrift and consignment stores.
10. Recycle old appliances
One of the easiest ways to save energy around the house is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances. But be sure to recycle your old ones, because they’re mostly made up of metal. If you are looking to swap your current appliances for more efficient versions, you check with your local recycling experts who can take those appliances and ensure the materials are reused.
11. Use a laptop Instead of a desktop
Laptop computers are often more energy-efficient than desktops for one simple reason: they can run for a long time on battery power. Desktops, on the other hand, are always plugged in. Desktop computers use an average of 60 to 200 watts while laptops use an average of 20 to 50 watts of electricity. If you're purchasing new equipment for your business or considering upgrading your existing equipment, opting for laptops is one way to impact your energy usage.
12. Switch to paperless mail
Anyone else have a stack of mail they still need to sift through? Ahhh … adult life. But going paperless not only reduces clutter in your home, but also the environmental impact. Electronic statements also offer convenience and enhanced security.
13. Buy local products
Shopping locally reduces the environmental impact of your purchases. When buying from a large national chain store, chances are the products you’re purchasing were produced outside of your local community, oftentimes halfway across the globe. That means those products had to be shipped to reach the store shelves in your community. Such shipping leads to greater fuel consumption and air pollution. But local businesses often buy their supplies from other local businesses, cutting down on shipping and, as a result, benefitting the environment. So buy from the local producer. It helps the business while cutting down on pollution.
14. Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables
Perhaps the biggest tangible benefit of eating seasonally is that you'll save money on food. When you buy what's in season, you buy food that's at the peak of its supply, and costs less to farmers and distribution companies to harvest and get to your grocery store. And chances are, it tastes better!
15. Eat less packaged foods (and meat)
Containers and packaging alone contribute more than 23% of the material reaching landfills in the U.S. Reducing the amount of packaged food you consume can save you empty calories, over processed food consumption, and money. It also helps reduce the litter that ends up on our beaches and other waterways. Meanwhile, eating less meat can have a positive impact. If you can take on just one meatless day per week, you can have a major impact on water consumption and pollution annually. Some might restrict their meat eating to weekends, commit to smaller portions of meat or dairy in a given meal, or simply choose bean over chicken burritos. Whatever you do, it helps the environment and your pocketbook.