Being mindful of the environment while at home for longer periods of time can be a challenge. You may find that your lights are on for longer, that your desire for comfort means a thermostat set at the perfect temperature, and that your snack cravings have peaked. All of these things may mean a larger carbon footprint. Here are some tips that will have you staying green while staying home.
Make Use of Natural Light
Use natural light when you have it. When you’re not at home, your lights are usually off. This keeps electricity use low. When you’re at home, you may be tempted to have the lights on so you can have the maximum possible light. Open your curtains and let the sun brighten your home so that you can keep your lights off. Make note of which rooms in your house get the most light during which time of day, and use those rooms during those times. We all need that vital dose of Vitamin D. Be mindful of cloudy days and during dusk that you aren’t straining your eyes.
Dress for the Weather
You may have a habit of keeping your home colder or warmer during the hours you’d normally be at work. Being home all day may have you wanting to give up that habit for the sake of comfort. However, you can definitely still make use of green practices while trying to stay comfortable. If it’s a cold day, keep your house a little cooler and bundle up. Whether you’re working from home or not, this is a great opportunity to complete daily tasks with a warm cup of coffee or tea while wrapped in a blanket. Being extra cozy may even make you extra happy. On warmer days, break out those spring and summertime clothes. If necessary, turn on a fan or two before you run that air conditioner. Of course, on mild days, throw those windows wide open!
Being at home all hours of the day may have you snacking away, but many snacks involve large amounts of plastic. From chips to yogurt, there’s plastic everywhere. The key to more sustainable snacking is to buy in bulk. Steer clear of individually wrapped items when a larger option is available. Full size bags of chips rather than smaller portions will result in less plastic waste, especially since the bags usually aren’t recyclable. Yogurt and hummus are great snacks that have tub-sized alternatives. If you’re not on-the-go, you may as well buy the whole tub and portion it out as needed. Of course, don’t forget the value of choosing fruits and vegetables as your snacks, too. They often come with less plastic, and may even give you scraps for compost!