Going green at home doesn’t have to turn your life upside down. There are simple measures you can take in your kitchen and garden to run a planet-friendly home.
Ensure your kitchen is properly outfitted with labeled paper and plastic recycling bins. Keep these receptacles handy to encourage your family and guests to make use of them.
Take your waste reduction a step further by setting up a bin for food scraps, which you can add to your yard trimmings. Composting creates a natural fertilizer that’s makes a planet-friendly alternative to the chemical variety.
By recycling and composting, you can join the ranks of Americans reducing the waste they send to the landfill. In fact, recycling and composting prevented 86.9 million tons of materials from being disposed in 2011 in the United States, up from 15 million tons in 1980, according to government estimates.
You may think of your yard as “yours,” but you are actually sharing the space with furry creatures, insects and birds. Habitat destruction and loss, as well other manmade and natural threats, put beautiful species like humming birds at risk. Make your garden a safe haven with bird feeders and by planting native, sustentative shrubs, trees and flowers.
Unfortunately, bird to building collisions, particularly with windows, are estimated to kill between 100 million and 1 billion birds in the United States alone, according to a new report from the Cooper Ornithological Society.
Ensure the safety of your airborne visitors by applying static-cling decals to your windows, which helps birds detect glass, thereby avoiding injury or death. Decals from WindowAlert, for example, rely on special ultraviolet-reflecting coating that looks like etched glass to humans, but is quite visible to birds, and add a decorative appearance to your home.
The coating can fade over time, so remember to replace decals every six to nine months. More information can be found at www.WindowAlert.com.
Source your food locally to reduce your carbon footprint. If possible, buy local, in-season fruits and vegetables that didn’t have to travel the world to reach your plate.
And while flowers are beautiful to look at — and the right ones can provide nectar for pollinating insects and birds — consider turning at least part of your garden into a space for herbs and vegetables to grow. When dinner comes from your own back yard, it means fresher produce that’s good for your family, and good for the planet.
Don’t just enjoy nature this season, take care of it. With a few small tweaks, it isn’t hard to run your home more sustainably.