When it comes to climate change, everybody has to get involved, including private households. According to the National Park Service, if every household in the United States replaced one regular light bulb with an energy-saving model, the US could decrease CO2 emissions by more than 90 billion pounds. This is just one example of the multitude of ways Americans can get involved and become more sustainable throughout various aspects of their lives- including some areas not often thought of.
The big day
Family events are a great way to get everyone together to celebrate a special occasion, but such events can create high amounts of carbon emissions when taking into account everything from travel to food and decorations. Indeed, Syracuse University research has found that the average wedding creates 400 pounds of rubbish. Small changes like virtual invitations are already a great way to cut down on the wedding carbon footprint. However, more radical changes such as picking out a pre-loved wedding dress or sourcing local or reusable flowers are starting to make a serious impact.
There are changes, too, in how people bring sustainability into their lives for the rest of the year – outside of big occasions. Eating is one of the most simple tasks to consider and has a huge environmental impact. A new movement that uses the sales of ‘ugly’ fruits and vegetables to help cut down waste is having a big impact According to a USA Today article between 30 to 40% of the United States’ food produce goes to waste. By selling the not so aesthetically pleasing fruit and veg to consumers, food waste usually sent to landfills can be significantly reduced.
Sealing the cracks
Just as there are conscious efforts to change how people consume, sustainability is becoming commonplace in the ‘hidden’ parts of life – such as home energy efficiency. It’s important to remember that small, simple changes can have a big impact – as the use of lightbulbs has shown. Even subtle changes in light and airflow can have similar effects. A recent NPR article on green efficiency noted how new materials, used to seal cracks in the home, can generate a surprising amount of energy efficiency.
Essentially, sustainability isn’t just about big gestures. There’s a lot of work being done in the background to quietly improve the efficiency of most aspects of day-to-day life. Always looking for a sustainable option is likely to bring an eco-friendly solution.