TLCers are celebrating this Earth Day by providing their top five sustainability tips! Below are sustainability expert Kristy Walson’s tips to be more sustainable this Earth Day!
Compost your food waste at home
If you live in the City of Orlando, you can request a free compost bin for your home. If you don’t have a lovely home garden into which you can deposit all of that compost, let O-Town Compost provide inexpensive, local composting services at your home. I love getting my text reminder for my weekly bucket swap-out.
If you don’t live in Orlando, visit your municipality’s website to learn what options exist in your community for recycling and/or composting.
Rent new clothes or Buy used clothing
Over 9% of waste in landfills is textiles. The world of avoiding new clothing purchases has moved way past hitting up Goodwill for Halloween costumes (though Goodwill is still a great place to visit). Now most major clothing retailers have rental services for reasonable monthly fees and there are great resources online for buying used clothing on the cheap. Have you tried ThredUp? The best way to keep clothing out of landfills is to avoid buying new clothes in the first place, or buy used and keep the cycle of use going!
Get “Smart” at home
For the average home owner or renter, about 50% of your power bill is spent on cooling and heating your home, especially in humid climates. “Smart” thermostats have become increasingly affordable over the last few years and, for most homes, have a 1- to 2-year payback. You can opt for the wi-fi enabled, programmable thermostat that you can set up and manage from your phone or you can go a step further and install a learning thermostat (like the Google Nest) that will learn your patterns of occupancy and adjust the temperature in your home accordingly. Either way you go you’re sure to see a drop in your power bill, which everyone can get onboard with.
Get even “Smarter” at home
If smart thermostats are old news to you, try taking your home energy IQ to the next level with smart lightbulbs, switches, and wall plugs. My favorite brand is Kasa because the devices are affordable, available on Amazon, and the phone app syncs seamlessly with my Google Home app. Pick the room you’re in the most and try out these smart devices in one or two locations to see how you like them.
Pro Tip: Smart lightbulbs can install directly into any light fixture and are capable of dimming through the controls on your phone, even if the switch controlling the lights is a standard on-off style.
Educate your Peers
The single most impactful action you can take to preserve our environment and reduce global emissions is to educate others on ways they can make a difference as individuals. Our impact as a single person is limited to our daily actions, but sharing knowledge can have exponentially positive impacts. So, next time you’re trying to decide what to do on a Friday night, grab a pizza to go and help a friend install their new programmable thermostat!
For more great sustainability information, contact Kristy Walson, PE, LEED AP BD+C, LEED AP O+M, BEMP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407.487.1118.