Many people consider their home to be like a castle. In the last year, due to quarantine and lockdown, we’ve been spending more time at home. We’ve got an opportunity in 2021 to reduce waste, increase recycling, and make environmentally sound choices.

Let’s look at 5 ways to make your home an earth-smart castle:

#1: Kitchen Makeover

In every part of our homes we can find ways to cut down on waste.

If you’re short on ideas for a kitchen makeover, check out The Lazy Person’s Guide to Saving the Planet for ideas on creating an earth-friendly sanctuary.

Here are a few that you might like to start with:

  • Buy less meat, poultry, and fish to save natural resources
  • Freeze fresh produce and leftovers to reduce waste
  • Compost food scraps to reduce climate impact
  • Buy minimally packages goods – such as produce at a farmers market
  • Wash dishes by hand and save water
  • Recycle paper, plastic and glass to reduce landfills

As a smart kitchen chef, look for ways to save money and save the planet. Start with the easy swaps to recycle plastic bags, compost green waste, cut down on plastic packaging, buy produce without any packaging, and reduce take-out.

#2: Bathroom Upgrade

There are five easy habits to start at home:

  • Take short showers to save water
  • Reduce long baths that use gallons of water
  • Don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth
  • Use biodegradable soaps and detergents
  • Reduce paper and plastics products

In this last year, bathroom habits and toilet paper made the headlines around the world. In many cities and countries, people responded to COVID-19 with primal behaviors of snapping up household items. Grocery stores and communities struggled to keep up with supplies as people snapped up toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning supplies.

With all the stockpiling and shortages of the last year, it’s no wonder that toilet paper has come under public scrutiny. That’s why it’s so exciting to see bamboo toilet paper taking off as a sustainable alternative. Bamboo fibers are known to be softer than cotton, offering a unique combination of comfort and an earth-friendly choice.

#3: Choose Eco-Friendly Face Masks

With the radical increase in facemasks, comes a new environmental danger. One 26 million 3-ply masks are used every week by the NHS (U.K. National Health Service) and millions more by the public. Sources estimate it would take up to 400 years for these masks to decompose.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to stay safe, and keep the environment safe. Henosis Masks, a British company, is producing the first 100% compostable three-ply face mask. These will help radically reduce the environmental impact of plastic masks, and create millions of tons of organic fertilizer.

#4: Laundry Love

How can you make your laundry room an eco-friendly place? Start with making smart product choices. Experts advise switching to organic, all-natural, all-green detergents.

If you are a fan of one-time synthetic dryer sheets, consider switching to wool dryer balls for an earth-friendly alternative. These unique balls are reusable, and can withstand up 1,000 loads in the dryer.

Environmental experts suggest air-drying clothes to save electricity and help the earth. As you experiment with new habits, explore what works best for you.

#5: Taking One Step at a Time

Starting new habits takes attention, care, and kindness. Take a look at all the everyday items you use in your day-to-day life. Make a plan to shift towards earth-smart products and habits. You don’t have to make all the changes in one go.

Pick the simplest change—and start today. Tomorrow, make another swap. Keep going, making one habit shift at a time. In a few weeks, you’ll notice the powerful impact of all choices.

Pursuing the best choices for creating an eco-friendly home takes commitment, courage, and dedication. You may not change the world overnight, but you can make daily, weekly, and monthly changes in your home habits and purchases.

When you do this, you’ll not only add to the health of your home, family, and friends. You’ll add to peace of mind—knowing you are part of a larger community who cares and actively supports the health of our planet. And before you know it, maybe you’ll make the switch to more sustainable habits in other parts of your life. For example, with Tesla fast chargers and electric vehicle charging stations becoming easier to find across the country, more consumers are interested in switching to cars with alternative fuel sources. If trading your car in doesn’t appeal to you, maybe you’ll want to embrace composting and urban gardening. The point is, there are so many ways to make positive eco-friendly changes, that you’ll be sure to find something you want to do.