My family has been striving to live sustainably for about five years now. My experiments in sustainability and natural living actually began years ago when I was living in Houston, Texas. I had my very own space (the infamous tiny yellow bungalow that my blog/shop are named after!) with a tiny backyard and was stoked to try my hand at composting and small space gardening.

Over the years, we’ve continued to make eco friendly changes in our home as we can. We are far from perfect but try our best! Honestly, that’s what we need to see more of, don’t you think? If lots of people make simple changes in their own homes, it can really add up to significant change on a grander scale! I’m here to share with you a few simple tips for a more sustainable home! I know it can feel a little overwhelming in the beginning, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to do all of these things listed at the same time.

Consider making one sustainable swap per month. You’ll be so impressed with all the good you’re doing for Mama Earth come the end of the year.

1. Plant Based Diet

The easiest way to make your home more eco-friendly is by switching to a plant based diet, or at least incorporating more plant-centric meals into your family’s diet. In reducing meat consumption, you not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by animal agriculture, but you are also helping conserve water. Because of its energy intensive process, meat production requires a lot of water and land. That said, animal agriculture is the main cause of deforestation in the Amazon. Even just striving for one meatless meal per week creates a more eco-friendly home! Check out The Zero Waste Vegan Cookbook for healthy and simple plant based recipes.

2. Compost

Composting is one of my all-time favorite sustainable switches! A large percentage of landfill trash consists of food waste. And did you know that food scraps DO NOT break down in landfills?! In composting, we reduce landfill waste and re-purpose food scraps in a beneficial way. Through composting, food waste becomes nutrient rich soil to add to your garden. I love love love LOVE our backyard compost tumbler. If you don’t want to buy a compost bin, you could try making your own DIY compost bin using wood pallets. If you are new to the idea of composting, be sure to check out my beginner’s composting blog post to learn more: Composting for Rookies.

3. Reduce Plastic Usage in your Home

A lot of good has come from the introduction of plastic in everyday society. For example, the creation of medical devices relies heavily on its production. However, plastic has really taken over in an ugly way in many other aspects. Plastics leach chemicals, especially when heated. That said, I encourage you to begin switching from plastics in your kitchen to stainless steel pots and pans (All Clad is my FAVE stainless steel pot and pan brand!) and bamboo utensils. Also, don’t reheat food in plastic containers!

4. Reduce Energy Consumption

There are many ways you can work to reduce your energy consumption. For example, you can choose to keep your home warmer during summer months and cooler during winter months. Not only does this save energy, but also money! Rather than using your dryer, consider line drying your clothes if weather permits. Also, switch to energy efficient light bulbs that have the added benefit of lasting longer than incandescent bulbs.

5. Support Local Farmers

Did you know transporting food across long distances burns fossil fuels and emits greenhouse gases? That’s why it’s important to support local farmers so your food doesn’t have to travel many miles to get to your kitchen. Fresh Harvest makes it super simple to support local farms! Their farmers practice restorative farming which enriches the soil. They work with small family organic farms and deliver fresh produce straight to your doorstep. I’m a huge fan of their customizable farm baskets.

6. Natural Cleaning Products

Most conventional cleaning products found at the grocery store have tons of harmful chemicals you don’t want around your home, especially if you have pets and kids. Make your home more eco-friendly by switching to natural cleaning products. There are also many DIY natural cleaning recipes on Pinterest if you prefer to make your own cleaning supplies.

7. Shop Secondhand

Before making purchases for your home, consider if you can find these items secondhand. Check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for furniture, clothing, appliances, etc., before purchasing brand new. You can often find great gently used products for a fraction of the price of those products purchased brand new. Saving money and shopping eco-consciously, win!

8. Recycle

I know recycling seems like the most obvious way to greenify your home, but I strongly encourage you to do some research and learn about the rules in your city for recycling. Each recycling facility takes in different items and has guidelines for how they can receive these recyclables. So, if you plan to recycle, do so properly in your own city. A great way to make sure you know the recycling basics is to take a visit to your local recycling center to learn more! I took a tour of the Athens Clarke County Recycling Facility a few years ago and it was absolutely fascinating and very informative.

Tour of Athens Clarke County Recycling Facility

This guest post was written by Jessie Stokes of the Tiny Yellow Bungalow eco blog and one stop zero waste shop. She lives with her family in Athens, Georgia. She believes that no sustainable action is too small and encourages others to make plastic free, sustainable changes as they can! Please check out her blog and shop for more information on eco friendly living, and follow along with her sustainable journey over on Instagram.