Creating a More Sustainable Home in 2020

January 22, 2020

Creating a More Sustainable Home in 2020

Perhaps your resolution or goal in 2020 and the decade ahead is to have a greener home. It might sound like a tall order, but taking any steps in the right direction is good for you and the planet. Plus, even baby steps take you closer to your goal of a more sustainable home in 2020. Here are 10 ideas to help your home be more sustainable in 2020 and the decade ahead.

  1. Use reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is not only beautiful, it is highly useful for building furniture and flooring for your home. People make functional and attractive shelves, tables, and more from wood reclaimed from old barns, old homes, and other resources. These unique items are not only practical, but they are also conversation pieces that are sure to attract attention inside the home.
  2. Shop from organizations that share your values. While many brick and mortar stores have been reluctant to take the plunge into natural and sustainable products for the home and family, certain online retailers are stepping in to fill the gaps in this much-needed market space. Retailers, like Thrive Market, allow you to shop for food, personal care items, wine, and household goods according to your preferences, including USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified, among others, for sustainably-made items. Grove Collective also offers a variety of products for the home and body that are natural and sustainably made.
  3. Choose sustainable furniture for your home. Furniture is one of the primary sources of toxins and volatile organic compounds inside the home. From stains and finishes on wood furniture to flame retardants and PBDEs in upholstered furniture and bedding, each piece of furniture you bring into your home has the potential to release toxic materials into the air your eyes will never see. Choosing sustainable furniture, like the Eco Terra 100 percent natural Talalay latex mattress made with organic wool and cotton, is a great place to begin. It eliminates your current mattress, and the many potentially toxic ingredients it contains from your home, while bringing a cleaner, sustainably made, mattress into the home.
  4. Build sustainably. Building and renovating your home with sustainable materials can carry a great deal of weight when it comes to being more eco-friendly in 2020. It’s not only about the building materials, but how you decorate your home, from creating living walls inside your home to replacing toxic materials in your flooring with more natural options, like natural stone, or reclaimed hardwoods.
  5. Get to know green certifications. There are many certifications that let you know the items in question are sustainably made, organic, or otherwise natural, meaning they aren’t harmful to have in your home – especially if living sustainably is your priority in the coming year. Top certifications to consider include Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certified and Global Organic Textile Standard.
  6. Generate less waste. One of the most important considerations for going green and leading a more sustainable life is to produce less waste. That doesn’t mean you have to give up the convenience of things like sandwich bags for taking sandwiches and snacks on the go. Quite the opposite, in fact, as there are reusable versions of sandwich bags, and similar items that are highly effective and easy to clean and reuse. The same things hold true when it comes to food and other items. Buy less, waste less. Stop buying disposable foods, and cook fresh foods. Buy only what you need, and throw out less food. It saves you time and money, and helps to eliminate the amount of waste that is destroying the planet. Consider packaging when making purchases, too. Look for eco-friendly packaging for more sustainable results.
  7. Switch to LED lightbulbs. On average, LED bulbs consume 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Smart power strips are also a wise plan to help take care of energy vampires among your appliances and mobile charging stations. Smart bulbs are even better, if you can get them. They allow you to turn them off from any room with an app on your mobile phone, or by using your favorite HUB.
  8. Go natural for cleaners and pesticides. From citronella oil and candles to repel mosquitos, to cleaning supplies that are made with sustainable ingredients, or using things like lemon, vinegar, and baking soda for cleaning simple decisions like these are affordable, and help you keep toxins out of your home many mass-marketed pesticides and cleaning products introduce.
  9. Donate items you no longer need. Donating items helps to keep these things out of the landfill, and allows them the opportunity to become blessings in the lives of others who may need them. There are plenty of charitable organizations that are happy to take the items you discard, and even more people who have need of them.
  10. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Three little words that still have so much impact on the planet and the sustainability of your home. Make them your personal mantra for 2020, and by the end of the decade if not the end of the year, they will become automatic responses and actions. Set up recycling centers in your home to manage waste. When combined with efforts to reduce waste, the results can be substantial. If one family of four recycling plastic waste alone could reduce nearly 340 pounds of carbon emissions per year, just imagine if every family around the world did the same. What kind of impact would that make?

Small acts can have big impacts when it comes to living more sustainably in 2020 and beyond. Begin with one of these steps, adopt them all to accomplish your goal, and set a profound example for friends and family to adopt.

Patrick Gunther

Patrick is an accomplished writer. He has been in the retail mattress space for the past 13 years, and more specifically in the natural mattress niche. He blogs on the subjects of natural mattresses, sleep, health, fitness, and green living.