“Going green” is a goal many of us share, but when it comes to actually enacting change, it can seem daunting and difficult to know where to start. While the sage advice of “reduce, reuse and recycle” never goes out of style, there’s so much more to know to live a truly sustainable life. The team at Hestan knows that implementing change is important but also understands that we don’t always have the resources or time to do so. That’s why we have compiled the “perfect-ten” beginner’s guide to sustainable living. These easy tips and advice will help you create a more climate friendly, energy-saving life for you and family.
1. Start small, start now: One of the most important things to remember as you are transitioning into more sustainable living is that little changes can add up. So don’t feel you have to overhaul everything all at once. Start with tiny shifts, like switching to energy-saving light bulbs or drinking filtered tap water instead of bottled water, buying less overall, and being conscious about how you dispose of goods, from mattresses and clothing to appliances and cookware.
2. Address indoor air quality: Use a combination of natural and mechanical ventilation to ensure good air quality in your home. Also invest in a whole house air filter for your furnace to trap particulates, dust and dander. Bringing outside air into the house is a good way to clean the air. Just be sure you are aware of the potential for mold and mildew in areas where there’s a lot of humidity.
3. Invest in the future: When homeowners buy better products that last longer, even if they cost a bit more, they are investing in their future. Thinking about the longevity of the things we buy can help reduce waste and means that resources aren’t used up making new products to replace ones that come to the end of their serviceable life earlier than they should.
4. Turn off lights: Such an obvious suggestion, but so easy to forget. By turning off lights when you’re not in a room, you could save enough money on electricity for a few fancy coffees or dinner out each year. During spring and summer months, embrace natural light by opening up window coverings so electric lights aren’t necessary during the day. A well-thought out layered lighting plan can create ambiance, illuminate tasks and provide safety while being energy efficient, too.
5. Repurpose furniture: Reusing products that are no longer wanted, like grandma‘s favorite chair, is the best green furniture option. You’re keeping something out of the landfill that may not be made with biodegradable materials. A space can be quickly and inexpensively refreshed by repurposing items that you already have, as well. Your dining room cabinet filled with dishes may be given new life by moving it into your den, painting it, putting on new hardware and filling it with books.
6. Get clever with leftovers: When it comes to fighting food waste, your freezer might just be the best weapon in your arsenal. Use it to store any food you won’t get around to eating before it spoils and prioritize the foods in your fridge that don’t freeze well instead. Repurposing leftovers is a great way to prevent food waste and stretch your money further. The Hestan Culinary Team has plenty of tasty recipes for using up leftover chicken, veggies and pasta, too. And speaking of leftovers, put in the effort to plan your meals. Instead of filling your fridge with food items you’ll forget about until they’re out of date, plan your meals for the week before you do the weekly shop so you only buy what you need. If you find yourself with a surplus of fresh food, prioritize using up the things that will go out of date first to minimize waste.
7. Buy water efficient appliances: In the market for a new dishwasher or washing machine? Switching to water efficient appliances can help you reduce water waste and reduce your monthly bill. When checking out new appliances, look for the water consumption figure on its energy efficiency label. This will tell you how much water the appliance uses per cycle so you can compare products before you buy.
8. Make sure your fridge is set to the right temperature: The temperature inside your fridge should be gauged to the listed reading, which you can typically find in your owner’s manual or interior of the refrigerator. This will help keep food fresh for longer, which can reduce food waste—a major contributor to climate change. And while we may be biased, the Hestan 36” refrigerator with bottom-mount freezer delivers exceptional food preservation, customizable storage and deeper capacity to a standard cabinet cutout. The EvenFlow Air Circulating Technology™ consists of independent ventilation for each compartment and provides uniform and precise temperature control.
9. Draft-proof windows and doors: Another sustainable living tip which will save energy as well as money is simply draft-proofing doors and windows. It can reduce the energy required to heat your home in the colder months, and could give you an extra $20 in your pocket each year. It makes for the perfect weekend DIY project
10. Rethink your modes of transportation: Walking, taking the stairs and riding a bicycle are some of the easiest ways to get around more sustainably. That’s because they require no energy and emit zero greenhouse gases while helping to boost your own cardiovascular health. If distance puts walking or riding a bike out of the question, public transportation or car-sharing are good alternatives, along with e-bikes and scooters. If you don’t have your own bike, consider the growing number of rent-a-bike and scooter services popping up in more neighborhoods all over the country.
BONUS: Try induction cooking options.
Induction cooking is a hot topic in the sustainability space. Since induction utilizes electromagnetic waves to conduct heat directly into your cookware, it is often recognized as the most efficient cooking option available. Hestan’s Smart Induction Cooktop expands on the already competitive offerings of induction cooking with the addition of a smart-enabled burner, which allows you to follow step-by-step guided cooking recipes to achieve signature dishes, all from the ease of your phone or tablet. Hestan’s Smart Induction Cooktop was recently recognized by WIRED as an excellent appliance option for those interested in swapping to induction cooking.
Living a more sustainable life doesn’t have to be expensive, inconvenient or overwhelming—simple choices and changes, no matter how small, can have a lasting benefit to our planet.