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If you're reading this, you probably already consider yourself to be a green person: you always bring your reusable bags to the grocery store, avoid eating animal products, and recycle and compost whenever possible.
But looking at the way you use electricity and water in your home… I probably speak for most of us when I say we could definitely make some improvements.
While our homes aren’t yet naturally hardwired to be environmentally conscious, recent years of innovative technology have given us the opportunity to make swaps in our appliances and common household items that are more aligned with our green values. We’re a fan of a little home renovation just like anyone else…
So why don’t we get into some stylish, eco-chic swaps for the home?
Do you like coffee in the morning, or need it?
Whichever is the case, it’s probably best to reevaluate the way you start your mornings: making a cup of joe.
It may go without saying that you should do away with the single serving Keurig pods: there’s enough of those sitting in landfills already.
To avoid those and the necessity for paper filters that are often chemically bleached, it’s best to go for a coffee maker that requires neither. A french press, for example, is perfect: it doesn’t use anything other than ground coffee beans and hot water. It separates the grounds perfectly, letting you easily toss them into your compost while you’re sipping your fresh cup of coffee. It’s also a great space saver, taking up much less room than other, bulkier coffee maker models.
If you’re a Keurig addict and not quite ready to let go, no worries: there are reusable pods you can use in a similar way!
If you’re looking for a bigger green investment, we’re happy to hear it! Consider getting a more water-efficient dishwasher, for example. Dishwashers use an average of six gallons of water per load - which may not seem like a lot, but quickly adds up if you’ve got a family to feed!
If you’re looking for a new one, go for a model with a Energy Star Certified label. This means that they use less than 3.5 gallons per cycle and less electricity.
Another investment-worthy appliance you might want to consider is a new refrigerator. For a long time, standard refrigerators released the coolants CFCs and HCFCs that are notorious for destroying the ozone layer. Luckily, appliance companies whose products don’t use these will proudly say so in their advertising - but you can rely on Bosch as a company to start exploring.
And of course…
We’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you to change out your gas cooktop if you can.
Electric stoves that didn’t cook evenly are a thing of the past. Induction cooktops are the newest hit with chefs of all levels: they’re quick to heat, effective, and don’t release harmful pollutants to the environment or your family. Here are some recommended models to start your research!
You might assume your bathroom is guiltiest of using up too much water… And you might be right.
A toilet alone can use up to 27% of your household’s daily water usage, leaving a more eco conscious model looking like it's sent from Heaven. This particular brand, for instance, boasts two flush options. One uses the pretty standard 1.6 gallons per flush, while the other “eco” option only uses .8!
Getting a whole new shower unit can be pricey, so it’s fortunate there’s the easy, cheaper option of simply replacing the showerhead. We love our hot showers as much as you do - but what we don’t love is the fact that the average showerhead uses 2.1 gallons per minute.
Instead, start shopping for a higher pressure replacement! Many models like this one release the water at higher pressures rather than more water to still give you the same squeaky clean feeling.
If you’re looking for simpler swaps, we’ve got those for your bathroom too. Conditioning and shampoo bars are taking the world by storm since they use barely any packaging. If you haven't found one you love yet, head on over to our shop and grab a cleansing bar (multi-purpose for hair/body/face).
It’s also really important to start looking into ethical toilet paper options - that is, brands that are consciously sourced. Reel offers sustainable paper-free bamboo toilet paper, and better yet: it arrives at your doorstep in carbon neural packaging! Click HERE for $10 off your first order.
If you’re the kind of person that is sick of forgetting to buy toilet paper, a bidet is a great zero waste option to consider as well!
The Living Room + Bedroom
The kitchen and bathroom gets a whole lot of credit for energy and water-use… But your places of rest, relaxation and family time deserve the very best swaps too!
For simple swaps that can save you big money, let’s talk about temperature control.
Naturally if you’re going to use an air conditioner or central heating on a daily basis: your carbon footprint is going to be a whole lot larger. Granted, we’re not saying that you can’t make use of the thermostat (especially if you live in an area of extreme weather) - but we are saying it’s worth looking into alternatives!
Invest in some blinds that can keep more than 50% of the heat out on a hot summer day. For the winter, it’s a good idea to roll out the cozy rugs or even look into pellet stoves that use organic materials to burn.
How about the lighting and ambiance of these rooms? LED lights are a fantastic way to bring down the electric bills, reduce your energy waste and get away from the harsh lighting of stereotypical fluorescents all at once.
And if you’re looking for overall decor changes… We can’t say it enough: plants are the best for creating an inviting space without breaking the bank or feeling the need to invest in mass-produced pictures or knick knacks on the walls. If you’re obsessed with candles, essential oils + diffusers are really the way to go for a more natural aroma!
These are just a few eco-friendly swaps to get you started, ranging from cheap reusable items to investment-worthy appliances. It’s important to save the planet - but it’s also important to be smart about when and how you swap these items out.
We can continue living this year the way we’ve been before…
Or we can make some changes.
Changes that will let our homes reflect exactly who we are and who we want to be.