Friday, April 16, 2021

10 Ways We Try to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint at Home

 Good morning friends and happy Friday! So I was listening to a podcast the other day about the many benefits of buying food that is locally grown and one of the benefits was reducing carbon emissions. I am always looking for ways to try to help our family be more green and thought "I should write a blog post about that!" Maybe you are looking for some simple ways to be more green in your home too? We of course do the basic things like turning off lights when we aren't in a room and bringing our reusable grocery bags to the store, but we do a few extra things as well.  

Every single one of these things we do around our house was a simple change and honestly ends up saving us money in the long run too. Fewer carbon emissions AND saving money? Sounds like a win/win to me!

1. Stop Buying Plastic Water Bottles/Using Plastic Straws-- We try very hard to always bring a water bottle or cup with us wherever we go. 

I love to fill up my water pitcher each morning with some fruit or cucumber slices and then refill my water bottle throughout the day. It helps me be more motivated to drink water if I know it's going to taste good, AND helps me remember to bring my water with me and not grab one whenever I'm out somewhere. I also try to use reusable straws whenever possible.

2. Use Fewer Ziploc Bags-- A couple years ago I stumbled across these reusable lunch containers in the checkout section at Old Navy. 





You know all those little things they make you stand next to while you wait in line? I'm such a sucker for those. Lily Grace's school requires her snack to be packed separately from her lunch so the kids can easily differentiate between lunch & snack and don't accidentally grab the wrong one. I pack her lunch in a reusable Bento Box daily and her snack in one of the other reusable containers. 


We only ever have to use Ziplocs when these get left behind at school. 😊 I don't see them on the Old Navy website anymore, but of course they're on Amazon. Bigger containers are here, bag style is here, and bento box here.

3. Use Reusable K Cups-- We have been using these reusable K cups for a long time and while this one was a learning curve at first, I quickly got used to it and prefer it now. I dump the liner with coffee grounds into our compost which is great for the soil! Not to mention coffee is cheaper when you buy a big thing of it rather than individual k cups.

4. Use a Rain Barrel-- I don't know about where you live, but the bill for watering our grass in the summer is CRAZY. Charlotte gets very hot in the summer which means we have to water the grass almost daily in order for it to stay lush and green. We invested in a rain barrel earlier this year and have already made our money back by using it to water our grass and other plants. Better for the environment and better for our wallets!

5. Eat More Plants (Bonus if You Grow Them Yourself!)-- It's no secret that we love to grow our own food in the garden. There is nothing better than a perfectly ripe tomato you grew in your own backyard, am I right? 

We all know the obvious effect of having produce flown from California, Iowa or wherever to our state/province and then driven on trucks to our local grocery stores. If we can buy more food locally we are helping to eliminate some of those carbon emissions AND helping local farmers (which is a dying industry unfortunately). The podcast I was listening to mentioned that foods are at their most nutritious when recently picked, and that each day after being picked they begin to lose nutritional value. Yet another reason to buy local produce!

6. Sell Your Old Things on Facebook Marketplace (or Donate Them 😀)-- We knew when we renovated our house that we were going to need some new furniture/rugs/accessories to decorate with. While we loved a lot of the old things we had, we knew they were not going to fit our space any longer. Rather than throwing them away I listed all our old stuff on Facebook Marketplace in hopes that:

 A) We could make some money off it


B) We wouldn't have to deal with the hassle of getting everything loaded up in our car and making multiple trips to Goodwill

I am happy to say that most of it sold! I only had to take two trips to Goodwill with mostly small items. One man's trash is another man's treasure! 

I also love to take all my kids old clothes and toys to the kids consignment store in town. I swear my kids are growing so rapidly that they only wear some clothes once or twice before they're outgrown. It's nice to know that someone else can enjoy the clothes too.


7. Use a Drying Rack Instead of the Dryer-- Back when Devin and I were first married and didn't have two nickels to rub together, I was analyzing our energy bill in an effort to save money wherever possible. I noticed that dryer use was one of the highest categories on our bill. I figured it was worth a try to run to IKEA, grab a cheap $15 drying rack and give it a go for a couple months. If it made a difference, awesome. If not, I was only out $15.  A weird quirky fact: I actually LOVED hanging out our clothes on the drying rack and still do it to this day whenever possible. There's just something therapeutic about being outside in the fresh air and doing a menial task. For all my teachers out there, it reminds me of cutting out laminating. So simple, yet so satisfying. Lily Grace also loves to "help" with this which makes me happy (even though I always have to re-do hers 😂).

8. Look Up Your Local Recycling Laws-- So this one actually made me super mad about a year ago... we have been recycling as much as possible for years, but didn't realize how many recyclables our county actually doesn't take. 😡 It's pretty ridiculous how bad our county is. Just because something says on the package that it is recyclable doesn't mean it actually is recyclable where you live. In order to make sure they were able to take more of our recyclables I went to our county's website and looked up the list of what they will take vs. won't take.

9. Compost Food Waste-- We love to compost! Again, this is one that helps the environment and can save you money. We love to turn our food scraps into soil for our garden using our composter. I bought this one at our local ACE Hardware (the Amazon one I linked is pricier, but it's the same one) about a year ago but we filled it up so quickly we needed to grab another one. Since the first one was kind of expensive, I turned to Facebook Marketplace and grabbed another gently used one for $40! Score!

 This is our $40 Facebook one 😊

10. Raise Your Thermostat in the Summer and Turn on a Fan-- We are BIG proponents of fans in our house. We used to have a ceiling fan in our dining room (very weird, I know, hence it being gone) and while it's gone now I actually kind of miss the convenience of it! Fans use significantly less energy than air conditioning so we like to keep our thermostat set at about 75 in the summer and then turn on a fan in whichever room were in. 

Do any of you do these things to help be more green around the home? Any other simple tips you do that I didn't list? I'd love to know!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


  1. so many good ideas. I didn't realize that everything that is recyclable doesn't get recycled. I am going to have to look up ours.

  2. So many great ideas! Thankfully, Lexington makes it very easy to recycle. They provide us with recycling bins for pick up along with our trash bins, so we are very good about recycling. I love having fans on as well. Hadley loves her bento box for lunch, and I use small containers for my lunches. I learned so much from your post!