How to Reduce Your Homestead’s Carbon Footprint
By Kacey Bradley | Jan 6, 2020
Living off the land provides plenty of advantages for your finances and health, and it equally benefits the environment. Lowering your reliance on external entities lets you gain control over how you interact with the land. You may wonder how you can improve your current strategies and shrink your homestead’s carbon footprint even more. Look no further — here’s how to turn your environmental impact from decent to excellent.
1. Thrifted and Homemade Clothing
Buying new outfits is fun, but producing clothes requires numerous resources. Cotton is a water-intensive crop that can deplete residential water supplies, and synthetic fibers create carbon emissions due to coal-based production methods. As the “fast fashion” trend increases, more harmful gases enter the atmosphere.
You can save money and conserve natural resources by buying clothes from thrift stores and sewing. Look for clothes made from fibers like burlap and jute when you go shopping instead of choosing synthetic polyesters or acrylics.
2. Composting Food
Composting is a great way to improve waste management techniques. It’s easy to create a compost pile if you don’t already have one. The main components are organic matter — like food scraps and leaf litter — and water. Remember to include items like newspapers and cardboard to create an even balance of wet and dry goods. You can fertilize your lawn without synthetic products once your compost is in good shape.
3. Renewable Energy
Gradually divesting from the energy grid is the best way to switch to renewable power. You don’t have to rewire your entire electrical system to embrace renewables like solar or wind. Make a steady transition by replacing electrical elements as they need upgrading or dividing components into phases. You could try out a solar-powered backup generator to see how it runs before installing an entire array.
Wind turbines function best on rural land with free airflow — consider this energy alternative if your property fits the bill. Hydropower requires a little more work to implement, but you can achieve it if your homestead sits near running water.
4. Homegrown Meals
If you own cows or chickens, you’re already making good progress with sourcing local food. Although animal products contribute to the production of methane emissions, the footprint is considerably less prominent when the goods come straight from your backyard. You don’t have to ship in eggs or milk from miles away, which slashes fuel pollution. There are also fewer chances for items to spoil during shipment, limiting waste.
Shop at farmers markets or join a community-supported agriculture group to buy directly from growers. They’ll receive monetary support while you get to enjoy delicious and healthy foods.
5. Recycling and Reusing
Plastic, rubber and other inorganic materials surround you. Sometimes it’s hard to avoid products containing them. That doesn’t have to stop you from being eco-friendly, however. Recycling and reusing are the next best options for handling inorganic waste. Composting fits into this category, but you can also take garbage to local collection centers if it’s unrecyclable.
Repurposing objects for daily use can be incredibly useful. Egg cartons transform into mini-planters or jewelry holders, while an empty gum container can hold everyday objects. You can even substitute an old shower curtain as a drop cloth for craft projects.
6. Rainwater Collection
Set out a barrel the next time it rains and collect the water for use around the home or garden. If you want a more intensive method, you can install a whole-home system for treating and using water. Doing this improves your management strategy and conserves local sources.
Consider a few factors, such as roof pitch, tank size and water application, before implementing a system. What you use the water for determines how you’ll need to treat it. Fitting your rain barrel with a mesh screen will reduce the amount of debris that enters, which means you’ll spend less time filtering.
Take Simple Steps to Make Your Home Sustainable
Creating an ultra-sustainable homestead is easy with some creativity and skill. You’ll learn efficient ways to complete chores and do business while prioritizing environmental preservation. Without a healthy planet, there can be no homesteads — everyone plays a part in protecting natural resources.
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