Interested in eco-friendly ways to reduce your energy costs and your home’s carbon footprint? Here are some helpful ideas. Whether it’s opting for reusable products or taking steps to conserve energy, every little bit counts.
Purchase Reusable Items Locally
Many of us have switched from single-use plastic water bottles to reusable water bottles, but there are many other single-use items that you can swap out for those that can be used again and again. For example, cloth napkins are a great alternative to single-use paper napkins. The Berry Patch, a kitchen store here on Bainbridge Island, has beautiful cloth napkins and many other wonderful products. Instead of using plastic sandwich bags, try using compostable BioBags. They’re available at many local grocery stores across Kitsap County and they help the environment. Swedish dishcloths are the perfect alternative to paper towels. They’re reusable, machine washable, and compostable. You can find them in places like Nordiska in Poulsbo, which also has some other eco-friendly items for your home.
Buy Locally Produced Food
Purchasing local, seasonal produce instead of long-haul shipped goods reduces your meal’s carbon footprint and keeps dollars in our local economy. Additionally, buying locally often reduces packaging waste. Kitsap Fresh is an online farmers market co-op that connects you to over 40 local farms and food producers. It is an easy way to shop for local produce, eggs, meat, dairy, baked goods, and more. Every weekend, you can order online and then pick up your order on Wednesdays at one of their many pick-up locations. Alternatively, you can pay for home delivery.
In the warmer months, you don’t even have to shop for produce like berries. Just head to a local u-pick patch. We recommend the strawberry patches at Suyematsu Farms. For blueberries, visit Bainbridge Island Blueberry Company. Berry picking is one of many fun outdoor activities on Bainbridge Island.
Another way to support local farmers and food producers is to shop at a farmers’ market. It’s a fun way to connect to the community, and don’t forget to bring your reusable shopping bags to help out the environment. There are many great farmers’ markets across the Kitsap Peninsula. Watch our video below to get a glimpse of Bainbridge Island’s great farmers’ market. Every Saturday from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, you can enjoy their many offerings. They start in April and run through November, and they’re located in Town Square at City Hall.
Throwing out food scraps can be more damaging to the environment than you may realize. In fact, when decomposing food is packed in with trash, it produces methane gas. Methane is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Many like the idea of composting but they’re wary of the smell and hassle. No need to worry. Simply put a bin or bag inside your freezer so that you don’t have to deal with any unpleasant odors. Throw produce scraps into it and then dump the full container into your yard waste bin. Or, start composting in a corner of your yard. Composting is very beneficial for your garden since it produces nutrient-rich soil. For additional information, here’s a helpful composting guide.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Investing in a smart thermostat really pays off in the long run. By learning our temperature preferences, smart thermostats cut down on fossil fuel energy sources. It can reduce your home’s demand for electricity produced by power plants, thereby reducing carbon emissions.
Invest in Solar Panels
Solar panels cut down utility bills and offer a clean source of energy. Over 25 years, a standard solar panel installation can be equated to 135 tons of carbon dioxide emissions avoided. Many people are investing in solar panels since this green option has really come down in cost and has become increasingly popular. In fact, Governor Inslee just had solar panels installed at his Bainbridge home. And, there are tax benefits to having solar panels installed. Washington state provides a sales tax exemption for solar energy systems and a solar investment tax credit. To learn more, visit the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
If you have any questions about eco-friendly home improvements to help the environment, please feel free to contact us.