When you think about solving climate change or fighting global warming, your mind probably zooms into government policies, electric cars that reduce carbon footprints, and reforestation.
These methods work, but so do little changes that make an incredible impact. The best thing is you can do them right inside your home:
1. Install a Bidet Toilet
Do you know that toilets consume the most amount of water at home (perhaps next to drinking)? According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it accounts for over 25 percent of indoor water use. A single flush is already equivalent to 6 gallons of water!
That’s not all. One study found that a household with four people is likely to use 32 rolls of toilet paper per month.
About 27,000 trees would have to be cut down to produce them, and manufacturers don’t pick any tree. The best ones for toilet paper making are either a Douglas fir or Southern yellow pine.
This explains why 10 percent of the tree-based products dumped in landfills are actually toilet paper.
If you want to save water and trees in the bathroom, install a toilet bidet. Bidets are a toilet fixture meant to be straddled as it sprays water into the private areas.
Bidets are considered more hygienic than using toilet paper since the water pressure can gently cleanse the private areas without causing irritation. Moreover, they may decrease toilet paper consumption by as much as 75 percent.
Meanwhile, these toilet attachments may help you save water, cutting down your flushing requirement to a mere 1/8 gallon per flush.
2. Improve the Ventilation of Your Attic
Although the United States is transitioning to green or renewable energy, about 60 percent of energy production still relies on fossil fuels. They contribute massively to carbon emission.
The problem is the dependence on fossil fuels can increase at certain times of the year, such as summer, when people turn on their air-conditioning units at full blast for hours.
To help save money on utility bills and conserve Mother Earth, you can use a thermostat. Another option is to improve the ventilation of your attic.
Attics can get hot because they’re near the roof, but it can also happen because they don’t have adequate insulation. Further, heat cannot completely leave the inside of the home.
Updating attic ventilation may require the assistance of experts, as it may involve some ductwork and insulation replacement or installation. If your house is old, you may need to consider hiring asbestos removal experts. But usually, the process is straightforward and quick.
3. Choose Your Paint Wisely
Do you ever wonder why most homes in the tropical regions or sunny states like Florida use white paint? This is because the color helps reflect, rather than absorb, sunlight away. In other words, this color can keep the interiors feel cooler.
If that isn’t amazing, Purdue University engineers have developed white paint that can cool surfaces by 18 degrees Fahrenheit without using energy and reflecting about 95 percent of sunlight. When it comes to production, it means that homes and buildings may no longer need air-conditioning.
But even if you are not fascinated with white paint, upgrading it to newer options might still work in your favor. These latest types of paint emit very low volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which do not only worsen indoor air quality or contribute to pollution but also harm your health.
4. Use a Rainwater Tank
To be clear, rainwater harvesting can be complicated in some states due to water right infringements. This simply implies that when you collect water, you may prevent others from getting what is rightfully theirs. The impact of this concept is more profound during droughts.
For this reason, some places have rules. In Alaska and Arkansas, you need to get water rights approval. In Utah, rainwater harvesting is okay as long as it is on land owned or leased by the person collecting it.
But in most states, you can collect rainwater—and you should—since it may replace up to 45 percent of main water consumption. You can connect it to your plumbing system for non-potable use, like flushing the toilet or watering the plants.
As long as you know the rules, including how much you can collect, you can set this up the DIY way or have an expert install it for you.
Definitely, the world cannot solve its environmental woes by changing toilet bidets or installing rainwater tanks alone. Policies are still important, and so do the creation of innovative, energy-efficient systems. But these ideas will also tell you that you can also do your part in making the planet healthier.