Staying warm through the winter months can be a challenge – and staying cheerful and upbeat can be even tougher! A lot of us find ourselves affected by a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder when it’s colder and darker outside. Check out these eco-friendly tips to keep you happy and healthy all winter.
Weatherproof Your Home
Reducing your home energy use by 15% will save the equivalent of 500 tons of coal per year. Any draughts or cracks in your home can lead to cold escaping and you having to crank up the heat even further. Invest in a good thermostat to ensure that you aren’t leaving your heating on for too long – Thermostat Center can help you figure out which one is best for you. You should also move around your home to check out your window and door frames to make sure none of them are letting in any cold air, and make sure your attic is well insulated to keep the heat in.
Exercising can raise the amount of endorphins, or happy hormones, in your body. It’s tough to get out to the gym when you have a family, so check out yoga or aerobics videos on YouTube instead, or run up and down the stairs a couple of times. Remember to get out and walking if the conditions outside aren’t too treacherous – the fresh air will be good for you.
Use Winter Fruits And Vegetables
Using organic seasonal produce can reduce your carbon footprint by ensuring you aren’t making too much use of fruits and vegetables that have been shipped in from sunnier climes. Vegetables around this time of year include sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli and leeks, and you can try out fruits like grapefruit, kiwis, and mandarin oranges. It’s a great time of year to make warming soups like leek and potato and winter lentil.
Reduce Your Light Pollution
Try to use the lowest wattage bulbs to reduce light pollution around your home, particularly outside, where a 40 watt bulb should be sufficient. For security lighting, use motion sensors – they save energy. Inside you can use LED lighting and install dimmer switches to lower your energy usage.
Keep Your Plants Thriving
The plants in your home are a source of healthy oxygen as well as happiness! Make sure you keep them watered and invest in a sun lamp if they’re starting to get limp and tired-looking. Indoor air pollution is a serious risk to your health and plenty of healthy houseplants can fight against that.
Have An Eco Friendly Christmas
Christmas is a time when a lot of people indulge in rampant consumerism, but it’s possible to have a great family Christmas while considering the environment too. Purchase toys made out of sustainable, recyclable materials like wood instead of plastic to put in your kids’ stockings. Books also make great gifts. You can grow your own Christmas tree, or use a tree rental service to prevent from too many trees being cut down and destroyed. Make sure you recycle all your wrapping paper after Christmas, and wash out and save any glass jars. They could make excellent gifts next year if you fill them with homemade jam or chutney!
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