It’s no secret: clutter is not your friend; it is, in fact, your enemy . We all know that clutter can make your home less enjoyable, and ultimately affect your moods, or cause bad allergies. But did you know that clutter is just as harmful to the environment?
Looking around my own house, I try to make my life simple by reducing the number of items I have in my home. Living with only the basics reduces my carbon footprint and helps preserve the environment for future generations.
Most Americans tend to hold on to too much stuff around the house. However, I have come to realize that the more items we have, the more we have to spend to maintain those items.
The size of my home is like many others in America- approximately 1500 square feet- meaning it can quickly become filled with clutter. Most times, I actually end up feeling burdened by the items I have instead of being satisfied.
Real estate trends since the 1950s reflect our ever-increasing appeal to buy larger homes to be able to store all our possessions. The average size of homes in America has increased in size over the past decades. Look at new construction and how many square feet they have in comparison to homes built 50 years ago. This is actually an irony because most people cite a lack of space as the excuse of getting their homes organized.
Consume Less, Use Little Space
Many times, discussions about climate change and embracing eco-friendly alternatives revolve around the subject of carbon footprint, and the impact of our activities on the environment. For instance, the more we use fossil fuels, the higher our carbon footprint gets. There are many ways to be eco-friendly in your own home.
And when we talk about fossil fuels, we are not just talking about cars, because fossil fuels are used to also create electricity that powers machines which are used to create the numerous items we use in our daily lives- as well as the items we don’t use, those that only amount to clutter.
However, it is not just the manufactured items that form clutter and contribute to the carbon footprint. When a house is full of clutter, it becomes less energy-efficient. When so many items are littered all over the area, they actually block vents, windows, and doors, thus leading to higher energy consumption. This is because heating and cooling systems will need to work harder to compensate for the lost energy.
Not to mention, when your house is full of items that block doors and windows, you are less likely to notice that they require repair or maintenance, meaning that they could actually be compromised to an extent they let in cold or warm air and further contribute to high energy bills.
It is in our best interests to also ensure we work to reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gases to protect our environment. The best place to start is by cutting out clutter. Luckily for you, the process of clearing clutter isn’t a hard one, and you’ll definitely have a healthier and more beautiful home at the end of it all. There are other ways to be energy efficient at home.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
As you begin to de-clutter your home, your first instinct may be to discard all the things that you no longer use. However, you should consider either recycling or donating them. For instance, old worn-out or damaged electronics should not be thrown out because they contain harmful chemicals that can contaminate the soil. What you should instead do, is donate or deliver them to an electronics recycling point where they will be disposed of safely.
Most people usually donate toys, clothing, and household stuff. But did you know that larger items like cars and boats are also good candidates for donation? Old vehicles are harmful to the environment in so many ways. As such, donating them so that they can be restored or disposed of reduces the carbon footprint significantly. If you also have old equipment, such as lawn mowers lying idle in your garage, you can look for programs that allow you to trade them in for newer functional models.
Recycling is another great way to reduce your carbon footprint. You may not know just how many items you can take to your local recycling center. Glass, metal, paper, and cardboard can be recycled. And as you get rid of such stuff, commit to reducing your consumption of the same. You can opt to buy products with less packaging, buy your goods in bulk or carry your own reusable containers to limit the use of paper. These efforts will go a long way in helping you de-clutter your home.
Keeping your home free of clutter also requires cutting down purchases and buying only what you need. If possible, you can borrow the items you intend to use only once or look for more sustainable options to replace that particular item. Not only will you have a healthier, cleaner house, you will also be more organized and happy. The environment and the future will thank you.
We all need to be conscientious about our own carbon footprint and what we can do to make it smaller. Homes are being built now out of sustainable materials which is very desirable to home buyers. It is very common to have new construction have green features to reduce the overall impact on the environment. We need to be aware of our actions and how they impact the environment for future generations.
About the Author
The above real estate article “How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint by Clearing Clutter” was written by Sharon Paxson at Newport Beach Real Estate. We have experience since 2005 representing buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords with their real estate transactions.
We work in Coastal Orange County CA areas including Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Newport Coast, and more! If you are considering selling your home or buying a home, it will be a pleasure to work with you and list your home with a top Newport Beach CA Realtor.