Pacifica Senior Living Blog

7 Ways to be More Sustainable This Spring

Mar 18, 2024 2:55:31 PM / by Carly Dodd, Pacifica Senior Living

Living a sustainable lifestyle might sound daunting, but it is actually simpler than you may think. Start small, with these every day adjustments to help reduce the negative impact we all have on the environment. Focusing on things like recycling, using less water, or using green cleaning products are simple ways we can all cut back on our carbon footprint. 

1. Replace Single-Use Products with Reusable

Being sustainable means implementing strategies that will have long lasting effects - and which you can do day in and day out. One of the best ways to be sustainable is by using sustainable products, and ditching the single-use items. As a society we have grown used to one-time use plastics like take-out containers, disposable coffee cups, plastic straws, or grocery bags.

One of the easiest ways to be more earth conscious is by replacing these with reusable options. Reusable cloth grocery bags or produce bags, reusable coffee mugs, skipping the straw or using glass tupperware can help cut down on the use of single-use plastics. You can even shop products and brands that use recycled packaging or environmentally friendly options to further reduce the amount of plastic you buy. 

2. Use Eco-friendly Cleaning Products

Cleaning products have notoriously harsh chemicals that can have a negative effect on the environment. Some don’t break down easily in nature, while others can be harmful to wildlife. But not all cleaning supplies are made equal. There are plenty of eco-friendly options that use biodegradable and environmentally friendly options. Many of these also avoid using plastic where possible.

Just because it is ‘green’ doesn’t make it eco-friendly, though. Check for a certification from an environmental organization such as Leaping Bunny, EcoLogo, Green Seal or EcoCert. Unscented products are usually less harsh and have fewer chemicals as well.

3. Use Less Water 

It may not seem like it, but you use energy whenever you run water in your home. Reducing the amount of water you use also helps use less energy. Be aware of how long you run your tap. Fill a sink to wash dishes rather than wash under running water, only run your dishwasher or laundry machine when it is full, and reduce the length of time you spend in the shower.

Using cold water instead of hot water is also a more sustainable alternative. Water heaters can have a big impact on your energy usage. Most clothing can be washed on a cold cycle, which actually helps prolong the life of your clothing. Shower in cooler water is also better for your skin and metabolism, and might just help you keep your showers a little shorter.

4. Recycle or Compost

We can each do our part to help recycle and compost our waste. Remember to separate out plastics, cans, and bottles for recycling. Ensure all recyclable products are clean and free from food waste beforehand.

Some areas also have city-wide compost systems. Compost is a great option for food waste and natural products that break down quickly and safely in nature. A lot of the garbage in America is actually food waste or food waste related. Scrap and unwanted food, or things like egg shells, fruit rinds etc. into a compost container. If your city doesn’t have a compost program, consider a back-yard compost container. It can be a great way to not only reduce the amount of garbage you produce, but can break down into super fertile soil for your garden.

 5. Start a Vegetable Garden

It may seem daunting to grow your own food, but remember you can start small! A simple herb or vegetable garden is a great place to start, and can cut down on your grocery bill, as well as the environmental impact of buying vegetables from a big-name store. There are lots of options that are fairly easy to grow, even for beginners, depending on your climate. Tomatoes, peppers, peas, lettuce, or certain fruits can be great choices.

In fact, our community Healdsburg Senior Living has their own heirloom garden where they grow vegetables and herbs that are used in their on-site kitchen! 

6. Eat Less Meat

The meat industry unfortunately has a large carbon footprint, meaning its impact on the environment is large. Between the farms, food, and land needed to house the animals to the large industry that takes the meat from farm to table, a lot of carbon emissions are used.

Cutting down on the amount of meat you eat can help reduce your negative environmental impact. Start small, with a vegetarian meal, or do ‘Meatless Mondays’ to cut meat out one day of the week. There are lots of delicious, easy to make meals that are packed full of nutrients without including meat.


7. Use Eco-friendly Household Options

There are lots of options for making your home more eco-friendly. Swap traditional light bulbs for LED options, implement smart-water systems (like toilets and taps) and switch to solar power where possible.

Pacifica Senior Living has implemented a number of green initiatives across our communities, including large scale solar power panels, gardens, recycling programs, LED light bulbs, smart water systems and more! We aim to continue to reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. 

To learn more about Pacifica Senior Living, check out our website!

Tags: Sustainability and Green Initiatives