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Eco-Benefits of Staying Home When the Temperatures Drop

The following post is from Emily of Live Renewed:

Eco-Benefits of Staying Home in the Winter
source: Michael McKechnie/Flickr

Old man winter has finally visited us here in Northern Indiana this past week, with the high temperatures below freezing every day. Because it’s so cold out we have scaled back our activities and have rarely left the house, unlike the previous week when we had something on our calendar almost every day.

I tend to be more of a homebody anyway, but I noticed that this past week that staying home definitely had some benefits over going out multiple times in a week. And although it’s easy to get cabin fever during the days inside at home, if you can focus on the positives, it makes it easier.

There are several positive eco-benefits of staying at home:

Saving Gas

This one’s pretty obvious, but when you’re not out and about driving around, you’re not using up gas in your car. This is especially true in the winter when you’re car runs less efficiently when the engine is cold, or you warm up your car early and it sits idling for 15 minutes before you’re ready to go.

Cooking at Home

Not going out means you have to cook, and eat, at home with no impulsive stops through the drive through or going out to eat because you’ve been away from home all day and haven’t planned anything for dinner.  Eating at home is good for your health, and the health of the planet.

Less Stuff

Let’s be honest, those “quick” trips to Target or the grocery store usually end with more in our carts than we had planned on. When you stay home you learn to be content with what you already have and make it work for you instead of running out to buy something, which lessens the demand for new products to be produced.

Saving Money

Plain and simple, staying home saves money. All of the above things will save you money, which means you’ll have more room in your budget for eco-friendly purchases that might be a little more pricey, like organic, real food, non-toxic bath products, and maybe even some fair-trade chocolate to get you through the long days spent inside.

Eco-Benefits of Staying Home in Winter

If you tend to be out of the house almost every day of the week, here are some ideas to help you spend more of your time at home.

Plan errands for one day.

We did go out one day last week to the doctor and the dentist, and to run a few errands. It makes for a long day, but it’s better to do all your driving in one day then to spread it out across the week.

Shop in bulk.

If you have a decent stockpile of basic pantry staples you can cook at home from scratch without having to run out to the grocery store or relying on take-out.

Telecommute, if you can.

If you work outside the home, than staying at home most days isn’t an option for you. But, what if you could work at home at least one day a week? Try to plan a day where you don’t have any meetings or appointments so that you can take care of all your work responsibilities from your computer without leaving the house.

You may be snowed in at some point this winter, take the time at home to relax and remember that staying home can be beneficial to both your budget and the planet.

How do you beat cabin fever when you’re stuck at home in the winter?

Emily McClements strives to live with compassion and caring for creation in a way that will impact the world. She is a blessed wife and mama to three young children, and blogs about her family’s journey toward natural and simple living at Live Renewed.