How to Live Greener and Healthier in a Rural Setting
The countryside is a wonderful place. From the peace and quiet of nature to the clear air and the night skies, choosing a home in a rural area can be a wonderful way to spend your life. However, just because you’re surrounded by green doesn’t mean you’re living green. Here are some top tips and tricks to help you live both greener and healthier in your country abode.
Moving to a Rural Area
If you dream about the country life but haven’t quit the burbs yet, or if you’re planning to finally move from your cramped city apartment to the luxuriously spacious countryside, there are some ways you can already protect the environment before you even pick your new country house.
While a “rural area” is a rather sweeping term, it can include many different places that are less desirable to live in if you’re looking for a less restrictive environment.
- For example, if you move out of a city but don’t pay attention to the specific location you’re headed to, you might end up within a township or other local municipality. If that’s the case, you may find that you’ve simply jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, swapping out those city laws and ordinances for a whole new set of restrictive rules in your new town.
- Also, make sure you don’t move to a place so close to a growing city center that the suburbs catch up with you before long. With people constantly moving outwards from urban centers these days, if you’re looking for a “forever home” in the country, you need to make sure you get far enough out to really be safe from suburban encroachment.
- These are important considerations, as they will often cause homeowners to move more than once, which brings with it a whole host of environmentally negative consequences. Try to make your first country house your last one. Not only will it save the environment, but it’ll also save you time and money, as well as preventing the need to go through all of the hassles that come with moving every few years.
It’s easy to overly rely on automated vehicles when you’re living in the country. Everything seems like it’s miles away, and it’s tempting to just grab the keys, hop in the car, and head into town whenever you need something. But if you’re trying to live a greener, healthier lifestyle, it’s worth taking the time to structure your transportation around a mantra of minimal usage. The results benefit both the Earth and yourself.
Walk and Ride
First, consider walking or biking whenever you can. This may sound silly if you’re used to everything being within a block or two back when you lived in the city, but the concept of walking in the country isn’t as absurd as it sounds. While the local grocery store may be a 15-minute drive away, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options close by. Just be sure to take precautions to prevent the most common bike accident injuries!
- Try to locate any local farms that put stands by the road. These can often be excellent ways to get fresh fruit and a healthy walk or bike ride in all while not using your car.
- Individual farm markets and smaller storefronts are also becoming increasingly popular, with larger farms creating small but well-stocked locations that are often replete with many of the basic staples of life.
- Another excellent practice is to consider clustering your trips. If you head into town, try to visit a few stores at once rather than using the gas and time to make multiple excursions. It may require a bit more forethought, but eventually, it becomes like clockwork.
- If walking or riding a bike is impractical, reconsider whether the trip is necessary.
- Modern technology can also offer alternatives to those lengthy trips into town. Telemedicine, for example, is allowing health-conscious folk to both initially check and continue to monitor symptoms, refill prescriptions, and address other medical concerns with licensed medical professionals without the need to go all the way to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
As a final note, make sure to adhere to proper pedestrian safety while using country roads to walk or ride your bike. It can be easy to get lulled into a false sense of security with the lack of traffic, but when the cars do drive by they are often going fast. In addition, country roads often lack shoulders let alone sidewalks. Make sure to be careful!
Greener Living in Your Country Home
Finally, there’s the aspect of your home itself. Once again, living in the country doesn’t automatically equate to green or healthy living. However, there are many different ways to help reduce energy consumption along with the terrible effects that it can have on the environment while still living comfortably in your rural abode.
Some of the changes are quick and easy. For example:
- Switching out regularly used light bulbs for more energy-efficient models can immediately lower the level of your house’s impact on the Earth.
- In addition, replacing your appliances with higher-efficiency models whenever you can is always a great way to slowly but surely turn your home into an eco-friendly paradise.
When it comes to heating and cooling — which can add up to a hefty 50 percent of your home’s energy usage.
- If you can install an energy-efficient furnace or wood stove, that is obviously the most preferable route to take. However, if your furnace is new or the cost of replacing it is too high, it can help to keep up on the unit’s maintenance, as doing so keeps the fuel burning at peak efficiency.
- Also, consider getting a programmable thermostat if you don’t have one already. This can help you burn less fuel when it isn’t necessary.
- Furthermore, keep in mind that there are plenty of other ways to bundle up in the winter as well as stay cool in the summer heat without using a furnace or AC unit.
- A constantly heated hot water tank is another drain on your home’s overall energy usage that can be addressed by installing a tankless water heater. This can reduce the energy used to heat your water by as much as 34 percent for homesteads with lower overall usage.
- Other ways to save on those water heating costs include turning down your water heater heat, repairing any existing leaks, and keeping those showers short.
Healthy and Green in the Country
While there are numerous other ways to keep your life lean and green in your dream-come-true country house, the important thing is to remember to make conscious decisions at all times. Don’t just opt for the easiest way out. Rural living is an adventure, but it also has some genuine challenges. Just take each one as it comes, and make sure to keep your health and the environment in mind as you go about living that country life you’ve always wished for!
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to live healthier in the country or anywhere? Is so please share them in the comment section of below.
Please share this article to help spread the word of health and green living to as many people as we can!