Sustainable Living

I’m a Sustainability Expert, and This Is the Best Eco-Friendly Investment I’ve Made in My Home

Mary Grace Garis

Actress and activist Sophia Bush sits down with experts to get the answers to our audience's most pressing questions about today’s most confusing topics, with emphasis on the straightforward facts you, ahem, need to know.

Sustainable switches for the home may well be kind to the Earth, but they're often not cost-friendly—at least not upfront. With this in mind, it's clear that not everyone has the financial bandwidth to support making certain eco-friendly swaps. So, when taking into account both your finances and the environment, it's helpful to be aware of environmentally friendly investments that may show you a return. That is, certain sustainable choices and lifestyle swaps stand to offer the long-term benefit of saving you money in the future.

In the latest episode of the Well+Good web series Need To Knowhost, activist, and actress Sophia Bush discusses such environmentally friendly investments with sustainability expert Jhànneu Roberts. And according to Roberts, anyone's journey towards making their home more sustainable should begin with looking through the garbage.

"Looking in your trash kind of helps you determine where you are producing waste in the first place," Roberts says. "I know for me, when I started my low-waste journey, I was throwing out a ton of food. I was throwing out a ton of Ziploc bags. I was throwing out all these items I could just compost, such as food." You can do the same to find out where you're generating the most waste.

"I think it's so powerful to grow your own food. You can regrow right in your kitchen." —Jhànneu Roberts, sustainability expert

As far as what Roberts considers to be her best eco-friendly investment, she has two stand-out answers: educating herself on sustainability in the first place, which is a free thing all of us can do, and cultivating her own little patio garden.

"I think it's so powerful to grow your own food," says Roberts. "You can regrow right in your kitchen. I think just finding ways to bring in less products in your own home is amazing. Like, now I don't have to go out and buy green onions because I can grow them at home, and it's saving me a ton of money."

Depending on your financial situation, you could also purchase a Rise Gardens system to help you grow your own produce in quantities that may rival grocery store selections. But the most cost-effective (and super-sustainable) method is to use food scraps to regrow your own food. It's good for your environment, good for your bank account, and good for your hunger cravings.

Ready to make more food choices that are sustainable for the Earth and your wallet? Watch the full video above.

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