Cottage by the Lake? Here’s How to Keep It Sustainable

Money-saving, eco-friendly tips for your holiday home

Owning or renting a cottage over the summer is a great way to get closer to nature. These tips will help your getaway more sustainable and kinder to the earth. They will also save you money and extend the longevity of your favorite holiday spot.

  • Use all-natural soaps and shampoos. Dangerous phthalates (the scents in soaps and personal products) or the surfactants which create lather remain in the lake for a long time and negatively affect the eco-system.
  • Turn off your appliances when not in use. Appliances in standby mode can account for up to 10% of your cottage hydro bill.
  • Buy food from local farmers. Food sourced locally doesn’t travel long distances to get to your table and you’ll be supporting the local economy.
  • Get moving by exploring the countryside by bike or on foot. You’ll get to exercise, save on gas and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Don’t use disposables. Buy or make fabric napkins (get the tutorial here), get metal cutlery and glass or plastic dishes which will save you money over time and reduce your contribution to the local landfill.
  • Shopping at local markets and cooking at the cottage not only saves you money, but reduces the amount of take-out garbage you produce.
  • Create an animal-proof compost solution that allows you to turn your biodegradable waste into valuable food for your garden. Get a complete tutorial here.
  • Save water by using a rain barrel to water your garden. Place a tub in your shower to collect water for indoor plants.
  • Make your own natural bug spray and black fly spray to reduce your family’s exposure to chemicals.
  • Help to save our pollinators by creating a bee-friendly garden. Get some helpful tips here.
  • Eating meat (particularly beef) carries a high carbon footprint. Plan your cottage meals to include meat-free options. Taking time to plan meals will mean you waste less.
  • Plant native species in your garden to prevent invasive plants from taking over and to provide an oasis for local wildlife. Native plants are uniquely adapted to the conditions and will require less watering.
  • Ditch your lawn! In the US, lawnmowers account for 5% of greenhouse gas emissions. You also don’t want to spend all your time at the cottage mowing the lawn. There are many effective lawn alternatives that look great and don’t require mowing.
  • Make your own natural pesticides and herbicides to avoid negatively impacting the environment.
  • Reduce your heating and cooling costs by improving your homes insulation. Find the best energy-saving renovations by using our free home calculator

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