The environment is going through a rapid change. To save the planet and sustain the environment, more and more people are adopting green lifestyle habits every day.
You can also be a part of the movement by simply changing certain small habits in your life. And by the way – going green is not only healthy for the environment but can also help save you money. Here are some easy tips to live a more eco-friendly life.
1. Find Alternatives To Paper
We live in an amazing time when almost everything is digital.
We should almost never need to print anything or use paper unless it is absolutely necessary. Simple things like changing all of your bank statements to email can go a long way.
The amount of trees that are cut down every year just to sustain our appetite for paper is quite astonishing. On top of that, paper and textile goods comprise over 40% of municipal solid waste. The best thing to do is not use paper at all, but if you absolutely have to make sure you recycle!
The EPA found that 17 trees can be saved by simply recycling one ton of paper. It’s a small thing to remember, but limiting paper usage can actually make a significant impact on helping the environment
2. Prioritize Local Shops & Thrift Shops
Prioritize locally sourced grocery stores and retailers for fresh foods and other necessities. When possible, avoid big stores and supermarkets that ship their goods in from all over the world.
When the products of a supermarket are transported to the store, it exhausts a great deal of fossil fuel. Supporting a local shop or farmer’s market won’t have as much of a negative impact on transportation.
Thrifting is another great local and very eco-friendly option to consider! Thrift shops are way more sustainable and much more affordable too which is an added bonus. According to an article published in Business Insider, 10% of all carbon emissions come from the fashion industry. If we shop second-hand clothes we can lower the demand for new ones and help the environment in return.
Thrift shops are also available online. To learn more about the best online thrift stores, check out this article by Tamborasi.
3. Reduce Household Energy Consumption
Look around you. There might be a light on or fans running in an empty room. This happens in almost every household or office and can slowly accumulate to massive energy consumption that is completely wasted.
Turn off lights that are not in use and use energy-efficient tools and equipment to save even more energy.
There are smart thermostats that can be programmed to turn on and off on a fixed timer. Those can also be programmed to automatically turn off when nobody is home. If you need your room to cool down, open the window instead of using the air conditioner.
4. Use Alternatives To Plastic
Plastic is one of the most prolific and harmful substances to the planet. Many stores have begun offering canvas bags for purchase and reuse instead of plastic bags. The canvas bags are a very small upfront cost, but they are highly sustainable and worth every penny.
As well, they are much more durable than plastic bags. They are also bigger, so you can carry more items. As for students, it can be a great way to carry books, papers, laptops, and pens.
If you somehow get stuck with a plastic bag as we all do from time to time, try to reuse them as often as possible. They of course make for great trash bags and animal waste bags.
5. Start Effective Recycling
Many major cities around the world have a recycling program. Many even have curbside pick-up services. If that is not the case, you can always try to find a drop-off location that will handle your recyclable items.
The best thing to do is check with your local municipality to see what the program details are, how much it costs, and how to obtain a bin for your items.
6. Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Any time you need to replace your light bulbs, take the opportunity to switch to a more environmentally friendly bulb.
Try using compact fluorescent light instead of traditional bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs or CFL bulbs are estimated to last five times longer than traditional or incandescent bulbs.
They are energy efficient and extremely bright. Because of this brightness, you will also need fewer lights around the house.
7. Create Your Own Compost Bin
Compost bins minimize organic waste that will take up space in garbage trucks and consume fuel to transport to a landfill.
Composting is also a great way to save money if you have a garden and want to have natural fertilizer on hand. This also reduces chemical use. Over 30 percent of your kitchen waste is biodegradable and can be composted. You never have to buy fertilizer again!
8. Conserve Water
Water is a finite resource that we all take for granted. It’s hard to believe there was a time when freshwater didn’t magically come out of the tap in your house simply by pulling a small lever. Many regions in the world are facing freshwater shortages. Conserving your daily water usage is not hard and can make a huge positive impact on our planet.
A few simple ideas: take shorter showers, wait to do laundry until after using clothes 3-4 times, pay close attention to leaking plumbing, and one really big one (but difficult for some people) is to consume less meat.
9. Lower Your Meat Consumption
It’s an unfortunate reality that the meat industry causes massive destruction to the planet. In the meat industry, to produce high-quality meat, a huge amount of water is required for the animals.
Factory farming also emits pollutants, chemicals, and greenhouse gasses, severely damaging the environment. To build the grazing pastures and factories needed to sustain our meat consumption, thousands of trees are cut down, and even the rainforests and decimated. This causes an increase in global warming and environmental degradation.
It might be easier said than done, but it will do a huge amount of good to switch to fruit and vegetable-based diet. About 30% of the earth’s surface is used to raise livestock. According to a report by the United Nations, about 9% of total CO2 emission comes from livestock farms. On top of that, the animals produce even more greenhouse gas.
10. Use Your Car Less
A lot of us are lucky to have everything close to our homes. If you are one of those lucky people, then try walking more or use a bicycle.
It will be a good workout, and you will reduce carbon emissions. Rely on public transit options such as city buses and light rail systems for long-distance travel as much as possible. And always carpool to and from work if you have to use a private car.
These are some of the most basic steps you can take to live an eco-friendly life. You can also advise your family and friends about it. The more the change, the better it is for us and our planet.