For many, living a greener lifestyle can seem like an overwhelming task. There are so many aspects of eco-friendly living that you have to consider when starting your journey towards sustainability. It can be not easy to know where to start or what steps need to be taken first! That’s why we’ve compiled five easy tips for making your life greener – no matter how big or small the change is.
Eat & Drink Green
Eating clean and greener might seem like a daunting task, especially if you are used to eating meat or living on fast food. However, making simple changes towards this goal can be extremely beneficial for your health and the environment. Below are some actionable tips for you.
- Switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet. A United Nations study indicated that the livestock industry accounts for 9% of CO2 emissions. It also produces 65% of nitrous oxide (296 x worse than CO2 in terms of global warming – if you believe in anthropogenic climate change).
- Make a switch from processed foods (such as granola bars) to fresh fruit and veg.
- Avoid wasting food and drink by taking a reusable bottle or mug to the coffee shop.
- Make certain that you are purchasing eco-friendly beverages, such as organic juice from concentrate.
- Support your local farmers’ market with all of your produce purchases! Growing organic foods can be a big undertaking, but it also offers many benefits. It requires 30%-50% less energy to produce organic food versus non-organic food, which creates greenhouse gas emissions that are not healthy for our atmosphere. Eating all locally grown groceries may save up to 1,000 miles in emissions from driving.
Use Eco-Friendly Fashion/Beauty Products
Choosing personal care products wisely is one of the easiest ways to make your life green.
Purchase eco-friendly and organic beauty products designed without chemicals, such as parabens or phthalates, which can contaminate water supplies. They are also free of petrochemicals, which can harm the environment.
Eco-friendly fashion includes clothes that do not use dyeing or bleaching to produce colors and last much longer than synthetic clothing made with petroleum products. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are buying new eco-friendly goods!
One of the best ways to keep your skincare routine eco-friendly is to avoid using plastic products. However, if you make a mistake and have to use them, be sure to recycle these items. For instance, every minute around the world, there are on average 1 million new plastic bottles sold, and just 10% will be recycled. The remaining 90% either goes to landfills or in the oceans.
Make your Home Eco-Friendly
The goal is to reduce the amount of energy and water that goes into your house so you can save money and the environment in the long run. Renovating a kitchen or bathroom with eco-friendly products, such as bamboo countertops, can add a nice touch to your space and save you money while also benefitting the environment!
Here are some tips to make your home more eco-friendly:
- Reduce your water use by installing a low-flow showerhead and running the dishwasher only when it is full.
- Use LED light bulbs in lamps to reduce the cost of electricity. LED lights to use 75% less energy than incandescent for the same amount of light, and LED bulbs last 25 times longer. Try using energy-efficient appliances, too!
- Take shorter showers and fix leaky faucets around the house
- Save energy by turning off bulbs that are not in use.
- Insulate your home to prevent heat loss and stay warmer on winter days. Heating and cooling your home uses more energy (almost 46% of total usage) than any other system in your home.
- When purchasing a new computer, purchase an Energy Star-labeled one or a laptop to save on energy expenses.
The rise of e-commerce has created a new challenge in our society. We buy more than we need and produce excessive waste that damages the environment, which affects us as well.
Shopping smartly is a great way to help the environment. Second-hand goods can be just as good for your wallet; clothes made from sustainable fibers are better on the planet too! Sell or donate any items that have been sitting around collecting dust – they could end up being someone else’s treasure!
The average American has about half of their car’s fuel burned up in daily driving. The numbers are frightening, but there is a lot that you can do to lessen the number of miles driven per day or make your car more environment-friendly. Here are some ways you can drive greener:
- Drive less and make the most of your time at home. Pack a lunch instead of buying one; avoid making unnecessary trips to the store or coffee shop. When possible, Carpool is better for you and good for others who might be looking for some company!
- Use public transportation as much as possible.
- Use high-quality tires made of eco-friendly materials, like synthetic rubber blends.
- Tune-up your car regularly for optimal performance and more mileage.
- Take a bike instead of driving.
The future of the planet is in our hands. It’s up to us to make sustainable choices that will protect it for generations to come, and this starts with making smarter decisions about how we live today.
What have YOU done lately to make your life greener? Share your eco-friendly tips in the comments below so others can get inspired by what they read.