A Guide to Living a More Eco-Friendly Life
June 5th is recognized as World Environment Day, and while it may be good to celebrate this once a year, the goal for many people is to be more environmentally aware every day of the year. If you’re one of these people and you’re tired of the wasteful lifestyle, you lead and want to do something about it, this guide is for you. You’ve already crossed one of the biggest hurdles by deciding you want to change. From now on in, things will be easy. It depends how far you want to take it, but being more eco-friendly can be done to varying degrees. For example, do you want to live completely off-grid or are you looking for more subtle ways to make a difference?
There’s a lot of talk about going green and governments, businesses and individuals are all starting to take action. More people are growing their own food and looking to alternative energy. Low emission forms of transport are more widely available. Below are some handy pointers as to how you can live a more eco-friendly life in a few easy steps.
Eat Less Meat and Dairy Products
This is a life change you can make not just for the planet but for the health and wellness of your family too. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to cut them out of your diet completely. However, reducing your consumption will make a big difference. The raising and supporting of livestock has some very serious consequences. It produces a large number of greenhouse gases and uses up masses of land. It is causing the extinction of species, creating dead zones in the ocean, polluting water and destroying habitats.
Think of it as a challenge to eat more plant-based food and consider using rice milk, soy milk, hemp, oat or coconut milk rather than cow’s milk. Introduce a meat-free Monday and then slowly add more days of the week.
Use Less Plastic
Read the news, and most days you’ll see something about the amount of waste plastic in our environment. It has become such a huge part of our daily lives, but it is possible to change. Here are a few ideas:
Buy food with no packaging
Use reusable containers for your lunch
Stop using plastic straws
Cook more food at home
Use loose tea rather than tea bags
Take canvas bags to the store
Grow your own food or buy fresh
If you really can’t do without plastic items look for second-hand options
Use reusable chopsticks
Use reusable water bottles
Make your own cleaning products
Stop using disposable plates and cutlery
Carry a thermos for your coffee and drinks
Cut Your Energy Bills
As well as helping the planet, this step will reduce your energy bills and put more money in your pocket. There are a number of small changes you can make to your daily life. For example, lower your thermostat and put on another jumper. Put it up in the summer and look for other ways to keep cool. When appliances aren’t being used, unplug them from the electricity supply. Wash your clothes on a cold water cycle and use a drying rack or hang them outside when they’re clean. If you think making these changes will be difficult to do all at once, start with a few at a time.
Another way to cut your energy bills is to use renewable energy. Wind generators are one example, or you can use solar energy San Diego. Using renewable energy means you can control your own energy usage, reduce your carbon footprint and cut energy costs. When first introduced, these systems were very expensive. However, nowadays they are within reach of the average homeowner.
Be Smart with Your Water Usage
You might think that there’s an infinite amount of water, after all, two-thirds of the planet is covered by it. While that may be true, a large percentage of the water is not drinkable. It is estimated that the average American uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every day. That’s a huge amount, and a lot of it is wasted. If you’d like to know how you can reduce your water consumption, here are some ideas:
When you brush your teeth, turn the tap off
Take shorter showers
Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when they are fully loaded
Collect rainwater using a water butt
Use a jug for keeping water cool in the fridge rather than running the tap
Use water-efficient showerheads, taps, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines
Use a watering can when watering the garden
Fix leaking taps
Use a cistern displacement device in your toilet
Start a Compost Pile
This is not an option that will suit everyone, because a suitable outside space in which to put it is necessary. However, for those of you with space in your backyard, this is a great way to put your waste food to good use. If you’re planning on growing your own vegetables as well, then this is a great way to help them grow. You can buy a ready-made compost bin or construct one yourself. Whatever you decide, find a way to reuse things you would normally just throw in the trash. In your compost pile, you can put old newspapers and cardboard, garden waste such as grass trimmings, together with your food waste and vegetable trimmings. There’s really no need to go out and buy expensive compost when you have room for a compost pile in your garden.
It is possible for you to make a difference, and now you appreciate how easy it can be. Making small eco-friendly changes can have a huge impact on the future of our beautiful planet. Many of the changes are really small, such as turning a light off when you leave the room and unplugging appliances. Take comfort from the fact that not only are you living a greener life, but you are reducing your bills too.