Making changes to your day to day life and being more environmentally aware has many benefits, none more so than the benefits to the environment. The smallest of eco-friendly changes can make a positive impact, so it’s something we should all try to do where possible and adopt ways that promote a greener lifestyle.
Many of the changes you can make will not only help reduce waste but have cost-saving benefits too, so there could be monetary gains as well as doing your bit for our planet.
Here are 6 great ways to implement a greener lifestyle.
Ditch the car
We all tend to hop in the car regularly to run errands, go to work, or even drop the kids off at school or clubs. Consider whether you could perhaps walk or ride a bike to get to where you need to go instead.
The air pollutants and greenhouse gases that vehicles emit are very harmful to the environment, so switching to a more eco-friendly means of transport is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Walking or cycling has many health benefits too, so there are many reasons to make the switch if you can.
Recycle your waste
If you don’t already recycle your waste, now is the time to start. Cardboard, aluminum, and many plastics can be used over and over again, so recycling is a very worthwhile habit to form. Many local authorities will supply several different waste bins to make it even easier for you, so there is no excuse.
Food waste can also be recycled or, if you want to go one step further, why not consider composting? Not only does composting reduce the amount of food going into landfill, but also produces nutrient-rich soil for your garden and houseplants.
Switch to solar energy
According to Sunbridge Solar, a solar company based in Oregon, solar electricity has been the fastest growing energy technology over the last decade, and given the many benefits, it’s easy to see why.
Solar panels work by taking the sun’s energy and converting it to useable electricity to power your home. Any excess power is usually fed back into the national grid, and your utility supplier will supply you with a credit for this energy. This results in a reduction in energy bills as well as creating your own renewable source of energy.
If solar electricity is something you are considering, speak to a local specialist. They will explain the process in detail and discuss the positive environmental effects as well as the monetary benefits in terms of the month to month cost savings for your household.
Minimize the use of plastic
Not only is the plastic manufacturing process bad for our planet, but much of it is not recyclable, which means that millions of tonnes of plastic ends up in landfill each year. Making small changes in your home could make a hugely positive impact on the environment.
Baby wipes, for example, contain non-biodegradable plastics and could take hundreds of years to break down. Where possible, switch to a biodegradable alternative or even better switch to using reusable, washable cloths instead.
If you were to add up how many bottles of shampoo, conditioner, or shower gel you and your family used every year, you might be horrified to see the total. Instead of using bottle after bottle, switch to bars instead. Shampoo and conditioner bars are now widely available and, if you don’t like traditional soap bars because they tend to dry out your skin, shower gel bars are readily accessible too!
Make a conscious decision to switch to more eco-friendly products, and it could make a big impact.
Make do, mend and upcycle!
If you usually buy all your home furnishings from new, why not consider upcycling instead? The environmental benefits of upcycling are vast. It minimizes the need for the production of raw or new materials, which, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well as reducing levels of air and water pollution.
With some eco-friendly paint and a bit of imagination, you can turn an uninspiring or tired-looking bit of furniture into an on-trend unique piece that could look amazing in your home. Keep an eye on your local selling pages, and you may uncover some hidden gems that are crying out for a bit of an overhaul.
The same principle applies to clothes. If you are the type to throw something away because it has lost a button or has a tiny hole, mend it instead or use the fabric to make something else. Making your own clothes is a very popular hobby across the world, so the next time you are tempted to throw something away, have a go at refashioning it instead. Adding patches to a jacket or turning a ripped pair of jeans into a skirt is a great way to create a new wardrobe at a fraction of the price.
If sewing isn’t your thing, why not visit your local charity shop and see what they have to offer? You never know what you might pick up. Not only will you be helping the environment, but the money you give will be helping a local charity too!
Switch everything off
Is your television always on standby? Do you ever switch off your oven, washing machine, or dishwasher at the socket? You might be surprised to learn that leaving appliances in standby mode uses electricity. Granted, it may be tiny amounts, but it all adds up, so if you usually don’t switch everything off at the plug, start doing so now.
Something we are all probably guilty of from time to time is leaving lights on in rooms that aren’t occupied. If this sounds familiar, agree as a family to double-check before leaving a room. It only takes seconds but will reduce your energy consumption and save you money in the long run too.
Our beautiful planet won’t survive unless we all make positive changes, so start today and make tomorrow a better place. Let’s start with these ways and lead a greener lifestyle.