Do you ever wish you could do more for the environment?
In our busy lives, it’s easy to rely on single-use plastics and the convenience of our cars. But what cost is our convenience having on the health of our planet?
We all need to do more to help the world. Even small changes can make a big difference.
Are you ready to live more responsibly and do more? If so, great choice! There are many things we can do at home, in our workplaces, or while shopping that can create a more sustainable world.
Keep reading to learn our top 15 green living tips — they’re easier than you might think.
1. Cycle or Walk to Work
If you’re curious as to how to live greener, one of the best things you can do is change how you commute.
Are you driving to work? If so, why not consider a more eco-friendly way to get there?
Driving to and from work causes air pollution, increased use of fossil fuels, and leads to larger roads, which destroy natural environments. Not to mention the mental stress caused by traffic and delays!
To help both your mental health and the environment, can you cycle or walk to work? Give your car a break and try to travel via a more eco-friendly method of transportation.
Ask your workplace if they have bike lockers and showers, which make cycling to work much easier.
2. Start a Compost Garden
Seeing your trash can fill up quickly can be frustrating for those who are trying to be more green. No one likes the idea of contributing so much trash to a landfill each week.
If you want to greatly reduce your trash, start a compost garden in your backyard. Composting is a great way to break down organic matter and release its nutrients, turning it into valuable assets for your soil.
What can you compost? Luckily, quite a lot! You can use discarded vegetables, banana peels, grass cuttings, and coffee grounds, to name a few.
Instead of throwing these items out, use them to create a compost garden. It’s also a fun way to teach kids about science and soils.
3. Use Natural Cleaning Products
The cleaning products we use for both our home and on our skin may seem great, but they are usually loaded with unnecessary chemicals and preservatives. They’re also a huge contributor to plastic packaging, which doesn’t always get recycled as it should.
Many laundry detergents are overly strong, thanks to their chemical makeup, which can be harsh on our skin and clothes. As a green alternative, use natural cleaning products like EarthBits’ Soap Nuts.
For the home, even a product as simple as vinegar is effective for cleaning in the kitchen or bathroom.
4. Shop Secondhand
You may have heard of the dangers of fast fashion, but did you know 85% of all textiles are thrown away each year?
Fast fashion creates a huge amount of waste, but also pollutes, takes away water that could be used for farming or drinking, and is a large source of carbon emissions.
If you can, try to shop secondhand. You can save a lot of money and find gorgeous, unique pieces to add to your wardrobe. Look for pre-loved clothes online, in vintage stores, or charity shops.
When you do buy new items, purchase high-quality goods that will last for years to come, not cheap pieces that are likely to fall apart and get tossed.
5. Switch to Reusable Bags
One of the easiest tips to be green is to use reusable canvas bags. Decline the offer of a plastic bag at the mall or grocery store and always travel with your own bag.
This cuts down on single-use plastic, which often ends up in our streams and oceans.
To make it easier, keep a few bags in your car and at your desk in the office, so you’re always prepared if you go shopping.
6. Go Paperless
Can you go paperless at home or in the office? Reducing paper consumption helps us go green by cutting down on excess paper production, which pollutes the environment. It also frequently ends up in the dump.
Easy ways to go paperless include paying bills online, switching your subscriptions to digital, or archiving and scanning old work documents.
7. Embrace Sustainable Energy
The U.S. is increasingly starting to appreciate the benefits of solar power, which generated 40% of all new power in 2019.
Can you add solar panels or shingles to your home? What about wind or hydropower?
Solar power is renewable and in plentiful supply, especially if your home gets direct sun.
Although there can be a high initial cost to install solar panels, you can recoup the money over the years, thanks to lower electricity costs and government tax rebates.
8. Try Cloth Diapers
If you have little ones, try making the switch to cloth diapers instead of disposable.
Yes, they require a bit more work since you’ll increase your weekly laundry loads, but disposable diapers are a huge source of landfill trash.
Cloth diapers can save your family money at your monthly grocery shop, and they are also a great way to go green.
9. Eat Less Meat
The meat industry is tough on the environment. It’s a major source of water and land use, which could be used to grow crops, and animal waste is a pollutant to streams.
Livestock is also a big source of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas. If you can go meat-free completely, that’s fantastic! If not, try to have at least a few meat-free days per week.
10. Take Public Transportation
Instead of driving to the mall or the park, why not try public transportation?
Buses, trains, and city metro systems are affordable and are a great way to go green by cutting down on car emissions and pollution.
It can also help you avoid being stuck in traffic, save money from gas and tolls, and help your community.
11. Purchase Local Foods
When buying food, especially local produce or meat, try to purchase from locally-owned farms or butchers.
There’s no need for your food to have a huge carbon footprint from traveling large distances if you can purchase food from your local community.
Support a local business and visit your weekly farmer’s market for fresh veggies, fruits, or local honey. Shopping locally is the most sustainable way to buy food.
12. Less Packaging Is a Good Thing
To embrace green living, cut down on plastic use and packaging as much as you can. Plastic ends up in our dumps — but even worse, microplastics end up in our oceans, our drinking water supplies, and are consumed by wildlife.
Try to avoid single-use plastic water bottles, bring your own bags for produce shopping, and be sure to correctly recycle any plastics you have to use.
Also, see if you can give up plastic straws or purchase foods and grains in bulk, which you can store at home in your reusable containers.
Most of us recycle already, but are you doing the best you can? Many recyclables end up going into the trash, due to confusion or laziness.
Take the time to understand exactly what can and can’t be recycled, ensuring your household is doing the best you can.
For example, you can recycle old technology, like phones which is something many people may not know!
14. Change Your Light Bulbs
A simple way to go green in your home is to replace your light bulbs. Make the change from traditional to LED bulbs.
LED bulbs use less electricity and last longer, perfect for helping the environment, saving money, and making your household more efficient.
They’re available in a range of sizes and brightness levels, so they can be used in any room of the house.
15. Plant a Garden
You don’t need a big home to plant a garden — it can even be done on a balcony or windowsill!
Planting a garden means you can grow some of your own food. Growing it yourself is rewarding, but you also know the food is free from pesticides and organic.
A vegetable garden, with tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, or beans, is a good way to get started. Or, create an herb garden, perfect for seasoning your cooking. Herbs like parsley, basil, and oregano are easy to grow, inside or outside.
Growing your food is sustainable, delicious, and fun.
Bring These Green Living Tips Into Your Life
Are you ready to live a more environmentally friendly life? If so, use some of the green living tips above to change how you live your life.
With a few simple changes, you can cut your carbon emissions, reduce pollution, protect wildlife, and slow the damages to our climate caused by greenhouse gases.
Are you ready to go green? If so, get started today — the planet will thank you.
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