If you’re tired of living a wasteful, modern lifestyle and have resolved to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle from now on, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed about all the big changes that are coming in your life. But the good news is that making changes to your life to be kinder to the environment doesn’t mean that you will need to give it a massive overhaul. Sometimes, it’s all the little things like recycling, opting for reusable materials instead of single-use, and being more careful about the energy that we use around the home and at work that add up to make the world a cleaner, greener place to be for everybody. And, be assured that you have already successfully completed the most difficult step in the process – resolving to make a change!-Greener Life
The best way to get started is by focusing on smaller, easily doable changes that you can start making today before you move up and tackle the bigger and more difficult steps towards becoming more environmentally friendly. Here are some relatively easy, yet very effective changes that you can make in your daily life to be kinder to the environment.
#1. Eat Less Meat:
Believe it or not, more than 30% of the earth’s surface is currently being used to raise and support livestock for human consumption, so cutting back on the amount of meat that you consume is one of the best things that you can do to make a massive positive difference to the environment. According to a study by the United Nations, livestock accounts for 9% of carbon dioxide from human-related activities, but is also producing a far larger share of harmful greenhouse gases, generating 65% of nitrous oxide, which is almost 300 times higher than carbon dioxide when it comes to the global warming potential. So, cutting back on the amount of meat that you consume is a hugely important step in reducing these greenhouse gases – in fact, just one family going meat-free for one day of the week amounts to the same as switching to an electric car. And, less livestock means that there will be more land that we can use for recreation.
#2. Use Less Paper:
The good news for those looking to cut down on wasteful habits is that today’s modern world is far more reliant on computers and digital technology than it is on paper. Even if you’re working in an office job or are a student, it’s easier than ever to go a day without using a notebook, or even one piece of paper. The less paper you use, the less paper will need to be produced, and the more trees can fill our forests without being in danger of being cut down for paper production.
And, it’s also worth recycling as many paper products as you can, whether it’s old notebooks or cardboard packaging for products. Recycling one short ton of paper amounts to saving seventeen mature trees, according to the EPA. If you can’t get away from using some paper at your job or school, then you can make a difference by being sure to recycle any paper that you do use. And, try to use less by using both sides of the paper rather than just one whenever you can.
#3. Ditch the Plastic Bags:
In today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world, plastic bags are quickly becoming outlawed, with more and more stores encouraging customers to reuse bags and putting a price on single-use plastic bags to deter their use. And, many stores are now offering canvas bag alternatives to wasteful plastic and paper bags. Although they will usually cost you more than a single-use bag when you buy them, they are sturdier and can be used again and again when you go grocery shopping – turning out to be much more cost-effective compared to buying a plastic bag each time. And, they can usually hold more goods than a plastic bag, so you may only need a couple compared to how many plastic bags you would use for the same amount of groceries. The best option is to keep a few canvas bags in your car so that when you go to the grocery store, you have them with you.
Don’t forget that canvas bags can be used for so much more than simply grocery shopping, too. Thanks to their strong and sturdy design, they can be very handy for moving things between places. And if you do have some plastic bags, reusing them as often as you can is another great way to live an eco-friendlier life.
#4. Consider Renewable Energy:
Using renewable energy for your home is becoming more and more popular, with homeowners all around the world opting for solar panels or wind energy rather than conventional power options. And, there are many benefits of doing this – not just for the environment, but also for yourself personally. For example, many states are offering rebates and incentives that can help you get solar panels for your home without a massive price tag, and once they are installed, you can enjoy free, renewable and clean energy from the sun which produces none of the harmful toxins and greenhouse gases produced by conventional, fossil fuel energy.
Once you have solar panels installed, you can also benefit your local community and make money by selling any surplus power that you generate back to the utility company. The best way to do this is to opt for battery storage with your solar power installation. A reputable solar and battery storage company like Semper Solaris will offer battery storage installation that once complete, can store and use energy during off-peak hours and sell any additional energy for the best price during peak times.
#5. Start a Compost Bin:
Compost bins or piles have become a massive trend across the US, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do compost bins allow you to reduce food waste by allowing you to reuse it, but they can also save you a significant amount of money on buying compost from the store, while helping plants to grow better in your garden.
And, you can make steps to be even more environmentally friendly by using the compost that you generate at home to plant your own vegetables, which will not only save you money when you do grocery shopping, but can also be a much healthier option for you and your family since they are completely organic and home-grown. You can plant vegetables like potatoes and carrots in almost any garden, and if you have the right setting such as a greenhouse, you might even want to consider growing fruits too, like tomatoes and strawberries. Other easy vegetables to consider planting include runner beans, spring onions, radishes, peas and salad leaves. Growing your own vegetables can be much easier than you might realize, and then you can use the scraps from preparing them to put back into the compost bin or pile for use in planting more in the future.
Making environmentally friendly changes to your lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. Small changes will quickly add up and help you have a more positive effect on the environment overall.
Helen Elizabeth Williams is the owner of DreamcatcherReality.com, where she is a staff writer. Her passions are: spirituality, meditation and polo. She adores all animals, but horses have a special place in her heart. She loves the diversity of our cultures, the beauty of simple people and the harmony of Mother Nature. ♥