Many people today were brought up in homes that weren’t focused on making environment and health-focused decisions, so the transition to eco-friendly habits may seem like a great sacrifice in terms of convenience. But it’s all about steady transition, a process during which your consciousness and life satisfaction will grow as your eco-footprint decreases.
There’s no need to start with big things. The best approach is to take smaller steps and build your way up. Nevertheless, it can be hard to determine where to begin so we’ve put together a guide that’ll make the first steps easier.
Into the Garden
Although you can buy organic food on sale or in-season, by growing your own garden you’ll save a lot more. Moreover, the very sense of accomplishment will be the reason enough to cut down on processed foods. Getting in touch with your veggies you’ll feel less need for meat, whose production has an immense impact on the environment – land clearing for raising livestock, water consumption, the release of methane gas, etc.
On top of all that, spending time in your garden you’ll lower your stress levels significantly. That’s why you shouldn’t restrict yourself only to growing veggies – landscaping with native plants or planting a tree can make a world difference. A healthy lawn can be your green slice of heaven, just remember that too much traffic on it can lead to compacted soil.
Generally, seeds are inexpensive so you can grow your garden almost for free, especially if you create quality nutrients for your plants from food scraps. Composting is one of the best ways to recycle, so you’ll also minimize waste. Simply start with plants that are easy to grow and learn as you go.
Plastic & Paper Free
When it comes to polluting the environment and oceans, plastic is the king. This is why there’s an official plastic-free July challenge, but you can do these things at any time convenient to you. It is all about ditching the single-use plastic such as cups, bottles, straws, cutlery, etc. Starting with the one-month challenge will seamlessly incorporate this eco-friendly behavior to your routine as you’ll experience it as a joined effort on a much bigger scale.
Paper products make up more than 40% of municipal solid waste today, not to mention the disappearance of forests as a result. Dealing with this issue is incredibly easy as we live in the world of digital technology which makes it easy to go through the day without using a single piece of paper. Reading publications such as newspapers and magazines online and paying the bills electronically is not actually a sacrifice. If your work demands the usage of paper you can recycle it and still make a big difference. 17 trees are saved for each short ton of paper recycled, and it takes much less energy to create paper this way.
The CFL light bulbs have been the craze for some time now, as they last five times longer than regular incandescent ones and use much less electricity. But simply switching the bulbs is not enough to cut down on energy in your home. CFL bulbs are much brighter, so now you can use fewer lamps. Still, flipping the switch off every time you leave a room takes little effort, and opening the blinds lets in plenty of natural light.
It’s good to have energy-efficient appliances, but unplugging all electronics when not in use will also eliminate instances of phantom power drain. Try to lower your thermostat in the winter and to raise it in the summer, opening the windows and letting the fresh air inside. Since heating the water takes up 85% of machine-washing energy, wash your clothes in cold water and dry them naturally outside.
And don’t regard water waste as a separate issue – heating and purifying water also take energy. So fix any leaking faucets and don’t let the water run while you brush your teeth. If you can’t take shorter showers, at least install a low-flow showerhead. These things will also significantly reduce your water bill.
There are situations when we need cars, but there are more when we actually don’t. We’re not saying you should walk everywhere – there’s always public transportation, but a nice stroll or bike ride is not only good for the heart (literally) it reduces air pollution that would have been caused by the vehicle. On days when you do need a car, try to combine all the errands into a single trip.
As you can see, leading a more eco-friendly life really is not that difficult. Spending time in your garden is rewarding itself, both in terms of your health and your wallet. Energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs are important, but not as much as being aware of and adjusting your daily habits so that you will lower your eco-footprint and allow yourself to unplug and unwind at the same time.
Sofia is a passionate writer from Sydney. She also enjoys decorating houses and engaging in home renovation projects. That is why she loves sharing her experience and advice with other people through her writing. Besides this, she loves technology and gadgets which can help us get through a busy workday. Follow here on Twitter for more.
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