Have you ever thought about how you can live a more eco-friendly and sustainable life? Most of us have….at least subliminally that is. Almost everywhere you go we see new ads for electric cars or hear politicians talk about sustainable energy. It’s no secret that we as a species have caused massive amounts of damage to the planet that we live on. And in recent years, more issues are coming to light which force us to really evaluate our lifestyles and make changes for the better. When it comes to saving the planet, it absolutely has to be a joint effort with each person taking responsibility for the waste they produce- here’s how you can make changes to your own life.
Make changes to your home
It’s possible to make huge, positive changes and reduce your carbon footprint in a big way without even leaving the house. Simply make changes here and you have piece of mind that you’re really doing your bit. First of all, if you own your home and are able and willing to make bigger changes that involve spending money, consider cavity wall and loft insulation, as well as having new windows fitted. These changes will mean your home is more energy efficient, it will stay warmer in winter where less heat is escaping, and cooler in summer since the sun’s rays aren’t penetrating through as easily. This means you’re running your air conditioner and your central heating less, using less energy (which often comes from fossil fuels).
Other ways you can be more eco-friendly at home is by using less water- and there are a number of ways you can do this. Switch to showers instead of having baths, at least some of the time. Turn the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth, and buy a rainwater storage container to catch rain which you can then use to water your garden during drier times, rather than using the hose. When water goes down the drain, it eventually ends up back in treatment plants to be cleaned ready to be used again, and it’s this treatment process which is bad for the
environment as it’s generally powered using fossil fuels. Simple changes you can make involve using thermal blinds to keep the home cool in summer, drought excluders in winter, and setting up a compost area in your garden. Composting is great as it reduces the amount of waste you’re sending to landfills and incinerators.
Consider what you’re buying
We are all products of massive consumption, due to media and advertising we are taught that buying makes us happy and there are all kinds of things that we should or need to buy (even if it’s not true). The sad fact is, much of what we buy ends up thrown away shortly after, and ends up in landfills which pollute the ground or incinerators which pollute the air. Making more conscious decisions about what we buy can help us to live more eco-friendly lives. Don’t just buy for the sake of it, weigh up every purchase carefully (this will save you money too!) Consider the companies and brands you’re buying from, ideally, choose eco-friendly and sustainable brands where possible as these will already be having less impact on the environment with the products they make.
When you no longer need items, get rid of them responsibly. Always opt for reusables rather than disposable products like LastSwab which is a sustainable alternative to cotton swabs. You can use them about 1000 times besides you will reduce harmful waste impacting our planet. Consider donating to charity where they can be reused, or give them to friends and family who might want them. Facebook marketplace is fantastic for giving away things like furniture, people on lower incomes benefit as they get items for free or cheap and you have peace of mind that you’re not just sending perfectly good items to the skip. Even things like clothes that aren’t good enough to be resold can be recycled and sent overseas where the fabrics are used again. Think carefully before throwing things in the bin just because you no longer need them.
Think about the ways you travel
The way we all get around contributes massively to global warming and pollution, and again it’s about each of us doing our bit. If you’re guilty of driving everywhere, could you walk or cycle shorter journeys? As well as benefiting the environment your waistline and wallet will also thank you. Could you set up a carpool scheme for your workplace, or make more trips using public transport? There are more cars on the road than ever before, and driving is something that many of us take for granted. We’ve all done it, jumped in the car to drive to the shop around the corner or to the postbox when we could easily walk in five minutes. Be more mindful, if each of us take even small steps to minimize the damage we do then it can all add up in a really big way. Unfortunately, it’s not possible for many of us to stop driving completely, if you work a long way from home or have a busy schedule and have lots of places you need to be with kids and family then a car is your lifeline. But there are almost certainly occasions you could skip the car and take your bike or go for a nice stroll instead.
Learn more about the subject
Learning more about the environment is a great way to understand the damage we cause as a species and therefore how we can minimise it. From short courses to full environmental science qualifications from institutes like the University of Nevada-Reno, there are lots of ways we can all educate ourselves. Even just casual learning such as reading articles and watching Youtube videos provides us with fast, free knowledge which we can then use to make positive changes. Knowledge really is power, and finding out what the issues we currently face when it comes to the environment are important, as we can then take preventative steps.