We should all try to have a more eco-friendly life. But there is an overwhelming amount you can do for the environment. Sometimes it can feel like whatever you do, it’s not good enough. Maybe you are just overwhelmed with all the information and don’t know where to start. When it comes to living more eco-friendly, the first steps are easy and they won’t cost you much, if anything, some of these tips will probably save you some money.
1. Don’t waste food
This is not just an environmental problem. Yes, food waste does have an impact on the environment, considering the carbon emissions that go into manufacturing the food, packaging, etc. There’s also a wastage of water to consider when reviewing the impact of food waste on the environment
Managing your food waste is not just a step towards a more eco-friendly life, but a more mindful life in general. Food is our fuel and when we are fortunate enough to be able to get as much food as we want (and more) we forget to appreciate it. We buy more than we need and don’t think twice before throwing something away. Check out this article that can help you reduce your food waste at home and lead a more eco-friendly life.
2. Recycle everything
Reducing is definitely even more important than recycling, but recycling is an essential step to a more eco-friendly life. Make sure that you recycle correctly, as well. Don’t assume something is recyclable or non-recyclable by the way it looks. You’ll most likely be surprised by how many things aren’t actually recyclable. Some plastics (such as toilet paper packaging) can also be recycled in supermarkets along with other plastic bags (you can look up ones near you). Check out recycling bins for your clothes and other fabrics.
For bonus eco-friendly life points, you can go the extra mile and recycle less conventional materials. Cables and other electronics, BRITA filters (and others) can be recycled at specific recycling points. Research your local area to find out what you can do.
Check out an article with a few ideas that might make recycling at home easier here.
3. Mind the packaging
Firstly, buy a water bottle and forget about bottled water. Safer, better and cheaper in the long run. Now carry on.
Another important step towards an eco-friendly life is to mind the packaging. When you go to the supermarket, look at your food options not solely based on convenience, but also packaging. For example, instead of getting a plastic bag of carrots or potatoes, go for the loose carrots and potatoes. They are almost always an option in big supermarkets and it’s a simple step you can take.
Check to see how much of the packaging of the products you are buying is recycled. Pick oats that are in a carton box, rather than a plastic one. Eggs in a carton box, rather than a plastic one. There are very simple choices that don’t really affect your already established habits.
For people looking to commit more fully to an eco-friendly life, sacrificing a bit of convenience could go a long way in terms of helping the environment. Look up bulk shops, learn to make some stuff yourself (sweets, nut milk, oat milk, why not even yogurt), buy cheese from local shops and have them put it in a box/container you own or wrap it in beeswax. There are many ways out there, but the first steps are easy.
4. LED bulbs
This is a very simple way to make sure you are leading a more eco-friendly life. Switch from regular bulbs to LED bulbs. Or buy an LED lamp instead of a regular lamp. Not only is it more efficient and will help lower your electricity bill, but because of it’s steady light, it is much better for your eyes.
5. Try zero-waste products
Thanks to the internet, zero-waste products are becoming more and more popular. Switching from regular sponges to an eco-friendly/biodegradable/plastic free alternative, such as ones from coconut fibre, cellulose, cotton, etc.
In the bathroom you can basically replace everything. You can get a bamboo toothbrush, there are zero-waste alternatives for floss, mouthwash, toothpaste (though you can make homemade toothpaste as well). In the shower, you can either go for bars – shampoo, conditioner and soap bars, or you can choose to refill from a bulk store. Or try any of the methods suggested in this article and find the one that suits you best.
What steps have you already taken towards a more eco-friendly life? Share in the comments.
Featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/5YqoS5s54gY
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.