More people than ever are going green. With ever mounting concerns over the state of the planetary environment, now is the perfect time to live eco-friendly. Making the decision to live more green is simple, but taking action and making changes might seem harder. Thankfully, going green is simple, easy, and relatively painless. All it takes to live eco-friendly is some simple lifestyle adjustments. Here are 10 easy and small changes you can make in your everyday life to be more environmentally conscious.
Eat Less Meat
Believe it or not, 30% of the Earth’s surface is being used for livestock farming. According to the United Nations, “the livestock sector accounts for 9 percent of CO2 deriving from human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.” By cutting back on meat consumption, you are helping to reduce the amount of livestock farming, which in turn helps the environment.
Use Less Paper and Recycle More
It is true we do not use as much paper as we used to as technology has drastically reduced the amount of paper an individual person uses each year. That being said, we do still use more paper than we should. To combat this, when you absolutely have to use paper, try to use recycled paper instead of a fresh sheet. 40% of municipal solid waste is paper products so, rather than throw out used paper, recycle or reuse it.
Canvas Over Plastic
Whenever you go to a grocery store, you are likely to see canvas bags for sale as an alternative to plastic bags. A canvas bag might not be free like plastic bags are at most grocery stores, but using a canvas bag is better for you and the environment. A canvas bag is sturdier and will last far longer than a plastic bag. You can use a canvas bog for more than groceries, such as a bookbag or a beach bag.
Compost bins have grown in popularity in recent years. More and more people are realizing the benefits of composting, especially gardeners. Composting allows you to repurpose things you would have otherwise thrown out. You can also use your compost pile to help plants grow better in your garden. Not only does composting reduce waste, but it also helps grow new plants.
Better Light Bulbs
Old fashioned incandescent light bulbs are far below modern efficiency, as they use outdated filaments. However, that doesn’t mean you should race out to replace them with modern bulbs. Instead, upgrade your bulbs when your old ones die. If you replace your old bulbs before they die, it creates waste. Use what you have until it fails, then switch to modern bulbs. This way you are not wasting materials, but also moving to a better light bulb once it makes sense.
Natural Over Processed
The world has become overrun with processed food. Unnatural colors, preservatives, and chemicals can be found in a massive amount of our food. Food coloring is common in food, but not all colorants are created equal. FDA approved coloring is safe to eat. Make sure to avoid any coloring that is not FDA approved.
Not only are these processed foods bad for you, they are bad for the environment. The manufacturing of processed foods is significantly worse for the planet than growing natural food. Support natural organic food production by abstaining from highly processed food.
Rags Over Paper
Paper towels are a common household product, but they are horrible for the environment. Just like any other paper product, paper towels come from trees. Paper towels are not worth the environmental impact, so instead of paper towels, use rags to clean up messes. You likely don’t need to buy rags either, as an old T-shirt can easily be cut up into rags. Rags can also be washed and reused, unlike paper towels.
Used Instead of New
Going green does not mean sacrificing or settling for less. It just means doing things differently. Instead of buying everything new, look for things second hand. Rather than buying a new book or movie, rent or borrow it. Libraries are great resources for borrowing items instead of buying them. Buying things, like chairs and tables, second hand is not only good for the planet, but it can also save you money.
Bottled water is convenient but incredibly wasteful. The plastic bottles alone are terrible for the planet. Not only do plastic bottles not decompose, but making the bottles in the first place damages the environment. Instead of buying bottled water, filter tap water. With a water filter, you won’t have to make trips to the store for more bottled water. Not all tap water is ideal to drink, but investing in a filter can solve that problem. Brita filters are a common product that cleans tap water and makes it cleaner to drink.
Use Less Energy
Cutting down on energy usage at home is an easy way to live more green. One of the simplest ways to use less energy is to wash your clothes in cold water. The Worldwatch Institute claims 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water. If you want to go an extra step, you can hang dry your clothes rather than putting them in a dryer to save even more energy.
Going green doesn’t need to be difficult. Living more eco-friendly is easier than you might think. With some simple changes you can do your part to keep the planet healthy. Any of the above suggestions will help protect the environment so that we can continue to live on this planet for generations to come.