With Earth Day coming up, environmental debates stand out a bit more than usual. Taking measures with ecological purposes to make Earth a better place should be a part of everyone’s routine. You might be wondering how you can do your part to live a more eco-friendly life. Well, you can stop wondering because after reading this article, you will understand more about what being eco-friendly means, how to be eco-friendly, and the ways it helps you save money, improve your health, and improve your quality of life.
What Does It Mean to Be Eco-Friendly?
What comes to mind when someone says eco-friendly? Recycling? Riding a bike instead of driving? Using eco-friendly materials and products? Someone who lives an eco-friendly lifestyle lives his or her life in a way that causes as little harm to the environment as possible and/or does whatever he or she can to prevent the environment from being harmed. There are many ways you can become more eco-friendly, and not all of them have to be huge changes. Some small steps to take are:
- Reading and understanding more about what it means to be eco-friendly
- Seeking connections with other eco-friendly people, businesses, and communities
- Starting small by:
- Recycling more
- Turning off lights when you leave a room
- Choosing more eco-friendly products on a daily basis
Becoming more eco-friendly doesn’t only help the environment. It can also help you save money and live a healthier life.
Awareness and Conservation
Awareness is the first step in becoming more eco-friendly. Pay attention to how you heat your home, how much water and electricity you use, and what kind of products you use. You’ll start to realize that there are more eco-friendly ways in which you can live your life. You can start by taking shorter showers, turning off lights when not in use, and using reusable shopping bags. After you get used to the smaller changes, you can start thinking bigger, like investing in a greener home. It may sound expensive at first, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
Eco-friendly products will make your productivity more efficient and effective. The one that has been getting much attention in the past few years is Solar Power Energy.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle (The 3 R’s of Waste Management)
By adopting a reduce, reuse, and recycle mentality, you can help cut down on the amount of waste you throw away. This helps to conserve natural resources, save you money, and reduces your carbon footprint. Here’s a brief breakdown of the three R’s:
- Reduce: By only buying necessary items, you reduce the amount of waste you throw away.
- Reuse: Find other purposes for things you may want to throw out, like turning an old nightstand into a dog bed or altering old clothes into new ones for children.
- Recycle: When you do need to throw things out, make sure you recycle everything you can. Items made from aluminum, plastic, glass, and paper can usually be recycled.
Learn more about each “R” at Conserve Energy Future.
Care for Nature
Both water and electricity require a lot of energy to keep working in your home. By conserving them you’ll save money and help the environment.
- Fix leaks
- Insulate properly
- Take short baths to reduce your water and heating bills
- Fight against water polluters (companies which dispose chemical materials in the ground and rivers)
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
- Plant drought-tolerant plants that need minimal watering in your garden
- Use a water filter to purify tap water (since bottled water is expensive and generates container waste) and use a reusable aluminum water bottle
- Turn off lights
- Use daylight whenever possible
- Install energy efficient windows
- Purchase energy efficient gadgets
- Unplug appliances when not in use
- 85% of the energy used by the washing-machine goes to heating the water, so wash clothes in cold water
- Instead of using your dryer, use a drying rack or clothesline
- Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter, and higher in the summer
You can start by planting small trees around your house since they provide numerous benefits such as producing oxygen, producing fruits, cleaning the air, and preventing soil erosion. Work with environmental groups to plant more trees around the city and educate others about their benefits.
Aside from saving money you’d use to fill up your tank, these options are good for the environment. Either taking public transportation or carpooling with colleagues will help reduce your carbon footprint. You can also walk or ride a bicycle more which, in addition to saving you money, will improve your health since you’ll be getting more exercise that improves cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of obesity.
There are a lot of animals that are on the endangered species list, and we can help save these animals and, in turn, our planet. Get involved!
Related: 151 Ways to Save and Conserve Energy
Before buying anything, you should consider borrowing it from a friend or neighbor. Especially if it’s something you’ll use just once. Always think about the impact your purchase may have and invest in high-quality, long-lasting products. They might be a bit more expensive, but considering you won’t need to replace them frequently, it pays off.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs consume 40% less energy and last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. When your older bulbs burn out, replace them for CFLs. Air conditioners require constant attention too, so make sure to clean or replace your filters regularly. Otherwise, it will obstruct the airflow and cost you more to run the system.
Buying locally grown fruits and veggies will help you reduce your carbon footprint as well! When you buy locally, you’ll use fewer plastic bags and waste less packaged materials, you’ll save fuel, and you’ll be supporting your local farms!
You can also grow your own food and give the surplus to your friends and family.
Always look for the recycling symbol when buying products for your home. Besides being eco-friendly, they have minimal packaging as a bonus. Another tip: try to carry a reusable grocery bag with you to avoid using plastic bags everytime you go to the market.
Stop Littering and Start Composting
Littering has a huge impact on the environment and our wildlife. There are terribly sad photos of birds using plastic bags, cigarette butts, and other trash to build their nests, and you can help reduce this by disposing of your trash properly. Proper disposal of trash and waste also maintains cleaner air.
Moreover, composting reduces the amount of garbage that pollutes the air and improves life quality. It’s a simple process that combines remains of plants and kitchen waste, converting it into nutrient-rich food for your plants.
Keeping an eco-friendly diet involves reducing meat consumption - given its high cost at the market and environmental impact regarding the way animals are treated. And to reinforce the idea, remember to buy locally grown products!
Homemade Cleaning Supplies
Rather than buying strong chemicals to clean your home, you can make your own cleaning supplies at home with four main ingredients:
- Baking soda
It helps save you money, reduces packaging waste, and improves indoor air quality. Learn how to make your products with this Good Housekeeping article.
What do you do to help save the environment? Share your eco-friendly ideas with us in the comments below and follow us on Facebook for more Lifestyle and Health articles!