Being environmentally conscious is important as there is only one planet earth! Not only is protecting planet earth part of humans’ moral obligation and the right thing to do, but it can promote better health and can save you money!
There is a growing responsibility among individuals to take concrete actions towards a more sustainable lifestyle.
Firstly, What is an Eco-friendly?
Let’s start by looking at an eco-friendly definition. It’s a term that is often used when it comes to the environment and climate change, but it’s not always understood.
Eco-friendly is something that is earth-friendly and does not harm the environment. Along these same lines, eco-living or green living refers to a lifestyle that is environmentally friendly and contributes to the protection and conservation of nature.
Eco-friendly includes practices that conserve resources like water and energy and prevent air, water and land pollution.
Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint can seem overwhelming at first but it is very easy. There are easy steps and actions that can be taken to help the greater good of the planet and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
20 Easy Ways to be More Eco-Friendly
Are you ready to take action but are unsure where to start? We’ve provided 20 easy ways that you can make that will help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
1. Implement the 3 R’s
Reduce, reuse and recycle. Implement the three R’s into your daily routine. This will help you reduce your waste and help you contribute to cleaner planet earth.
Find a compost program that works for you and your family. If your municipality or town offers compost pickup take advantage of that. You can also look into getting a compost bin for your backyard or living composting worms.
3. “One in, one out” rule
Implement this rule where you only buy one product once you finish a product. You can also implement this with your closet (e.g. one shirt in, one shirt out).
4. Use glass
Start transitioning all your plastic kitchenware (e.g. Tupperware) to glass. Not only is it more sustainable but it is also more durable. By switching to glass you won’t have to worry about red sauces staining your plastic containers.
5. Use reusable in the kitchen
There are lots of ways to avoid single-use products in the kitchen, especially for cleaning. Replace single-use paper towels, sponges, and napkins with cloth products. Then all you need to do is wash the cloth product and use it again.
6. Waste less food
Never go to the grocery store hungry. Make a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Another great hack is to freeze portioned leftovers for a quick and easy meal down the road.
7. Eat less meat
Participate in Meatless Mondays or fish Fridays to reduce the amount of meat you consume. You can also find local farmers to sustainably source your meat or start your own micro-farm.
8. Avoid plastic packaging
By avoiding overly packaged products, you are reducing your plastic consumption and avoiding the hassle of having to recycle or dispose of all the packaging when you get home.
It is also a good idea to look for alternative products that have more environmentally friendly packaging, such as glass or paper.
Also, consider if the packaging material has the potential for upcycling. For example, a glass jar of pasta sauce could be used as a container after its intended use.
9. Use plant-based products
Making the switch to plant-based products can include more than just food. There are skin-care lines and even deodorants that are plant-based. The key to incorporating more plant-based products is research. It is critical to do your research and ensure that the product is truly plant-based and includes sustainable ingredients.
Products usually feature a symbol or statement indicating they are plant-based. Sometimes they will have a “V” or “VE” symbol to denote vegetarian or vegan or a green leaf symbol that says “plant-based” below it.
10. Use organic soap & shampoo
Switching from organic soap and shampoo can be life-changing. It is a far more natural and sustainable approach to maintaining and caring for your body and hair. Similar to organic soap, natural shampoo comes in a range of scents with different purposes.
Some people’s hair goes through a transition period but after about two weeks your hair should fully adjust and you will experience the full benefits of organic natural soap and shampoo.
11. Cut down shopping
Cutting down on the frequency of shopping and also ensuring that you are purchasing eco-friendly products can help you live a more sustainable life. Try to buy more whole foods and cut down on the packaging of food items.
12. Shop local
Attempt to shop at your local farmer’s market, grow a small garden, subscribe to local farmers’ vegetable boxes, eat vegetables and fruits with the seasons, or join a community garden. Check out our sustainable green shopping tips on how to shop sustainably.
13. Drive less
Reducing the number of miles you drive is the most effective way to reduce air pollution in motor vehicles. If possible, try walking or biking to reach your destination. You will emit no pollution. For longer distances, try taking the public bus or train. If public transit is not an option where you live, you may car-share or carpool with someone who lives nearby.
14. Conserve water
Stop leaving the water running while you are doing things like dishes, shampooing or conditioning your hair, shaving, washing your hands, or brushing your teeth. Turning off the water during these activities can save energy and money in the long run.
15. Turn off unnecessary lights
Turn off the lights whenever you leave a room or during the day when there is ample sunlight. This saves energy and reduces the number of carbon dioxide emissions being released every day.
16. Unplug unused electronics
Unplug any electronics when they are not in use. Not only do these hacks save electricity and the planet but they also save you money on your electricity bill.
17. Use solar panels
Using solar panels decreases the amount of energy you use on the grid. You can even use solar batteries to power your home during the night. This means that you’re not producing greenhouse gases and harmful emissions that contribute to global warming.
18. Reduce air travel
The jury’s still out on whether carbon offsets accurately make up for the carbon dioxide released by planes. It’s best to reduce air travel or travel by train, bus, metro, or carpooling. And definitely avoid private planes. Reducing your air travel can help reduce your carbon footprint.
DIY Eco-Friendly Hacks
Try some of our favorite DIY hacks to make your lifestyle more eco-friendly and save you money.
19. Make your own cleaning products
This is an effective solution for breaking down grease and mold and preventing the growth of some bacteria. Do not use vinegar on natural stone (like marble or granite countertops), waxed wood or cast iron.
- All-purpose cleaner
- 1 part vinegar
- 1 part water
- Optional: add essential oil or lemon juice
Make your own drain cleaner
- Drain Cleaner
- Pour boiling water down the drain
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup vinegar
- Cover/let sit for 10 minutes
- Pour boiling water down the drain again
Make your own vegetable cleaner
Fill your sink or large bowl with water and white vinegar. You can also squeeze a lemon into the water. Soak thin skin produce and greens for 5 minutes and harder produce for 10 minutes. Rinse and store.
- Start your own herb garden
- Use old containers (e.g. margarine, yogurt or mason jars) to plant your own herbs.
- Make your own rags and wash clothes
- Cut up old t-shirts or clothing and use them as rags and wash clothes.
20. Build a recycling center
Many people don’t realize that recyclables need to be separated properly. Rather than just throwing your coffee cup in the blue bin, dismantle it and put the respective pieces in the right place (e.g. the lid, the sleeve and the cup).
To make this easier, you can create your own recycling center at home! Have multiple different bins for different types of recycles (e.g. glass, plastic, cardboard, and tin).
Final Thoughts on How to be More Eco-Friendly
By changing only a few aspects of your daily habits, as we’ve recommended above, you will be well on your way to living a far more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Starting off with slight changes can help you see the benefits of environmentally friendly living more consciously.
An eco-friendly lifestyle can often make you feel healthier and more relaxed. There are so many advantages to living green – try it and see for yourself!
- What is Environmental Sustainability & Why is it Important?
- Things You Can Do to Help Fight Climate Change
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