As a society, we’re beginning to realize the hugely detrimental impact our actions and lifestyles are having on the planet. Every day, the majority of us engage in activities that damage the environment and are threatening our future. Science has warned us for a long time about the consequences that can come from this, so now, many of us are actively seeking ways to reduce the damage we’re causing.
This is known as living an eco-friendly, eco-conscious, or environmentally friendly lifestyle. Sure, nobody is going to be perfect, but any small change can have a huge impact. There are countless places to start out, but here are a few suggestions that can help you to get the ball rolling if this is something you’re looking to achieve.
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Recycling is perhaps one of the easiest changes you can make to your day-to-day routine. All you have to do is separate your waste and place it in the right recycling bins rather than placing everything in a bin that is heading to a landfill. Most cities or towns will collect waste and recycle it on your behalf. Common categories tend to include paper, metal, glass, and food waste.
If you don't have recycling trucks that come to you, there are recycling places that you can go to. Recycling centers will take what recycling trucks won't. It is just a matter of getting organized, sorting your products, and making a trip on a regular basis.
Make sure you are e-cycling all your electronics and devices as well! Last year when I was helping my Mom get her house organized after my father passed away, we did several trips to different recycling centers and I always felt good driving away knowing that we took the time to get the items to the right place!
Eco-Friendly Home Design
There are a number of changes you can make to your home that will make it more eco-friendly. Looking into sustainable interior design can give you all sorts of ideas that will help to create a more eco-friendly space to live in.
Getting in touch with nature via your home reinforces the harmony and balance that exists within our natural world. Being one with the world has so many different meanings, but how and what you choose to surround yourself with in your own home matters.
You can opt for furniture and accessories crafted from sustainable materials that are reducing issues such as deforestation. You can visit thrift stores and flea markets and “adopt” gently used materials. Use ordinary everyday items for decoration. I bought color-coordinated used books for the top of my fireplace!
Switch Energy Providers
We all need energy to survive. But have you considered where your energy comes from? Most of us choose rates based on sticking with the provider that we’ve always been with or looking for the lowest cost option on the market. Instead, start looking into green energy providers who will provide you with renewable energy.
You may think you only have one choice, but if you dig around you will see that this isn't always the case!
If you live somewhere with exposure to the sun, you could even try generating your own energy. Solar panels can easily be fitted to your roof or land where the sun hits. This will allow you to generate your own green energy, which is much more sustainable than many traditional options people choose. If you generate too much, you can even sell your excess energy back to the national grid for profit!
We had solar in our old house in Berkeley and we investigated adding solar to our RV when we were on the road and when we were living in Phoenix. Sometimes it isn't feasible based on your exposure. It also requires an initial investment, but the payoff can be great!
Reduce Plastic Usage
Plastics are destroying the planet and its wildlife. Reducing plastic usage is extremely important, as many plastics can’t be recycled and are simply building up, filling our environment and atmosphere with waste and microplastics.
There are often many alternatives to plastic use, such as choosing products with more eco-friendly packaging and using reusable tote bags rather than single-use plastic bags. Here are some of my favorites.
- I have several and love these ones from Rock Flower Paper.
- I like these colorful 24-7 reusable bags from Earth Easy.
- I have shared products from NC-based Feminist Goods on the Madewell site before. Lauren Harbury has some adorable market bags, my favorite is the Strawberry Market Tote Bag. The June's market bag from Madewell is good as well.
You can even opt for things like bamboo toothbrushes as opposed to plastic toothbrushes. I have shared my love for Stasher bags or SmellyProof to replace Ziploc as well. Small changes make a big difference and can significantly reduce your waste! And I have a whole post about eco-friendly beauty products.
These are just a few ideas to get your journey to a more eco-friendly lifestyle started out in the right direction. Hopefully, some will be easy to implement into your day-to-day routine.
How about you? Do you have other ideas to help get someone started with an eco-friendly lifestyle? Do share!
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