5 Simple Changes You Can Make to Live a Greener Lifestyle
Going ‘eco-friendly’ is an important step in making the world a better place and helping it become more sustainable. The brand new ‘going green’ buzzword has been gaining a lot of popularity lately and with that, so have eco-friendly products. However, having a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t mean you need to make dramatic changes.
There are several small things you can do on a daily basis that can reduce your environmental footprint and contribute to healthier living. Going sustainable doesn’t mean denying yourself the comforts of modern life, it means making conscious decisions at home and in your day-to-day activities that will lessen your impact on the environment.
Simple, Everyday Ways to Contribute to a Healthier Planet
Many of us want to do something to help the environment, but don’t quite know where to start. While some people turn to large-scale projects, like building a windmill or running for Congress, there are also small things we can do that will have just as great an effect on the environment. Trying to figure out how you can contribute can be hard, especially if you don’t know exactly where to start.
Use Reusable Water Bottles
If you are like me, you have a cupboard full of plastic water bottles. I am always on the go, running between classes and meetings. It is hard to find time to fill up my water bottle when it is empty. Having a reusable water bottle has really helped me stay hydrated throughout the day!
Acquiring reusable water bottles is one of the easiest ways to reduce plastic waste and save money at the same time. When you buy a reusable glass water bottle, you should first thoroughly clean it and fill it with tap water. The next time you’re thirsty, drink directly from it instead of getting plastic bottled water. You can also use your reusable bottle to carry coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon.
This type of bottle can prevent you from spending $2-3 every day on bottled water, which comes to around $1,000 in savings per year! As long as we keep buying bottled water, companies will produce them and sell them to us. However, the easy way for us to reduce our carbon footprint and help our environment is to use reusable bottles whenever possible and carry our own mugs for takeaway coffee or tea.
What I love about these kinds of bottles is that they can easily be taken anywhere. You can take them to school, the office, the gym, or even when you’re hiking! It’s a great way to stay hydrated while saving money and preserving the environment. There are also some glass water bottle models that come with a built-in straw so all you have to do is bite down on it to drink. Reusable bottles keep your drinks at their original temperature for much longer than the plastic do, meaning you’ll be hydrated for longer between refills. The tea or coffee you didn’t get to drink at work will stay warm for longer too.
Use Reusable Grocery Bags
Reusable grocery bags have been popular for years. They come in many colours, patterns and sizes. You can also find them in many different materials: canvas, nylon, jute and hemp fabric, or recycled plastic.
Many customers love these bags because they are lightweight and easy to carry, especially when filled with groceries. Some shoppers prefer to use them because they are stronger than paper bags, which means that they can hold more without breaking.
These days you will often be offered the choice between paper and plastic bags at the checkout counter. The fact that you need two types of bags shows how much we like to use these things. Many stores now offer customers a discount for bringing in their own reusable bags.
Another benefit of reusable grocery bags is that after a while you stop thinking about whether it’s a plastic bag or not. You just think about what you want to take home with you! It becomes a habit like when switching to a reusable glass water bottle and doesn’t require any extra effort on your part!
Use Reusable Silicone Baking Sheets
Silicone baking sheets are very versatile and can replace several of your other kitchen tools. For example, you can use them as a cooling racks for cookies or baked goods. You can even use them in place of parchment paper and aluminium foil. Since they are made with silicone that is flexible, you can mould them to fit your roasting pans, so you don’t have to worry about covering pans with aluminium foil or using extra paper towels for grease spills. You can also replace plastic wrap with beeswax wraps or aluminium foil for covering dishes in the refrigerator or freezer.
Use Reusable Straws
Reusable straws are the simplest method to reduce your plastic footprint. They are inexpensive, and you can find them in a number of different sizes as well as materials.
Reusable straws are so simple to use and can help you lower your carbon footprint. They can be used with hot or cold drinks, and some even come with a cleaning brush so they are easy to clean when needed. The best part is that they are reusable – no more single-use plastic straws!
They take up very little space in your bag or purse, so you can take them everywhere. They make for a good conversation starter as well. When you order a drink at a restaurant or coffee shop, ask for no straw, then offer these to the person next to you instead. You never know, they may just want to join you in this eco-conscious lifestyle by ordering one too!
Shopping second-hand is one of the easiest eco-friendly things you can do. You’re not just cutting down on unnecessary purchases; you’re also saving money because second-hand items are often a lot cheaper than new ones. You could also consider swapping clothes with friends or going in with them on a bulk purchase from a charity shop.
To Sum Up
Any of the small changes listed above, if adopted consistently, can lighten your environmental footprint. The best thing to do however is trying them all out so that you can decide what works best for you. To have a more sustainable life, you will have to make necessary sacrifices and cut down extravagances, but it is never too late to start making small changes in how you live to make a positive impact on your health and the world around you.