Lately, ecology has become definitely trendy. Luckily, not all trendy comes to harm. Going green is an excellent idea for several reasons. While saving the planet is certainly the most important, saving money and improving health are not bad, either.
It only takes a small effort to turn little changes into daily, long-lasting habits. The other good news is that in order to do so, you absolutely don’t need to become someone else. Martyrdom to the green cause is not required at all.
Here are some easy tips to start living a sustainable lifestyle.
1Renounce plastic, at least a bit
One of the most common ways to reduce plastic consumption is to buy a stainless steel bottle to take with you wherever you go. Another tip is to buy soap bars instead of liquid detergents. And of course, don’t forget the glass.
Whenever possible, buy your drinks in glass bottles, replace common plastic containers with glass containers, and don’t throw away the jars. They can be reused countless times to store food and other things.
Plastic left too long in the sun releases dangerous substances in the water.
Zero mile vegetables and other products are pretty easy to find and the quality is often better. Plus, buying them will help promote the local economy.
Moreover, this is the safest way to know exactly where your food comes from. Always remember to bring your shopping bags with you. They are durable, light, and often as cool as fashion accessories.
3Mind the energy
We all consume too much electricity without even realizing it. It’s detrimental to the environment and it shows on the bills, too.
Remember to unplug the phone charger when you are not using it. In spring and summer, don’t forget the dryer and turn off the lights when you leave a room.
Also, are you sure you only turn on the ones you really need? Have you already replaced the common, incandescent light bulbs with the energy-efficient ones?
This way you can save up to 80% and they also last up to three times longer.
See Also: Going Green To Save Green
4Mind the paper
Did you know that you can buy toilet paper, kitchen paper, and notebooks entirely made from recycled cellulose? You can also choose to go paperless for your mailing lists, magazines, and bills.
Print front and back and reuse scrap paper to write notes, shopping lists or your children’s art. There are also dozens of tutorials out there for creative paper reuse. It’s a super cheap, fun and relaxing hobby.
5About energy again
Check that your windows and roofs are all properly insulated to save on heating, lower the thermostat even by one degree, and adjust the water heater to 120 degrees. Your body will not notice any difference, but you’ll save a lot of energy and money.
And if the faucet leaks, don’t delay! Fix it now.
6Limit meat consumption
No one asks you to give up a juicy steak or to desert your own barbecue. You may, however, establish one or two meat-free days per week.
Experiment with legumes, vegetables, and cereals and you will discover a brand-new world of exceptional flavors. Open your mind and your stomach, too.
Did you know there are tons of eco-friendly but not boring gift ideas?
Buy your mom a houseplant rather than cut flowers. Give your partner an experience (a dinner in a special restaurant, a day in a beauty farm, a small trip somewhere) rather than a common object.
In addition, there are so many products made with recycled material or produced in a sustainable way. Even the biggest and fanciest cosmetic brands are going cruelty-free by now. With just a quick search on the internet, you will find dozens of green gift ideas.
8Vinegar and soda are your friends
Anti-mold, anti-scale, sanitizing, degreaser — how many cleaning products do you buy per month? How much do you spend? How many non-biodegradable chemicals end up in drains?
The solution that is cheap and green is vinegar. You can use it pure, diluted with water or even mixed with soda.
Baking soda is also very useful for keeping away ants and cockroaches. It can also eliminate the bad smell from your fridge or garbage cans, too. You may use it to clean your hands after using onion or garlic as well.
Cars are cool and useful, but they may be slightly problematic. Measure the pressure of the wheels every four weeks because they tend to lose about 0.1 bar per month. This can cost up to 6% more on consumption, wears the tires ahead of time, and makes driving pretty unsafe.
Try car sharing with friends and neighbors and organize your errands in order to combine a few of them into one trip. Above all, walk!
Simple walking is good for the environment and for your health, too. Relax your mind and save yourself the stress of traffic jams or parking.
Oh, by the way, have you ever considered buying an electric car? Chances are, you wouldn’t even pay the road tax.
Don’t snub the second-hand market, online or offline. Every day, people throw away almost new stuff whose production and disposal are often not eco-friendly at all. Granted, it takes some practice to learn how to tell a good deal from a scam, but a used appliance can save you up to 50%. The first few times you can ask a more experienced friend for advice but you’ll see, you’ll learn fast enough.
Keep your eyes open and stay informed, always. Find the best farm-to-table restaurants in your city or the buying groups in your neighborhood. Learn how fair trade works or the latest technologies to save on heating or to better dispose your waste. Those fields are evolving quickly. Something that today is science fiction tomorrow could be an easy, sustainable solution.
Living a sustainable lifestyle is not something you do for just a few weeks or months. You need to try your best to stick with it for life.