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If you have been thinking of different ways to live more sustainable but don’t know where to start, here are some great ideas to become more eco-friendly – one step at a time. Because your individual impact matters!
Today, we live in an age where climate change and global warming are real threats to the planet and humanity.
Humans have always been viewed as a scourge on Earth. We cut down trees without replanting them, pollute the oceans and rivers with our waste, and driving cars has become part of our everyday lives.
But some people are starting to realize that this type of thinking is not sustainable, environmentally friendly, or even healthy for the planet or ourselves. Each year, Earth Day reminds us of our responsibility to treat the environment with more respect, and today we look at what we can do to save the earth.
So, whether you’re already living a ‘green’ life or are looking for ways to become eco-friendlier, here’s our guide on how to live sustainably.
1. Eat less meat
According to the United Nations, livestock is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than the entire transport sector combined. The meat industry also uses a huge amount of water, with some 70% of reported U.S. water usage attributed to animal agriculture.
Legumes are an excellent protein source that has a beneficial impact on the planet as they can be grown in poor soil and require less water than other protein sources such as red meat.
2. Eat more locally sourced food
Eating locally sourced food reduces your carbon footprint and ensures that the local economy benefits from the money you spend. It also tends to be fresher, tastes better, and is often cheaper than buying imported products. If you can, buy in season and visit farmers’ markets for the best produce.
3. Buy or DIY environmentally-friendly cleaning products
Dozens of household cleaners available don’t come packaged in plastic bottles and naturally decompose when thrown out. Keeping recyclable materials out of the landfill is very important, but there are other ways to be ‘green’ when cleaning your house.
Vinegar, for example, is an excellent cleaner that can also disinfect surfaces like chopping boards when boiled then cooled. When mixed with vinegar, baking soda produces a powerful fizzing chemical reaction that removes stains and rust. Using lemon juice in hot water with salt can clean copper utensils.
If you use a store-bought cleaner, try to find one that comes in a recyclable container and avoid products containing bleach, phosphates, or ammonia which can pollute water sources.
4. Use public transportation or walk/cycle whenever possible
It’s not always possible, but if you can walk or cycle to work, do it. You’ll be happier, healthier, and better able to focus on your job. The more people who travel in this way, the more businesses will invest in developing solutions that encourage sustainable travel.
5. Reuse old materials when possible
Instead of throwing out old clothes, try to reuse them or give them away to someone who can. When you’re out shopping, try to choose items that are made from recycled materials. Opt for sustainable seafood options and look for eco-friendly furnishings made with natural plant fibers rather than artificial ones, usually treated with chemicals.
If you no longer need an item, such as a computer or mobile phone, pass it on to someone who does. You can also sell your old goods on sites like Craigslist and eBay – just search for the model you own, and you’ll find plenty of people wanting to buy!
6. Reduce waste
Trash is often the most visible manifestation of our wastefulness, but it also contributes to global warming. Waste production in America has increased by 63% since 1960, and the U.S. produces 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of trash per day per person – second only to Denmark!
Reducing your waste is one of the easiest ways to have a positive environmental impact because it requires minimal effort on your part – just buy less stuff or think more carefully before you buy. You can also reduce, reuse, and recycle products to avoid them ending up in the trash.
Recycling is one of the most effective ways to protect the environment because you’re reusing materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. You can even recycle items that normally aren’t collected by recycling companies – eggshells, paper clips, and dryer lint are just some examples.
The easiest thing to do is collect your recyclable waste together, so you have less waste to deal with. You’ll also be helping others because if you can recycle something, chances are someone else will be able to reuse it too.
Instead of throwing recyclable items in the trash, take them to a recycling drop-off center or collect them at home, then bring them to a recycling center as soon as possible. Check out this website for a list of items you can recycle and information on recycling centers in your area:
8. Help save endangered species
The number of animal and plant species facing extinction has doubled over the past 40 years. It continues to rise because fewer natural habitats are available that are suitable for the species to live on. This is partly because of careless littering, which can damage or destroy habitats.
You can help protect endangered species by picking up litter, recycling waste, and using less water, so there is more leftover for animals and plants – it may seem like a small effort. Still, if enough people make these changes, we can save endangered species at the same time.
9. Start Grow your own vegetable garden
You can start to grow your own vegetable garden and you can grow almost anything. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or large piece of land, start growing your own food and make sure that tomorrow if there is no more food left on earth you will be fine. There are many books available on how to grow your own vegetable garden.
10. Hire a skip to collect your trash
According to skip rental, hiring a skip is usually much cheaper than hiring a collection truck, and it uses less fuel. Transportation accounts for 12% of all Global Greenhouse gas emissions, so by reducing how often you make trips to the dump you are helping conserve natural resources.
Hiring a skip also causes less damage to the roads, meaning that less money is spent on repairing them and keeping them safe from vehicle traffic
11. Buy the Forest friendly products
If you buy wood or forest-friendly paper then there will be no further cutting of trees and thus help in reforestation. This is one way through which we can save ourselves from environmental degradation. We should all try to change our daily habits so that the environment is not at all affected.
We hope that this post has helped you get started on your journey to living sustainably. If you are looking for more resources, check out our blog here!