Being eco-friendly is not only great for the environment but good for your pocket too. In the long-term, investing in renewable energy can save considerable amounts of money. Of course, while we should all aim to make the switch, there are easier ways to save cash and the environment at the same time.
Take a look at the following 15 ideas to help you be more eco-friendly at home:
- Buy Second Hand
- Reuse and Repair
- Switch to LED Lightbulbs
- Save Water
- Switch to Rechargeable Batteries
- The 1 Km Rule
- Cook a Vegan Meal
- Ditch the Plastic Bag
- Use Eco-Friendly Products
- Get Your Groceries Delivered
- Buy Local Whenever Possible
- Grow Your Own Veggies
Let’s move to details….
Creating a recycling system is the first step for any household looking to adopt a greener way of life. Simply laying out bins or boxes for categories of materials is a great starting point. Of course, it’s a good idea to find out what materials your local depot recycles, because not all recycling plants are created equal. While some will recycle plastic or polystyrene, most will not.
Composting is just as important as recycling, because it is a way of recycling organic items that are not man-made. Composting returns nutrients to the earth, instead of sending food waste or garden clippings to the landfills. When organic matter ends up in the landfills, it releases methane (a harmful greenhouse gas) which contributes to the climate crisis.
Buy Second Hand
Buying second hand is a form of reusing that can benefit your budget and beautify your home. From furniture to appliances and electricals, there is hardly anything that can’t be found second hand. Although it is advisable to buy from reputable dealers or protected platforms, this form of eco-living is both fun and sustainable.
Reuse and Repair
It might sound like common sense to repair an item before replacing it, but in the fast paced world we live in, the art of repairing can seem timeous. However, the world’s resources are running out, and so we must do what we can to take care of our existing resources. Whenever possible, instead of buying new, try repurposing or repairing an existing product or item.
Switch to LED Lightbulbs
LED lightbulbs use less energy than conventional lightbulbs, which ultimately saves you money. By slowly switching to LED lightbulbs (as each of your existing bulbs naturally runs out) you can end up saving a ton of cash. LED lightbulbs are one of the best ways to save energy without resorting to renewable energy sources.
Instead of bathing, consider a shower. Did you know that on average a bath will use 15 gallons more water than a shower? Other ways of saving water include collecting rainwater with which to water plants. We should never underestimate the power of small changes, and even stopping the tap from running while brushing your teeth can have a positive impact over time.
Switch to Rechargeable Batteries
Switching to renewable batteries is another way to save money and the environment at the same time. By keeping batteries out of the landfills or earth, you can protect the ecosystem from becoming unbalanced. Not only do batteries pollute the environment with harmful toxins, but they take up a lot of space in the landmines too.
The 1 Km Rule
One of the best ways to be more eco-friendly at home, is to adopt the 1 km rule. The 1 km rule is a personal pledge to either walk or cycles anywhere within a 1km radius of the home. Fitness enthusiasts may choose to stretch the distance to 2 km or 5 km as desired. The key is to reduce the amount of time spent in a vehicle, which emits greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming.
Cook a Vegan Meal
The dairy and agricultural industries account for more than a third of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Although going vegan is the ideal goal, cooking one vegan meal a week is a great place to start. As you familiarize yourself with vegan cuisine (which is often far tastier) you may find yourself naturally gravitating towards the lifestyle.
Ditch the Plastic Bag
Instead of taking home tons of plastic bags every time you go grocery shopping, consider investing in reusable bags instead. Single-use plastic is filling up our oceans and landmines, and for this reason we should take extra care not to invest in it. Fabric or canvas bags can be used to carry groceries, and lightweight silk bags can be used for weighing vegetables.
The only thing better than recycling is precycling – a technique that forms the cornerstone of a zero-waste lifestyle. Precycling involves considering packaging options before purchase and choosing to invest in only recyclable materials. Alternatively, precycling could mean opting for foods without any packaging at all, although these are generally limited to fresh produce.
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Use Eco-Friendly Products
Most household cleaning products are made from a slew of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Whether or not you actually empty your products into the earth itself, non-eco-friendly cleaning products end up polluting the earth. For this reason, it’s a good idea to invest in natural, biodegradable cleaning products.
Get Your Groceries Delivered
It is more ecologically efficient to have your groceries delivered than to drive to the store yourself. This is because delivery companies map out the shortest route to deliver goods, which saves on petrol and greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of each household driving to the shop and back, products are delivered along a single, round route.
Buy Local Whenever Possible
Buying local cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions during the transportation of goods. For this reason environmentalists choose to buy local whenever possible. Of course, the only thing better than buying local is growing your herbs and veggies yourself, which you can easily do successfully from your own home.
Grow Your Own Veggies
You don’t need a massive garden to grown your own vegetables and herbs, but you will need a certain degree of space. If you live in an apartment there are urban farming schemes or communal farming spaces, that can be used to grow your own edible plants. This reduces the amount of packaging purchased and saves energy of production costs.