Living an eco-friendly life is something we all should be doing not only for our personal health and well-being, but to help nature and the environment as well. Even if you don’t go 100% “all in” right away, you can make some simple changes to your day-to-day routines that’ll make your life more eco-friendly starting today:
1. Start by changing your mindset. Stop thinking it’s acceptable for the majority of the materials you use and the products you buy to be disposable. It may not be advertised as “convenient,” but it’s more biofriendly, better for the environment and saves money in the long run when you opt for reusable, recyclable and even repurposable.
2. Get yourself a reusable cup to use when driving/traveling. Personally, I like having a stainless steel cup with a stainless steel straw.
3. Purchase less and waste less. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can simply buy less. You can practice root-to-stem cooking. You can start a compost for all your food waste. You can figure out ways to re-use what you have instead of getting new stuff . You can borrow rather than buy. The options are endless.
4. Spend a little time out in nature every day. You don’t have to spend all day outside (although that would be good too). Even a little bit of time outdoors is beneficial. In fact, here’s why 30 minutes of nature a day is so good for your health.
5. Conserve energy by turning off lights in unoccupied rooms. It’s a simple step, but why waste money by having lights on in empty rooms? Turn them off.
6. Only wash dishes and do laundry with full loads and during non-peak hours. Also, consider using a cold water wash as it cleans just as well.
7. Make your toilet/faucets low-flow. You don’t have to buy new ones. You can simply make a few changes and you’ll have a low-flow toilet. Add a low-flow aerator to your faucet and you’ll be using less water while saving money.
8. Open windows and/or doors to air out your home naturally. This lets fresh air in and stale air out, thus improving indoor air quality.
9. Don’t buy commercial, chemically-based air fresheners. You can make your own using a small 4 ounce glass spray bottle filled with either 1 tsp witch hazel/rubbing alcohol or 2 tsp vodka, about 1/2 cup distilled water and 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil.
10. You can also use windows and doors to help monitor indoor temperatures. On hot days, ensure windows/blinds stay closed while sun is high in the sky to keep indoor temps down. On cooler days, open windows or blinds to let some light and warmth in without having to pay for the energy to do so.
11. Get organic, fresh foods from local stores and farmers’ markets. You can also grow your own. It doesn’t cost much to start a little garden. You can grow fruits, vegetables and herbs; all natural, organic and pesticide-free.
12. Make your own meals at home. Stay away from processed foods. It’s a healthier option, costs less and, most of the time, tastes better too. Plus, you can find countless organic, plant-based and non-processed recipes online.
13. Walk instead of drive whenever possible. While driving may seems like the only option, take a look. See if you can find a few times when walking would be a viable alternative.
14. Take up bike-riding or hiking as a great way to get outdoors AND get exercise. While you can always exercise at the gym, going outside to exercise can also help you reconnect with nature.
15. If you don’t have an electric or hybrid vehicle, use these 12 ways to improve fuel efficiency. Simple actions like these can help you lower travel costs, reduce harmful emissions and extend the life of your vehicle.
Once you begin making changes which allow you to live a more eco-friendly life, you’ll probably notice other simple adjustments beneficial to both you and the environment. Add these in. Living an eco-friendly life is a constantly evolving process and this is only the start.