We should all be looking for ways to make our lifestyles more green. Of course, it’s up to the major corporations to alter their practices in order to protect the planet as well, but we can all do our part to make things that little bit better for the environment. You might think that doing so will result in a huge upheaval to your life, and while it certainly will mean making some serious changes, it doesn’t all have to be arduous. Here are 10 ways to make your lifestyle more green:
1. Go paperless
One of the biggest ways that you can help the environment is to eliminate paper waste from your life to as much of a degree as possible. Let’s say you’ve taken out a loan and you’re dealing with the loan company. For personal loans and quick loans alike, you can ask for paperless bills and status updates, thus significantly reducing the amount of paper that circulates. You can do the same for other correspondence; bank statements, utility bills, and other necessary documents can all usually be delivered in paperless form.
2. Ditch your car
Personal vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to climate change in the world. If you want to have a significant impact on the environment, then it’s a good idea to ditch your car entirely. If you can, try to walk or cycle anywhere you need to go; this is a great way to reduce your carbon emissions. If you absolutely can’t walk or cycle to your destination, then try to take public transport; buses and trains are much better for the environment than driving yourself.
3. Change your diet
Many researchers agree that the best diet for the planet would be a “flexitarian” diet. This involves eating mostly plant-based foods with the occasional meal consisting of meat or fish. It’s not that difficult to achieve this; there are many delicious plant-based recipes out there, and you’d be surprised how many of the foods you already consume on a regular basis are entirely vegan. If you don’t think you can commit to a totally vegan diet, then try flexitarian eating for a while; you might surprise yourself!
4. Switch off appliances
You might have grown accustomed to leaving appliances in standby mode, but if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you should turn things off when you’re not using them. That means switching them off at the wall or turning off the main power switch rather than simply placing them in “rest” mode. Contrary to popular belief, for example, switching off a light when you exit a room is pretty much always more energy-friendly than leaving it on, no matter how many times you’re doing it.
5. Save food
Instead of throwing away leftovers, why not try to find something fun and clever to do with them? If you’re eating chicken, for example, and you have bones left over, then you can make stock from them. Similarly, if you’ve had a meal with a lot of vegetables and you haven’t managed to eat them all, you could turn the leftovers into “bubble and squeak” or any number of other dishes. Other tips include microwaving near-stale bread to give it a little more freshness and eating dinner leftovers for lunch.
6. Change your energy company
If you’re with an energy company that hasn’t made any significant pledges to focus on the environment, it might be time to change. Shop around for a different energy company that emphasises its commitment to sustainability. Changing your energy company is very easy; many firms will try to make you believe it’s difficult, but it’s not, and it could save you a huge amount of money as well. This goes for utility bills and other services, too.
7. Ditch plastics
It’s not always possible to ditch single-use plastics; they’re a huge part of the way in which many supermarkets and other shops package their products. However, where possible, it’s a good idea to move away from plastics in favour of paper-based or recyclable packaging. Many plastics still aren’t recycled; only 16% of the world’s plastic waste is actually recycled to make new plastics. Don’t buy bananas in plastic packaging; buy the ones with a paper sleeve instead.
8. Don’t use your dryer
Tumble dryers are one of the most energy-inefficient appliances you can use. Instead of drying your clothes in a tumble dryer, hang them outside and let them dry naturally in the sun. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, then hang them up near a window and let the sunlight get to them. Only use your dryer if you absolutely have to; it’s a needless expense considering that most clothes will dry naturally if you leave them for a little while.
9. Turn off water when not in use
Many of us are guilty of leaving the tap running when we’re brushing our teeth or after the shower has warmed up. Turning off taps can have a surprisingly significant impact on the environment, so when you’re brushing your teeth, don’t leave the tap running. Only turn it on when you absolutely need the water, and turn it off as soon as you’re done. Similarly, step into the shower as soon as it’s warm enough for you, then exit when you’re clean.
10. Save your water when you’re done
Bathwater, pasta water, and other “waste” water can actually have a lot of uses once you’re done with it. For example, you can use bathwater, or “greywater” as it’s otherwise known, to water your plants; it’s just as nutritious for them as fresh water or rainwater. Similarly, you can save pasta water to do the same thing. This combines fantastically with growing your own fruit and vegetables; not only are you saving water, but you’re also building a self-sustainable lifestyle!