Living a greener lifestyle is not as tough as you might imagine. Many people have the misconception that living an eco-friendlier lifestyle requires giving up a lot of their creature comforts, but that is not the case. All it takes is making a few lifestyle changes. To give you an idea of what you can do to help the environment, here are some tips for living a greener lifestyle.
You may be surprised to find that gardening can help you on your way to living an eco-friendlier lifestyle. Not only will mowing the lawn less often reduce carbon emissions, but it will also give hedgehogs and rabbits a safe place to nest. Try planting native plant species to attract more pollinators and wildlife. You can reduce food miles by eating seasonally and growing your own food. Lettuce and salad greens, herbs, tomatoes, beans, and peas are all easy to grow.
You don’t need to rake the leaves in your yard. They provide shelter for butterflies and other beneficial insects and the leaves will decompose on their own. Waste less water by collecting rainwater in a water butt to water your plants with and avoid using weedkillers and pesticides. You can start a compost heap by collecting all of your garden waste and food scraps. When everything in the pile has decomposed, you’ll have a lovely compost to use on your plants.
You could plant more trees in your yard, even if they are small. Trees photosynthesise and clean the air, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Trees enrich he soil and prevent water from pooling on the surface. Planting trees will help to rewild your garden and, as an added bonus, can increase your property’s value.
Try to rethink your travel options. Walk to anywhere within walking distance, and if you have to travel a bit farther, ride a bike there. For longer distances, opting to take the bus or the train or even carpooling can reduce carbon emissions. If you live somewhere without public transport links and find that a car is a necessity, think about trading your car in for a hybrid or electric vehicle which uses less fuel or is powered by renewable energy. You’ll also save yourself some money in the long run, as electric cars are often cheaper that petrol or diesel. Make sure you buy your vehicle from a dealership with the best motor vehicle dealer bond so that you know they’re acting legally and ethically.
Teach Your Kids Eco-Friendly Habits
Get your whole family to join in on living a greener lifestyle. Teach your kids to turn off the tap when they brush their teeth to conserve water and to turn the lights off when they leave a room. Show your kids where the recycling bin is and teach them to look at labels to see if something is recyclable.
Teach them some eco-friendly games that don’t involve staring at a TV or smartphone. Take them out on a nature trail and have a competition to see who can identify the most species of bugs and plants. Or if you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, help them to learn more about reusing things by making up a fun game. For example, they could get two old cups and fill one with water. Ask them to use a pipette to move the water from one cup to the other. You can keep the cups and pipette and see what other games you could play with them.
Buy Products with Eco-Friendly Packaging
You don’t have to compromise on the quality of products you’re buying when you purchase something with eco-friendly packaging. Look for items with packaging that says “recyclable” or “biodegradable”. Even buying cosmetics or cleaning products with biodegradable jars can make a small difference.
Whenever you go to the supermarket, buy loose fruit and veg and take a reusable produce bag with you to avoid bringing more plastics into your home.
Make Changes Around the Home
You don’t have to make drastic changes to your home or spend a tonne of money to make your home greener. Keep it simple by changing your shower head to reduce water use, swapping to LED bulbs to use less energy, and using reusable kitchen towels to reduce waste.
Image Credits: Anete Lusina