It is a known fact that humans are causing the severe destruction of the environment. Our careless actions such as irresponsible garbage disposal and excessive consumerism all leave a great impact on nature. United Nations’ environmental chief stated that 13 million tons of plastic litter end up in the waters and seas every year — and this number will keep growing as the world population expands.
Now that the repercussions of a wasteful lifestyle is becoming more apparent, we are now more inclined to try and live a life less damaging to the environment. It is understandable that making changes to a lifestyle you have always been used to could get stressful and overwhelming. But you are actually done with the most vital part of switching to an eco-friendly lifestyle — deciding to make the change. All you need to do know is take the simple changes you can do, until you can master them to take on the more difficult steps towards your environmental resolution. These are some easy steps you can take to start living an environmentally friendly life:
1. Use canvas instead of plastic bags.
An average plastic shopping bag takes 10 to 20 years to completely decompose, you could easily eliminate this from your lifestyle through this step.
One of the simplest ways to reduce plastic consumption is to switch from plastic bags to canvas bags. When going grocery shopping, always bring a canvas bag with you. This way you can skip using multiple plastic bags, and just carry your goods with a sturdy canvas bag instead.
It may seem steep to purchase a canvas bag instead of getting your plastic bags for free, but a canvas bag can actually go a long way. You can reuse canvas bags way more times than you can do with plastic bags. To make sure you reduce usage of plastic bags, always bring a canvas bag with you. You never know when you have to buy or carry something, so it’s better to always have one around. It should only take up a small space in your bag or purse when folded.
2. Reuse your plastic bags.
When you have always used plastic bags in the past, there is a good chance you have a big stash of plastic bags stored at home, most of which you only ever used once. Give new purpose to these plastics by reusing them as garbage bags for your small trash bins in the house. This will save you the cost of buying garbage bags in the supermarket, and it will allow you to recycle your used plastics. As you transition to a more sustainable way to shop with canvas bags, your stash of old plastic bags should lessen over time.
3. Always bring a mug or tumbler with you.
Having a reusable mug or tumbler with you all the time can help cut your usage of plastic cups and bottles significantly. When visiting a coffee shop, ask them to serve your beverage in your mug or tumbler instead of a disposable cup. You may also want to start skipping canned sodas and simply bring around your own drinking water in your tumbler. Through this, you save money, you become healthier, and you reduce your waste. Tin cans and styrofoam cups could take up to 50 years to decompose, aluminum cans up to 200 years, and plastic bottles up to 450 years.
4. Use less paper.
We are in the age of technological dependence, so this step could be very easy for you to follow. Instead of using notebooks or other papers, leave your notes and document submissions on the digital realm. Encourage your workplace to communicate more through electronic mail or other digital platforms instead of printing everything. For files, documents, projects or other matters you need on paper, you may recycle used papers by printing on the clean side. These easy steps could effectively help you and your office save so much on paper consumption.
5. Choose cloth instead of paper.
Another chore that produces lots of paper waste is cleaning. It is common to many households to have stacks of tissue papers and paper towels for single use. This practice produces plenty of paper waste. Instead of doing this, you can gather up old shirts and turn them into reusable rags for your cleaning needs. After using your old shirts for cleaning, you can simply wash them and use it again. This method will save you money, reduce waste, and you help the planet too.
6. Use energy wisely.
Another win-win lifestyle change you can do is to cut down on your electric consumption at home. Sure, there seems to be no apparent connection between electric use at home and the environment, but actually, people being responsible in their usage of electricity is very important. In order to produce electricity, most power plants burn coal, crude oil, or other fossil fuels. This method of generating energy may be inexpensive compared to other methods, however, our environment pays the price of it. Some of the byproducts of power plants include carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. When people use less power, the amount of toxic waste produced by power plants are significantly reduced.
A few simple ways to cut down on energy at home is to unplug appliances when not in use, make use of natural light instead of lamps during day time, and being mindful of your use of your home thermostat. You can save so much on your electric bill, and you help reduce the damages in our natural environment.
7. Use the better light bulb.
When replacing old light bulbs, make sure you purchase compact fluorescent lights. Compact fluorescent lights are more environmentally friendly as they consume significantly less energy than the usual incandescent light bulbs. Aside from this, their life span also lasts up to five times longer and they illuminate brighter, allowing you to reduce your usage of multiple lamps in your rooms.
8. Rethink your clothing purchases.
When shopping for clothes, select items made of cotton, linen, hemp, organic silk, organic wool or semi-synthetic viscose, instead of polyester and acrylic fabrics. The method of producing synthetic fabrics produce plenty of chemical waste. It’s a cheap material so fast fashion brands often use them to produce shirts, blouses, dresses, jackets, and pants to keep their prices low. However, the cheapness of this material also reflects on its quality as you may see them wear off after three to four washes. By choosing clothes with better fabrics, you get more out of your money since they last longer than those made with synthetic materials. Another option is to visit thrift shops and go for second hand items. It’s more economical and you bring new life to pre-loved items.
Living an eco-friendly life does not have to be difficult. You simply have to be more mindful of the repercussions of your actions to create a more environmentally sustainable living. You can make these simple lifestyle changes everyday until you eventually create better habits that help the environment get better. Every person’s little contribution for nature makes a very big impact on mother Earth. Start living an environmental friendly lifestyle today.