Is your lifestyle as green as you’d like it to be? If your carbon footprint is too large, it’s time to make some changes. We only get one planet, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that it stays in good condition for generations to come.
Living a more ecofriendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t need to live like a minimalist and forgo all of the things that you love. You can make a few small changes and still have a large impact.
We’re here to offer a few quick tips that will help you reduce your negative impact on the planet. Read on to learn more.
Ditch Single-Use Plastics
This is one of the best and easiest things that you can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but corporations like to make it difficult. By buying a few ecofriendly essentials, you’ll be able to ditch single-use plastics (almost) for good.
Single-use plastics are those items that are used once before they get sent straight to a landfill. These are things like disposable plastic utensils, plastic grocery bags, and plastic (or plastic-lined) cups at coffee shops (among others).
These things are convenient and sometimes necessary, but unless you need to use a single-use plastic item, bring an alternative with you. But how can you do that?
Next time you’re at the grocery store, bring reusable bags. They’re easier to carry, they won’t break, and you won’t have all of that plastic taking up space in your home or garbage can.
Buy a set of travel utensils that you can bring with you when you’re out and about. This way, if you buy takeout food, you don’t have to use their single-use plastic utensils.
Do you love getting a cup of coffee from a coffee shop every morning? Instead of using their cups, ask the barista if you can use your own travel mug. This will also keep your coffee warmer for longer, so it’s a win/win.
Most reusable items are affordable, and you may even be able to find some at thrift stores.
Reduce Your Energy Usage
The average American household uses over 11,600 KWh of energy per year. This means that the average American also has a huge carbon footprint without even adding in the other types of harm that they may be doing to the environment. What can you do to reduce your energy usage and shrink your carbon footprint?
If you have the means to do so, you could opt for renewable energy sources (like solar power). Anyone who’s trying to have a sustainable home that they don’t own, however, doesn’t have this option.
Do your best to rely on natural light in your home as much as possible. Keep your curtains and blinds open during the day so you never have to turn on artificial light.
This is also great on cold days because the sun will keep your home a few degrees warmer.
The only exception to this is if you’re experiencing a string of hot summer days. In this case, keep the blinds closed so you don’t have to over-rely on your air conditioner.
Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Did you know that reducing your meat consumption is actually good for the environment (and your body)? This doesn’t mean that you have to go vegan. Even cutting meat out one or two days per week will make a huge difference if enough people do it.
The meat industry is a huge part of deforestation. Factory farms are also some of the largest contributors to air pollution.
If you choose to keep eating meat, do your best to buy your meat from small local farms instead of large corporations as long as it’s within your budget. It’s not a perfect solution, but every little bit helps.
Say “No” to Fast-Fashion
Most of our clothing comes from fast-fashion retailers in 2022. While fast-fashion clothing items are affordable and accessible, they’re also terrible for the environment. Popular fast-fashion stores push consumerism and encourage people to buy more clothing than they’ll ever need.
If you’re low on funds, buying the occasional fast-fashion outfit isn’t a huge deal. The problem starts when people start buying large hauls to keep up with current micro-trends. Social media facilitates this behavior.
Fast-fashion clothing items fill landfills and the factories contribute to air pollution. The factories also have unethical labor practices, so their employees are underpaid and overworked.
Upcycle and Reuse When Possible
Before you throw something away, try upcycling it or otherwise reusing it instead. There’s no reason that perfectly good items have to go into a landfill.
Let’s use furniture as an example. Do you have any old and broken pieces of furniture that you planned on taking to the dump? Consider whether or not you can refresh them and make them usable again.
Using a few supplies and adding a fresh coat of paint can take an old piece of furniture from trash to treasure. Even if you don’t want to use it yourself, you can donate it or sell it to someone else who may appreciate your hard work.
This is a popular Hygge home hack. View here for more examples.
This also applies to clothing items. Instead of throwing away old shirts that are no longer wearable, why not use the fabric for rags or to make a quilt?
Get creative and see what you can upcycle in your home.
When was the last time that you visited your local thrift store? Buying things secondhand is always going to be more eco-friendly than buying them new. It’s also usually the cheaper option.
If you’re stepping away from fast fashion, but you still want trendy clothes, look at online thrift stores. You can look up fast-fashion brands and find clothing items that may even still be in season, but you won’t be doing as much damage as if you bought them new.
You can find furniture, various home supplies, books, and more at your local thrift store. Save those things from the landfill and give them a second life.
Do You Live an Ecofriendly Lifestyle?
Living an ecofriendly lifestyle isn’t an “all-or-nothing” thing. If everyone starts making small changes, it will make a huge difference. Mix and match several of these tips and see which ones fit into your lifestyle.
For more helpful articles about a green lifestyle (and more), visit the rest of our site.