Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Life Upgrades You Can Make
Becoming more eco-friendly in your daily life is easy, but you shouldn’t do too much too quickly. Check out these simple tips.
Many people strive to become more eco-friendly and improve their way of life while reducing their carbon footprints. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. The best thing you can do if you want to live a more sustainable lifestyle is to make gradual changes you’ll be able to maintain in the long run. Of course, not everyone wants to become vegan or live off the grid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prevent climate change in your own way. Here are a few ways to become more eco-friendly:
1. Make Home Improvements
If you own your home, you can easily make your home more sustainable with a few simple improvements, including the following:
- Using renewable energy: You can talk to your electrical company about clean energy plans to reduce your carbon footprint and ensure your power comes from renewable sources like the sun or wind.
- Insulation: A poorly insulated home has tons of drafts that allow air to escape. Therefore, whether you’re trying to heat or cool your home, your system will work overtime to get it to temperature, forcing you to use more electricity.
- Smart thermostats: With smart thermostats, you don’t have to worry about energy usage. Instead, you can control your home’s temperature with your smartphone, allowing you to ensure your home is properly heated or cooled, depending on the season.
- Energy efficient appliances: Energy efficient appliances use less electricity, allowing you to reduce your electrical waste from daily activities like running the dishwasher or doing laundry.
- Switch energy providers: You might want to consider changing energy suppliers. In Texas, it’s possible that you will be able to find the best Texas electric rates and switch to a cheaper company that still offers excellent service.
2. Find Alternative Transportation
If you drive a conventional vehicle that runs on gas, you already know the damage you might be doing to the environment. So, when it’s time to trade in your car, consider getting an electric vehicle (EV) or hybrid that runs on electricity. EVs are the most sustainable vehicles because they don’t use traditional fuels, produce air pollutants, or require drilling.
Unfortunately, many people can’t afford to upgrade their vehicles if their current ones are working properly and in good condition. Therefore, you can look for alternative modes of transportation to reduce how much gas you use to get from place to place. For example, you can carpool at work or use public transportation to reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Consider Your Clothes
Believe it or not, what you wear can also impact how environmentally friendly you are. In addition, how often you care for your clothes can have an impact. For example, if you wash your clothes less, you’ll use less water overall. Of course, this may mean doing more laundry in a single day, but it can drastically reduce how much water you use by only using the washing machine when it’s full. In addition, you can try to dry your clothes on a lower heat setting to use less electricity or avoid the dryer altogether by line drying your linens.
Additionally, you should consider the brands you purchase. The fashion industry is notorious for waste, producing tons of garbage yearly. In addition, the production process might use harsh chemicals that can leak into the water and land, affecting local wildlife. So the next time you’re shopping for your next favorite tee, consider learning more about your favorite brands to determine if they use sustainable practices.
And finally, you should never throw your clothes away. Tossing old shirts, pants, and dresses into the trash is easy but also wasteful. Instead, anything that’s wearable and in good condition can be donated to a local shelter or charity instead of contributing to climate change by sitting in landfills.
4. Eat Sustainably
What you eat also has a significant impact on the planet. Meat production is responsible for GHG emissions from production to delivery. Farming meat releases methane and nitrous oxide, two greenhouse gasses that affect the environment. Consuming less meat can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing GHG emissions.
You can also shop for local produce to reduce the time different products spend in transit. Since most food is delivered to grocery stores in trucks, you simply don’t know how much time they spend in transit before finally arriving at their destination. Therefore, shopping locally ensures your food products only travel as far as they need to.
Additionally, you should limit how much food you waste. While you might be unable to eat everything on your plate, that doesn’t mean you should toss it in the trash. Instead, save what you can for the next day or portion your meals more reasonably if you’re consistently wasting food.
5. Travel Differently
While travel is self-care for some individuals, it can be harmful to the environment. Traveling on a plane means contributing to carbon emissions, and the aviation industry is slow to adopt decarbonization. Instead of traveling by plane, consider situations when you can travel by train.
6. Eliminate Paper at the Office
Many companies are focused on sustainability and reducing waste. Unfortunately, offices are notorious for wasting paper daily. However, with technology, there’s no longer any need for paper—everything can be done online and saved digitally. For example, you can bill your clients using software and send them receipts via email. In addition, your employees can take notes on tablets or laptops instead of using note paper that will just wind up in the trash.
7. Bring Your Own Bag
Anytime you shop, you risk being given your recently purchased items in a plastic bag. Whether you’re grocery or clothes shopping, you should always bring a reusable bag and ask cashiers to bag your items in it instead of using plastic bags. While many people save their plastic bags for additional uses, you can reduce your waste by bringing your own bag whenever possible.
Finding ways to recycle is crucial to reducing your carbon footprint. Almost anything you use can be recycled, so it’s not just limited to paper or plastic products. Instead, you can recycle anything from old furniture to clothes. For example, you can make an old desk look brand new with a little TLC or use old tees as rags for cleaning around your home. Remember those plastic grocery bags we just talked about? You can use them as poo bags for Fido on your next walk.
Becoming More Sustainable
Becoming more eco-friendly in your daily life is easy, but you shouldn’t do too much too quickly. Instead, look for small changes to your lifestyle to make your eco-friendly changes and upgrades sustainable in the long run.
Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.
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