Some people might see the term eco-friendly and think it’s a costly lifestyle choice and one that requires far too much effort, but having a greener lifestyle doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult. There are lots of small changes that can make a big difference, here a few to get you started.
1. Consider Your Waste
We all understand the importance of recycling things like glass, paper and cans instead of throwing them away with the rest of the rubbish heading to the landfill, but consider other unwanted items too. Approximately 27 pounds of carbon emissions can be reduced for each item that is donated to a thrift store so don’t be tempted to throw old clothes, shoes and toys into the trashcan.
2. Experiment with Vegetarian Meals
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You might wonder how eating a vegetarian meal is going to save the world but environmental studies show that livestock is one of the biggest producers of greenhouse gases in the world. Just going meatless two nights a week can make a big difference. Due to the rise in popularity of vegetarianism and veganism there are lots of great recipes online, for adults and children, to get you started.
3. Make Sure it’s Sustainable
When you do buy meat, make sure it’s been sustainably raised – this means that the animal was given plenty of room to roam and wasn’t treated with antibiotics or hormones. Check the labels carefully when you’re doing your food shop and look out for the words free-range or organic. This is also important when you’re buying fruit and vegetables too because organic produce means that they haven’t been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
4. Switch Household Cleaners
A large majority of household cleaners contain chemicals which can be harmful to your health and studies have shown many of them to be the cause of asthma and allergies. Look for products which are plant-based and check the ingredients list. For bigger jobs like cleaning the windows or carpets research green companies who only use eco-friendly carpet cleaning and window cleaning products.
5. Go Fragrance-Free
Most fragranced products contain chemicals which are harmful to the ecosystem if they get washed down the plughole and not only that, research suggests certain chemicals are believed to disrupt hormones too. If the thought of using scentless cosmetics fills you with dread then look for products that use plant extracts or essential oils instead.
6. Insulate Your House
Adding good insulation can improve your home’s energy output by 20 to 30 percent. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to totally redo your current insulation, which could be a costly job; there are simple ideas which give the same results. Thermal shades will block the sun in the summer and retain heat in the winter or wrapping an insulation blanket around your water heater can lower its running costs by as much as 9 percent.
All of these small efforts can play a part in reducing landfill waste, cleaning the air and helping the ecosystem and the great thing is that they all prove that being environmentally-friendly can also save you money.