In the simplest of terms, eco-friendly means not hurting the environment. Many things we do on a daily basis are actually harmful to the environment. Things like driving a car, using plastic bags and bottles, and cleaning your home may not seem like it has a negative impact on the environment (or any at all), but it adds up. Here are three changes you can make to live a more sustainable life.
#1: Drive an Electric or Hybrid Car
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more popular these days. In fact, it is projected that virtually everyone will be driving electric cars by the end of the decade. EVs run on a battery instead of an engine, meaning that they emit no carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, unlike their gas-powered and diesel-powered counterparts. They may cost more upfront, but they will definitely save you money in the long run.
New technologies are more expensive and they may seem scary to some as well. If you’re not ready to go from a gas car to an electric car, then you can still reduce your carbon footprint by switching to a hybrid car. Hybrid vehicles use both a traditional engine and an electric motor. While hybrid cars aren’t as green as electric cars, they are more sustainable than gas cars, and they also typically cost less than electric cars.
#2: Make a Few Changes to Your Home
There are many benefits to making your home more eco-friendly that go far beyond reducing your carbon footprint. Not only will you be saving energy, but you’ll save money as well!
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Recycling things like plastic bottles is a no-brainer when it comes to sustainable living. The more obvious choice, however, is to purchase reusable water bottles instead of plastic ones. This way, you’ll be using no plastic at all.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
There are a lot of ways to use more energy efficient lighting. We were all taught to turn off the water while brushing our teeth and to turn off the lights in the rooms we’re not in. But say you do spend a lot of time in a certain room… is there a way to conserve energy when you still need it? Consider using LED light bulbs over incandescent bulbs. These bulbs may cost more upfront, but they last longer and use less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs.
Other Smart Home Devices
Technological advances over the last several years have allowed us to become more energy efficient in ways that many couldn’t have imagined. Home devices such as smart plugs, smart thermostats, and smart toilets help to cut back on the amount of electricity, energy, and water you use in your home.
Smart plugs, or power strips, are very efficient when it comes to saving energy. When devices such as chargers, lamps, and even appliances are plugged into the strips, they cut down on energy if a particular device is not currently in use, thus saving energy and money.
#3: Use Plant-Based Products
Many products we use around the house are full of chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Things like hand soaps, dish detergents, and laundry detergents can contain ingredients that affect nearby water systems when going down the drain, so a plant-based option would be more sustainable. Unfortunately, plant-based products tend to be more expensive, but the payoff makes it worth it in the long run.
Not only are certain household products detrimental to the environment, but they can also be detrimental to our health. Carpet cleaners inside the home and even weed killers used outside the home have been known to cause cancer, due to harmful ingredients.
It’s true that all of these options can be a bit expensive. The good news is that every little bit helps, so don’t think that it’s mandatory to make all of these changes at once. Start small, and soon enough you’ll start to see a difference.
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