Green living has been the blog’s central theme for the month of April and while we’ve discussed specific green topics – solar energy, eco-friendly moving options, etc. – we’ve yet to answer this very simple question: how do YOU achieve a greener lifestyle, especially if you have no idea where to begin?
Sure, converting your home to solar energy is one of the best ways to go green, but it can be a difficult switch to make without proper planning. There are many other ways to live an eco-friendly lifestyle that are easier to do right off the bat. Small changes, such as altering your diet or turning off the lights can help you reduce your ecological footprint.
There are many other options available to you as well and we’re going to be sharing them with you today. Here are eight tips to help you live a greener life in 2014!
Easy-to-Execute Green Living Tips
Recycle and reuse
Making sure to properly dispose of waste is anyone’s first step towards living green. Recycling helps to minimize waste by making sure it doesn’t end up in landfills. You can also recycle by reusing items such as bottles and jars.
It’s important to recycle your electronics as well. Electronic waste has quickly become a serious problem for the planet, thanks to increases in technology and the gadgets we consume. Make sure you follow the proper methods to dispose of your electronics.
Our homes waste a lot of energy, but there are easy ways to fix this that’ll not only help the environment, but it’ll also lower your electricity bills. Here are some ways to stop wasting energy.
- Turn lights off when not in use
- Switch to energy-efficient light bulb options, such as LED
- Improve the insulation of your home
- Unplug appliances that often go unused to avoid ‘phantom energy loss’
- Install solar panels to power your home on solar energy
- Install an automated thermostat to regulate the temperature based on the weather and whether or not you’re home
We also waste a lot of water and in many different ways, but showers are one of the biggest culprits. Think of all the times you’ve turned the water on and waited for it to heat up. A gallon or two of water has already gone down the drain without being used at all.
To combat this problem, simply spend less time in the shower. Smart showerheads are also available and can cut a family’s yearly water use by 2,900 gallons!
Drink less bottled water
A product under growing scrutiny, bottled water can be a divisive topic. However, there is simply no arguing against the fact that bottled water is detrimental for a number of reasons. For example, last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38.
Ditching bottled water for the tap has lasting positive results on the environment by helping reduce landfills, and lowering the amount of energy and oil used for the production of bottles. Drinking tap water is also considerably more affordable, for those of us on a budget.
Use less fuel
It’s no secret that cars hurt our environment, but you can reduce your impact by dumping your gas guzzler for an earth-friendlier option. However, if you can’t bring yourself to drive a hybrid or electric vehicle, there are other options that will get you from point A to point B while simultaneously limiting air pollution.
- Carpool with co-workers and friends to get one more vehicle off the road
- Walk to nearby destinations
- Ride a bicycle
- Ride the bus
Make green buying decisions
We already touched on e-waste and why you should reconsider the next time you think about upgrading your phone or TV. There are other smart purchasing decisions that you can make. Try to buy used products or look to swap with like-minded folks. If you want to buy new, support your area by buying locally-made products.
Use green products in the home
Avoid using products that contain toxins and chemicals. There are greener alternatives to almost every product commonly used in households, such as cleaners, paints and even health and beauty products!
For cleaners, you can go greener by making your own! Concocting your own cleaners is really easy to do, and can be made from items you already have around the house. Get started with these 55 simple recipes from Clean Mama.
Invest in green technology
There are more gadgets and gizmos than ever that can help you live a greener life. The majority of these electronics are ‘smart’, designed for the sole purpose of regulating your home’s basic functions. They reduce how much energy and water you waste, helping you to leave a smaller ecological footprint. Check out eight of our favorite smart gadgets for greener living to start.
Small Steps for a Healthy Planet
You don’t have to completely overhaul your life; every small step you take towards a cleaner, greener lifestyle helps the environment. And as the global population continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that we all contribute in any way we can.
What are you doing to live a greener life? Share your stories and tips in the comment section below!