If you feel like you could be doing more to decrease your effect on the environment, here are some things you can try out that can help you to get the next level of eco-warrior and probably even save you money, too. Even if some of these take a little getting used to, they are all pretty easy to implement and you’ll feel better knowing that you’re reducing your waste by what could be quite a significant amount.
- Avoid plastic
Say no to plastic straws in bars and restaurants – there is a big push for this at the moment due to recent campaigns showing that our oceans’ animals are choking and suffocating on plastic pollution.
The aim of these campaigns is to stop using single use plastic – so don’t buy a bottle of water that you’re only going to use once and throw away – instead ask for filtered tap water or buy a reusable bottle that you can get a lot of use out of.
This can extend to many areas of your life though, it doesn’t have to be limited to plastic. Can you increase your recycling efforts more? Can you buy products that are loose or with alternative packaging rather than plastic? You can take this philosophy even further to think about investing in high quality clothing, furnishings or products in general to avoid throwing away things that go out of fashion or are likely not to last long. Donate your old clothing and furniture to charitable organizations. Another great idea is sell the items that you no longer use or need on e-bay or craiglist.
- Meatless Mondays
If you’ve seen any of the many food documentaries on Netflix, you’ll have learnt about the devastating effects of factory farming on the environment. It’s difficult to see how one person eating less meat can make a difference, but the more people that reduce meat in their diets, the less the demand for factory farming animals there will be. There are also many claimed health benefits from eating a plant-based diet and it should save you a fair bit of money. If the thought of cutting out meat entirely straight away seems too much, try making smaller steps by implementing Meatless Mondays, or gradually cut down on certain types of meat first. You don’t have to be strict immediately – even a reduction could make a difference.
- Use green companies
So many companies have now got more than just profits on their mind – many are marketing their contribution to the world, or how they’re ‘giving back’ or supporting others. With companies doing their best to make their charitable efforts heard, it’s easier than ever to find out about where a company stands with regards to environmental issues. Next time you need a product or service and have a choice of companies, take a look at their commitments to the environment and choose the greener one, or purposely seek out and support green companies.
Many companies have even been set up for the very reason of reducing our environmental impact, like delivery carpool platform Shiply, so use companies like this when you can.
- Be creative
Creativity can save a lot of waste, whether it’s by cleverly using up food past its best or turning old trousers into some summery shorts. If you’re stuck for ideas, take a look at Pinterest or YouTube and see tutorials of ways people have upcycled pre-loved items into something more practical. Use gift-giving occasions like Christmas or birthdays as times to give handmade gifts like food or decorations rather than overpriced store-bought items surrounded by unnecessary packaging.
If you’re sick of the commercialism of Christmas and the culture of gift-giving generally, try approaching the subject with your family and/or friends and see if you can initiate ‘secret santa’ instead, or buy gifts for children only and contribute food to the day instead. It won’t be just you that’s thinking about it!
Your creativity could save you a ton of money and waste, and you might even get a new hobby out of it.
Do you have creative or green living tips to share? We sure would like to hear them in the comment section!
Please share this article with others so we can all learn how to go green and save our planet earth!