We’re more aware than ever before about just how much damage we’ve done to the planet over the last twenty years. In some cities, pollution levels are so high that residents are being asked to use their cars on alternate days, climate change has shown the polar icecaps are melting at an alarming rate, and thousands of animals have lost their homes and lives thanks to mass deforestation happening in the Amazon rainforest! By becoming even a bit more eco-friendly we can live green and be happy.
However, there is still hope, and lots of us are turning towards sustainable living methods to reduce our carbon footprint, decrease landfill waste and lower our energy bills to live simpler, happier, greener lives. Even just making the switch to a low energy bulb, cycling instead of driving to work and stopping junk mail can make a huge impact on the environment and help us to live green.
In recent years our recycling rates have fortunately rocketed. All the efforts made by campaigners and councils seem to be paying off, with the vast majority of us now using our blue and green bins effectively and recycling rates hitting record levels.
However, there are certain forms of recycling that many of us are not so many are keen on. One of those is composting our food waste. Maybe it’s because we think it’s unhygienic, or we just find the thought of putting our leftovers in a bag to decompose too unpleasant.
The reality is that composting is an essential part of the recycling chain and not at all that hard to do. It can also feel very rewarding. All you need is a good Compost Bag and a good place to put it – ideally outside in your garden, of course!
Stop The Spam
Millions of spam letters, junk mailers, and unnecessary envelopes are produced each year which means that thousands of trees are cut down to create post that just goes in the bin. Putting your name on a ‘junk free’ list will mean you won’t get endless leaflets come through the door as well as saving you time opening pointless post. Don’t worry you’ll still get the stuff that’s important but speak to your mail company if you have any questions. If everyone went paperless and instead looked at their bank statements, electricity bills and phone bill online there would be a huge difference in paper reduction.
Press The Off Switch
We don’t need to leave computers, phones and coffee makers switched on, but we do it out of sheer convenience. You may not realize it but even when there’s no device charging electricity is still flowing through the cables so leaving your laptop cable connected all day is costing you far more than it needs to. Make sure you unplug everything before bed or connect everything to an extension cord so you can turn all devices off at the flick of a switch.
Why not reduce your energy bills even more? Solar panels are probably the best way to save electricity work and there are government initiatives that can help you get started. You should be able to receive a substantial price discount for being smart and making the change to a renewable energy source.
You Can Re-Use That
For some reason, we’re obsessed with disposable products from taking out boxes, coffee cups, and even water bottles. Even with recycling the amount of plastic packaging that we, as a society, continue to throw away is becoming a real issue especially when sustainable goods are widely available. Buy a travel mug for your coffee instead of using a paper cup each time and refill your water bottle instead of buying a new one. Reuse grocery bags when shopping and make sure you eat everything you put in the trolley.
No one needs to take a half an hour shower! Even cutting yours by just five minutes will save over ten gallons of water. With global water shortages becoming worse by the day we all need to do as much as we can to avoid wasting any. Another weird tip is to brush your teeth while showering, as the water’s perfectly safe and every little helps.
Do you have any favourite ways to live green? Please share!