Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle is a popular and worthy goal for people from all walks of life. In past years, it required significant effort to decrease your carbon footprint and live sustainably. Fortunately, modern technological advancements and educational resources have made this lifestyle choice much easier to maintain. Here are a few daily switches you can make to live in a more eco-friendly way.
Switch From Animal Protein to Plant-Based Protein
Eating more plant-based protein is one simple step you can take to act more sustainably. Livestock production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and uses up the planet’s valuable resources. Limiting your consumption of animal proteins and switching to plant-based proteins helps the planet while boosting your health. It’s a win/win situation!
Trade Your Gas-Powered Car for an Electric Vehicle
Electric vehicles have been shown to cause fewer greenhouse gases than vehicles that run on gasoline or diesel. That’s not surprising, given that they produce no tailpipe emissions at all.
Fortunately, electric vehicles have become more affordable than they were when the technology was brand-new. This means you can more likely fit an electric vehicle purchase into your budget. This is especially true considering the money you will save on fuel costs.
Ditch Disposable Products for Reusable Ones
Many modern products are intentionally designed to be disposable and thus are highly wasteful. From paper plates to bottled water, disposable products are brilliant money makers for large corporations. They’re guaranteed to provide consistent revenue because once they’re used up, you’ll have to go out and buy more! It’s much more responsible to ditch such single-use products in favor of quality reusable items.
Say No to Plastic and Yes to Glass
Speaking of disposable products, take a minute to walk through your home and identify every cheap plastic item you see. Plastic products are not only harmful to the environment, but they’re also harmful to your health. Plastic glasses and food containers can leach bisphenol-A, a powerful endocrine disruptor.
Use glass storage containers instead of plastic ones, especially for foods you heat in the microwave. You can also reduce your consumption of single-use plastics by using refillable glass spray bottles and purchasing shampoo bars instead of bottled shampoo.
Use Natural Cleaners Instead of Chemical Ones
Those harsh cleaners you’ve been using to freshen your home may be doing more harm than good. Many contain volatile organic compounds that can have a wide range of adverse health effects. VOCs are also known to be harmful to the environment.
There are plenty of natural ingredients that can help you keep your home clean without harmful side effects. Lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar all have excellent cleaning properties and are much better for you and the environment.
Shorten Your Showers
It’s tempting to luxuriate in the steam, but those lengthy showers you’ve been enjoying aren’t very environmentally friendly. To live more sustainably, take shorter showers. You can also turn the shower head off while you’re scrubbing your body or shaving to save more water.
If you prefer to bathe, don’t fill the bathtub to the brim. Lowering your bathwater water level by just an inch can save approximately 5 liters of water.
Improve Your Food Storage Practices
When you’re adopting a sustainable lifestyle, all forms of waste should be discouraged — not least food waste. Instead of tossing leftovers in the trash, store them promptly so they can be eaten or repurposed later. Making the most of your food purchases is not only good for the planet, it’s kinder to your wallet, too.
Generally, food stored in the refrigerator is good for up to five days. Food stored in the freezer is typically good for up to 12 months, depending on how it’s packaged. Clearly mark the date of storage on the food container so you know when the contents need to be used up.
Use a Watering Can Instead of a Hose
When you use a hose to water your garden and landscape, you inevitably waste water. Think of how much water spills needlessly from the hose while you’re walking from one watering destination to the next. Worse still, you might forget to turn the hose off, squandering water and potentially imperiling your plants.
To prevent water waste, use a watering can instead. That way you can carry water directly to your intended destination without spilling water along the way.
Replace Disposable Water Bottles With a Reusable One
You’ve probably seen the photos of floating garbage islands and landfills teeming with empty water bottles. Disposable water bottles contribute an obscene amount of plastic waste that damages the environment.
Not only are plastic water bottles ubiquitous, they can take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade. They also produce toxic fumes if they are incinerated. If you’re serious about living an eco-friendly lifestyle, sip from a reusable metal or glass water bottle instead.
Buy Dairy-Free Alternatives to Cow’s Milk
As previously mentioned, livestock production is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. If you frequently drink cow’s milk, you can reduce your carbon footprint by switching to dairy-free milk alternatives.
There are many great-tasting options out there, including soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk. If you don’t like one type, don’t give up on all of them. Sample different varieties to see which flavors you prefer. There’s probably an eco-friendly alternative you can pour over your morning corn flakes.
Living sustainably is not as complicated as you might think. If it seems overwhelming to you, start by making a few of the simple lifestyle and purchasing changes mentioned above. As you become more comfortable, add a few more suggestions from the above list. Before you know it, living an eco-friendly lifestyle will be both natural and easy to do.