Green living is a lifestyle that aims to preserve and protect the environment’s natural resources and habitats.
Whether you’re looking to go zero waste or just reduce your environmental impact, there are plenty of ways to get started!
Using less energy is one of the best things you can do to help the environment. These tips will make a huge difference!
Recycling reduces the amount of waste in landfills and recycles reusable materials into new products. It also saves energy.
Recycled aluminum, for instance, requires 95% less energy to make than new aluminium. It takes 40% less energy to make recycled paper, and 70% less to recycle plastic.
Moreover, it saves natural resources. A 1,000kg (2000lbs) of recycled paper, for example, saves 17 trees.
It also reduces pollution and waste leaching. It can also stimulate the economy by creating well-paying jobs in manufacturing and recycling companies.
To increase the likelihood of recycling, make sure to learn about what’s recyclable and follow proper guidelines. Avoid wishing-cycling, which is placing items in the bin that aren’t accepted, and try to rinse and dry your containers to help improve their quality. This will ensure your recycling makes it all the way to its next life.
2. Use a Stainless Water Bottle
If you drink water on the go, you can save time and money by using a stainless water bottle instead of buying single-use plastic ones. Getting a refill takes 30 seconds or less and you can fill up at any tap, which is great if you’re going for a hike or on a lunch break at work.
Unlike plastic bottles, stainless steel doesn’t leach chemicals or retain flavors. Plus, it’s rust-resistant and repels mold.
Another benefit of using a stainless steel water bottle is that you won’t have to worry about leaks or spills. You can also sanitize your bottle in the dishwasher to keep germs from developing, and it can last you a lifetime if you take care of it properly.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Lights
One of the best ways to save energy is by switching out old, inefficient bulbs for greener alternatives. You can choose from a range of options including compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LEDs and even halogen incandescents.
LEDs are the most efficient of the lot, consuming 75% less energy and lasting up to 25 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. They are also the most colorful, displaying an impressive array of hues that can be controlled by a smart phone app. Other lighting options include motion sensors, dimmers and timers.
4. Drive a Hybrid Vehicle
Driving a hybrid vehicle can be challenging at first, but it’s an excellent way to save money on your gas bill and minimize your environmental impact. Hybrids are made up of lighter materials than traditional cars, so they require less energy to run.
To maximize your hybrid’s efficiency, use the right driving techniques. Accelerate slowly and gently to reach your speed, and don’t hit the brakes too hard when stopping.
Braking gently uses your hybrid’s regenerative system, which stores energy from your brakes to recharge the battery. This can be a lot more effective than braking heavily.
Hybrids also have different driving modes that can help improve fuel economy. For example, Eco mode changes air conditioning and other settings to use less power, while EV mode allows the battery to function alone when you’re driving at specific speeds.
5. Get a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats are a great way to save money on your energy bills. They also help reduce air pollution, improve indoor air quality and protect the environment against climate change.
Many smart thermostats have a Wi-Fi connection and can track your energy usage from the comfort of your phone. This is especially useful when you are away on vacation or in a different country.
They can be customized to fit your unique needs and can even learn and adapt to your schedule and temperature preferences. This allows them to make a variety of energy-saving adjustments without sacrificing your comfort.
They can be controlled with popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Siri. This makes it easy to turn your home’s temperature down or up, and to automate other smart-home devices like lights and coffee makers.
6. Buy Green & Organic
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your everyday life, buying green and organic products is an easy way to make a difference. Some products carry an official USDA certification, while others are simply more natural than conventional versions.
It’s important to read the labels of all your products carefully, and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re shopping. Many companies use misleading marketing and deceptive green labeling to lure customers into buying their products.
Choosing to buy green and organic products isn’t just for those who want to help the environment – it can also be a great cost-saving tip. For example, replacing outdated appliances or electronics with Energy Star models can save you money over time.
7. Shop at Local Farmers’ Markets
Farmers’ markets offer a variety of fresh, local produce. This means you can eat healthier, while also helping the environment.
Another benefit is that fruits and vegetables are at their peak of ripeness, which helps make them taste better. Plus, food at markets usually doesn’t spend as much time traveling long distances – that’s less energy used up in transportation and storage.
Shop at local markets for a wide range of fresh vegetables, fruits and flowers. You’ll also be supporting small, family-owned farms that are committed to sustainable practices and a commitment to their community.
8. Use a Reusable Mop
Reusable mops are a great zero waste option because they can be machine washed and reused many times. They also require less energy, water, and labor than disposable mops.
Swiffer pads are another excellent choice for cleaning floors. They are a great alternative to disposable mops because they can be reused, and they also fit all types of mop heads.
Using reusable mops can save you a lot of money in the long run, as you won’t need to buy single-use disposable refills or spray cleaners.
Instead, use a reusable microfiber mop pad to effectively clean large areas of your home or office. These pads will trap dust, dirt, and pet hair, and they’re super durable.
9. Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are plant-based products that have a variety of health benefits. They’re also a great alternative to synthetically manufactured cleaning and personal care products.
Some of the most popular essential oils include peppermint oil, lemon oil, and lavender. These all have soothing, uplifting scents that are perfect for stress reduction and a feeling of peace.
But be sure to use only the amount of essential oil you need. Too much is wasteful and it can negatively affect the therapeutic properties of an oil.
It’s also important to store your essential oils properly. Excessive exposure to oxygen can deteriorate the chemical structure of an oil, so it’s best to store them in a cool and dark place.
Candles are a great way to add a touch of romance to your home. They come in a variety of scents, and they are especially good for birthdays or other celebrations.
But you should also choose eco-friendly candles to protect the environment. Paraffin wax, which is traditionally used, is not biodegradable and can create smoke and particulate matter that travels long distances, contributing to smog and climate change.
Beeswax, on the other hand, is a natural product that comes from beehives and is renewable. It is biodegradable and it burns cleaner than traditional paraffin wax, releasing less smoke and ash into the air.
For the best eco-friendly options, choose candles that are made of vegetable-based waxes or natural beeswax. They should also be free of toxic chemicals and phthalates, and have a transparent supply chain. They should be packaged in a recyclable or compostable container.