10 Easy Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly
Whether we like it or not, it’s time again to talk about the environment. We’re all pretty aware of the climate change our globe is experiencing, and many of us are wondering what we can do to lessen our carbon footprint and be as loving as we can to this planet of ours.
Of the recent things we’ve learned about the planet, there are many facts that cause pause.
For instance, there are 8 million metric tons of plastic that have been made since the 1950s – in fact, the amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly equivalent to the weight of every human on the plant.
On top of that, the Arctic Sea ice is melting at a rate of about 12.8% a year, meaning that it might all be gone in less than 100 hundred years.
And finally, the amount of deforestation, air pollution, and global warming plaguing the planet is responsible for the extinction of billions of animal species.
Sounds pretty scary, right?
And while big corporations certainly play their part – just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the world’s carbon emissions, and it’s important that we spread that knowledge – we can also do our part as individuals to love and care for our planet. With just a few daily hacks focused on individual mindfulness, you can do your own part to bring harmony back to our planet.
10 Ways to Be More Eco-Friendly
If you’re been struggling to find new ways to be eco-friendly as Earth Day rolls around, this article is for you. While the following list of activities and practices are remarkably easy, they’re also seriously helpful for our beautiful planet.
1. Embrace Natural Lighting
We’re all guilty of it – you leave your lovely home for the day, forgetting to turn those lights off before you go. Or, you might even leave plenty of lights on in a room that you’re not currently in. While this habit may seem hard to break, learning to embrace natural lighting is one of the easiest ways to lighten your carbon footprint.
Did you know that turning off the lights in your home for even one hour is powerful enough to save 1.2 pounds of CO2, the chemical responsible for heating up the earth’s atmosphere?
So, try to make a habit out of turning off the lights as you leave the room and making sure that no more lights are on than necessary. Who knows, embracing natural lighting might even ramp up your interior decorating game!
2. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
We’re so quick to toss anything that might seem like trash, but reusing items is one of the best and easiest ways to lessen your carbon footprint. Let’s say you just emptied a container of store-bought potato salad; your first thought might be to rinse it out and recycle it, or even toss it. But think about how many times that container can be reused for leftovers – plus it’s much more cost-effective than buying your own Tupperware.
Or, have you ever thought about trying glass or metal drinking straws? Many of us enjoy drinking through a straw but are turned off by the idea of wasting plastic on a daily basis. Try investing in a reusable straw!
Reuse newspapers as gift wrap, or try refilling those empty pasta sauce jars with something else that needs a vessel.
You might also like: 15 Ways You Can Conserve Energy & Feel Good About It
3. Start Your Own Garden
Not only does planting your own fruits and veggies have a healing effect on earth, but you’ll also be taking steps to become more eco-friendly and self-sustainable. Going to the market for tomatoes or fresh fruit? Not you! You’re going to have your own fresh produce section right outside of your home.
Plus, you can amplify your eco-friendly game even further by creating your own compost, which will help your fruits and veggies grow big and healthy!
4. Wait Until Your Laundry & Dishwasher Are Full Before Cycling Through
Just because it’s easy and convenient to run the washer with only a towel and two t-shirts doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go. In fact, waiting until your laundry basket is full before running your clothes through the washer is an easy and effective way to cut back on your personal carbon emissions.
You can also try using only cold water during these cycles, as using hot or warm water takes more energy.
5. Repair Your Own Clothing
Have you ever tossed a shirt or a pair of jeans that you absolutely loved because they were torn or ripped? Well, it’s time to grab your sewing kit and get to stitching!
In fact, there are many easy stitching fixes for beginners, giving you the skills you need to fix your own clothing and save them from the thrift store or even the trash.
6. Eat Less Red Meat
Listen, we’re not telling you to go vegan overnight. You don’t even have to eat a primarily plant-based diet to reduce your carbon footprint. But simply replacing red meat with chicken or fish a few times throughout the week can drastically change the amount of carbon you’re contributing to society.
Try substituting your weekend burger for an Impossible Burger – with some seasoning and love, you might not even taste the difference!
Make sure to check out: 5 Plant-Based Snacks to Supercharge Your Day
7. Get Your Fitness On
Of the activities that humans partake in that contribute to global warming, transportation is up there near the top of the list. While taking public transportation is a much better idea for the environment, many people are wary of being packed so closely to others during a global health pandemic.
Why not hit two birds with one stone? (Metaphorically, of course. Don’t hit birds.)
Invest in a fun and lively form of transportation, like a new bike or a groovy pair of roller skates, for shorter trips around town. Not only will you lessen your carbon footprint, but you’ll also step up your fitness levels!
8. Learn to Love Cream of Leftovers
When I was young, “Cream of Leftovers” was a staple meal in our house. And they consisted of exactly what it sounds like – leftovers.
It can be difficult to enjoy the same food over and over again, especially when there are so many options available to us when it comes to cuisine. However, learning to love your leftovers (just like you loved them the first time around) can drastically cut back on waste.
Try to get yourself excited about that meal that you were so excited about yesterday. It’s still just as yummy, even yummier, the next day!
9. Choose Sweaters Over Heat
One of the activities that contribute most to our carbon footprint is heating and cooling our homes. We get it, you don’t want to sit in discomfort inside the walls of your own sanctuary. But we might be too quick to turn on the heat rather than grab a sweater, too quick to crank up the A/C without thinking about opening up the windows and letting a breeze flow through.
Before reaching for the thermostat, try to discover something else that might contribute to your comfort levels, like a sweater in the cold or a cool breeze and a fan during summer.
10. Fall in Love With Your Own Water Bottle
Bottled water is one of the premier inventions of the century – no matter where we go, we can typically find a bottle of fresh spring water for sale. But all that plastic is no good for our environment, which is why investing in your own water bottle is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
You can filter your home water yourself, meaning that you’ll always have access to portable, fresh water.
What Will You Impact This Earth Day?
These are just a few ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable, eco-friendly society – but that doesn’t mean you have to stop here. Use these tips and tricks as a jumping-off point to create your own Mother-Nature-loving, sustainable lifestyle.
What tricks will you use to save the world around you?
Learn more about how to be more eco-friendly every single day: The Fight for Environmental Sustainability - Can You Do More?