April 27th, 2019 | Updated on June 28th, 2022
Going green and becoming more eco-friendly is no easy feat. It can mean sacrifice, working to change your lifestyle and effort on your own path.
However, becoming more eco-friendly is becoming increasingly important for the future of the planet and the sustainability of the world during our lifetimes.
If you’re just starting out and want to give sustainable living a solid shot, we’ve got a couple of ideas to kick off and get you started on your eco-friendly path.
1. A Reusable Water Bottle
Plastic seems to be absolutely everywhere in our lives. Whether it’s in packaging, drinks straws or even toys and games – wherever you look – there’s plastic.
To become more eco-friendly, it’s a great idea to try and minimise the amount of plastic that we use in our lives. This can take the smallest changes to make the biggest impact on the waste that we produce. Bring a canvas bag when shopping, opt for paper drinks straws instead of plastic and try and avoid plastic products where alternatives exist.
One of the very best options to reduce plastic use is to purchase an eco-friendly water bottle, preventing the need for disposable plastic water bottles. My favorite eco-friendly bottle from Kool 8 is a stylish and modern stainless steel replacement, perfect for refilling with water so you don’t have to purchase bottled ever again.
Buying from Kool 8 comes with the additional benefits of helping underprivileged regions in the world with 20% of the profit going towards delivering clean water to those in need. It’s not only good for the planet, but great for its inhabitants too. They were also included on this list of best water bottles of 2019.
2. Not Using It? Turn It Off
One of the simplest ways to become more eco-friendly is by conserving the amount of energy that you’re using to reduce your carbon footprint.
Turning off televisions, lights, sound systems and computers, when they’re not in use, is a fantastic (and easy) way to save power (and the world). Smart devices are starting to be released with timeout features as standard with companies seeing the importance of saving energy and as every little help, we can see why.
If you want to take it a step further, replacing normal bulbs with LEDs will not only last longer but will use less power due to their highly efficient design. So you’re consuming less energy and won’t have to replace as often – so everyone’s a winner.
3. Don’t Waste Your Food
Waste not, want not.
Wasting food is, perhaps surprisingly, one of the biggest contributors to CO2 production with the gas released from unwanted goods rotting in the rubbish.
In the UK alone, 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every single year. It’s not the just the CO2 that’s an issue, but the amount of energy that’s used to produce the goods in the first place. Imagine just how much money, time and effort went into producing that volume of food.
If you’ve let your food go bad and need to dispose of it – composting is probably your best bet. The compost is not only a great addition to the garden acting as a natural fertiliser – but won’t break down anaerobically meaning there’s no build-up of methane gas.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Everything that can’t go into the compost bin can likely go into some sort of recycling.
Sorting your waste to minimise what goes in the bin and maximising what goes in the recycling is a great step into a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It’s one of the simplest and least time-consuming methods of minimising waste and separating recyclables becomes second nature once you’ve got the hang.
Use multiple bins or containers to keep everything nice and organised, you’ll find it much easier to stick to it and it’s super satisfying to put everything just where it belongs.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Believe it or not – some cleaning products have a lot of harmful chemicals that aren’t environmentally friendly.
Checking the labels and learning what products are green and less harmful is up there with some of the best methods of becoming more eco-friendly. Sticking to natural citrus based cleaners and organic cleaning products are far less harmful to the environment and the people in direct contact.
Stick to lemons, vinegar and good old elbow grease to minimise chemicals while bettering your cleaning power!
6. Buy Local
Whenever you’re in the mood for a shopping spree – whether that’s for clothes, food and just about everything else – if there’s a chance to buy local, it’s usually for the best.
When goods are produced in the immediate area, the carbon footprint of the products is dramatically reduced. With a lack of transport required, you can expect a greener product and you’ll be helping out local businesses.
If you manage to get a group involved, you’ll likely be seeing more local shops to choose from in no time at all – all promoting eco-friendly options, even if they’re unaware of it.
7. Cycle When You Can
Last but not least comes the tip that you’d probably expected – pedal power.
Cycling when you can, taking a journey by foot or even using public transport over driving your own car or vehicle is a great way to lower your carbon footprint. We’re not saying that you can never drive again – but making smart choices when you can is all that you really need to become more eco-friendly.
Whenever you need to take a trip on four wheels, ensure that you’ve got the tires fully inflated and the engine running smoothly. Keeping the speed down and the rpms low will make the most of your fuel, costing less to run and reducing emissions.
It’s the little things that have the biggest impact when grouped together.