Four simple and quick tips for living green

Living a more sustainable and greener life is something a lot of people are looking to do. Here are four simple and quick tips to help you.

Green living, or living green, is a lifestyle choice where you try in as many ways as possible to reduce the use of the earth’s natural resources. It goes beyond just avoiding plastic bags or utilizing a reusable water bottle; it’s about making a conscious effort to understand and make everyday choices that will positively affect the world. 

Living green includes reducing your consumption of things that either require natural resources or pollute the Earth, wasting less in your daily life, changing the way you think about your daily life, and finding cleaner and better solutions to fit your needs and wants. By making these changes in your life, you’re able to reduce your carbon footprint and positively impact the planet.

There are a number of ways to lead a greener lifestyle, but it’s often hard to stick to greener habits in the long-term. This type of lifestyle is one that many people want to lead, but may not be able to. Below are some easy ways you can change your lifestyle to become more eco-friendly in your day-to-day life.

1) Renew and reuse

Incorporating renewable energy into your daily life is a great first step in changing your lifestyle to be more sustainable. When it comes to your home, consider utilizing rooftop solar panels or installing some in your yard to power your day-to-day life.

If that sounds like a bigger commitment or one that may take longer for you to accomplish, you can also look into powering just a part of your home with renewable energy, such as your oven, water heating, or air conditioning.

Another reusable option you can incorporate into your life is to create eco-friendly spaces within your home. When it comes to your bedroom, look into organic mattresses and bedding which are more environmentally friendly than other alternatives. You can also use these same concepts to furnish the other areas of your home, such as your living room or office space.

2) Find greener ways to get around

Finding alternative ways to travel is one of the biggest ways you can make an impact on the planet. Rather than traveling by car, which releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every time you use them, consider switching to an electric vehicle. They minimize harmful CO2 emissions, while also saving you money by not having to buy gasoline to fuel your vehicle. 

Whenever possible, it’s best to walk or bike to your destination, as they are the most sustainable ways to travel. However, there will be times that this just isn’t feasible. For those times, look into using public transport such as buses or trains, or even share a ride with a friend. These methods will mean less carbon emissions, so there will be cleaner air and a reduced dependence on oil.

Airplanes tend to create more pollution than cars do, so when possible, utilize video conferencing tools for meetings. If you must travel by air, choose a nonstop flight and try to pack as lightly as possible to help reduce CO2 emissions.

3) Cut out chemicals

The use of certain chemicals is harmful to the environment. Chemicals to watch for that may be in products you currently use are:

  • Organophosphate pesticides
  • Phthalates 
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
  • Air pollutants (nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, benzene, etc)
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls

These are some chemicals that should be avoided and replaced in your everyday life. Some harmful chemicals can also be found in makeup or other body care products that people may not be aware of or even considering when buying.

The best thing you can do is to opt for natural products. These will be nontoxic or even plant-based which will mean less pollution of the planet, and safer options for you as well. It can seem overwhelming having to completely restock your cleaners and body care products at first. Start small, with the things you use every day, then expand to switching to cleaner alternatives throughout your whole home.

A lot of companies are becoming more transparent with products being natural or eco-friendly, so keep an eye out for these when you’re doing your shopping. There are also websites that you can utilize to see which products are considered safer and healthier. EWG VERIFIED and Think Dirty App are just two options you can consider when making the switch to cleaner products.

4) Dispose of waste ethically

The methods that you use to dispose of home goods or any waste you may have can lead to living a greener or less greener lifestyle. When possible, practice recycling items that you would otherwise throw away in the trash. By not recycling, there are missed opportunities to take waste and reshape it into essential products. Plastics, glass, paper, and aluminum are all items that can be recycled and reused over and over again.

Another way to dispose of waste in a greener way, is to consider composting. Put your vegetable peelings, fruit waste, egg shells, grass cuttings, weeds, and leaves into a bin to use as compost for your garden or backyard. 

Composting is a natural and eco-friendly process that involves breaking down organic waste materials into a nutrient-rich soil amendment called compost. One type of composting method is using an in-ground compost bin. This is a type of composting system where a hole is dug into the ground, and organic waste materials are placed inside.

Some people choose to add worms to their in-ground compost bin to help speed up the composition process. Wondering what is an in-ground compost bin? Take time to do some research online to discover more about its benefits and usage.

Garbage disposers are another method of removing waste in a better way. For items that can’t be recycled or composted, using a garbage disposer might be the better option rather than throwing them in your trash can. Larger waste items can be shredded into smaller bits that are decomposed at a more efficient rate, rather than leaving them with other trash items.

Lastly, ensure your personal possessions are eco-friendly when possible, and aren’t a wasteful habit that lasts years as those items are replaced when they need to be. For example, choosing everyday items that are made from recycled materials such as clothing, eyeglasses, grocery bags, footwear, and blankets.

How can you live a greener life?

Making the switch to a greener lifestyle can be one that seems daunting, but by taking small steps to make the switch, you’re one step closer to reducing your carbon footprint and positively impacting the planet.

Start by making changes in your everyday habits, then focus on bigger ones. It isn’t a race to get there as quickly as possible, but rather building the habits that will last a lifetime.

Photo by Noah Buscher