Let’s face it. The biggest challenge most have with living a more eco-friendly life is the fact that everything seems to cost more. And there’s just so many things to change and do differently that it just seems overwhelming at times. So how do we fix those challenges?
Well unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for those problems. For eco-friendly to be more affordable, A LOT has to change in the industry and in the society that we live and that’s just not going to be possible for at least another couple years (ideally!). But I believe that deep down, everyone wants to do their part to keep our planet from being destroyed, polluted and depleted. Everyone would be more eco-friendly if they had the opportunity or the chance to change things in their lifestyles and if didn’t seem like such an imposition.
It seems like one of the hardest parts of trying to teach others how to become more eco-friendly is to get the information about how to do it in front of them. I don’t know if this is from lack of exposure on the ‘green’ brands or if people just don’t think to look for anything different than they’ve been doing — which, honestly, makes sense to me. On a side note though, one of my missions with this blog (and eventually full-blown company) is to become a household name along the likes of Walmart.
Back to the point though — there are so many little things that everyone can do to make a difference and live a more green lifestyle. You don’t have to switch everything over all at once or suddenly start eating only organic or even go and spend a bunch of money. In fact, most of the changes to a green lifestyle will save you money (shocker!). So without further ado (as they say) here’s a list of some changes you can make now to live a greener lifestyle.
- Switch To LED: We switched (almost) all of our lightbulbs to LED this past year and I can say that not only does it make a difference in the wattage used of course, but also we use less of the lightbulbs! Yeah, like I only have to turn on one light compared to two most of the time now. So not only are we saving money because LED uses less wattage and therefore less money but I save even more because I use less light.
- Composting: It’s relatively simple to do (there are hundreds of infographics about what to put and not put in compost) and anyone can do it, even if you live in an apartment! You don’t even really have to invest much, or anything, since using any container pretty much works as long as it has a top. This saves on landfill waste as well giving you some great soil to work with for your plants.
- Clean with vinegar: Most people have it handy and if you don’t, a large container of it is not that expensive at your local grocery. A little goes a long way and it is a safer, more natural way of cleaning and disinfecting surfaces — it kills bacteria, germs and mold without harsh chemicals.
- Air Dry: As a general rule of thumb, it’s always good to use less electricity and less water. But we kind of have to wash our dishes you know… so at least save on the electricity of drying them in the dishwasher with heated air and just let them air dry. Or take them out and towel-dry them. Either way, you’re doing a little bit to help.
- Use less water in the bathroom: As I said, less water = good. So turn of the water when you brush your teeth or are applying that wonderful, natural cleanser and rubbing it in really good. Also, a hack I know for using less water in the toilet instead of spending money on a new low-flow one: place a brick inside the water tank of the toilet to reduce the amount of water you’re flushing each time.
- Get a plant (or two): having some plants in the house will not only increase the aesthetic but will give you more benefits such as purifying the air. Having a spider plant in bathroom will purify your air and keep mold at bay and aloe plants are also known for their purification properties. Bonus: you can use the aloe gel in the leaves for all sorts of natural remedies and beauty treatments.
- Rain Barrel: Unless there are laws stating otherwise in your area ( I know some states have stricter regulations) it’s super easy to install a rain barrel next to your house and to be able to use that water for watering any plants/animals/lawn. Be sure to check the rules in your area first so you don’t have any problems.
- Switch From Paper: As far as I’m concerned, the one thing we waste the most is paper. Paper which is made from trees, which are being cut down at an exponential rate and threatening the stability of our planet. So whatever you can do to save on paper, do it. Whether that’s using cloth “paper” towels, using recycled toilet paper or recycling paper yourself or maybe all of the above, they will all be helpful.
- Reuse The Old: There’s no reason to go out and spend money on those ‘eco-friendly produce bags’ when you can make some yourself from older t-shirts. Use them to go shopping with and save the earth from more plastic waste (not to mention all those cute, little animals that won’t get tangled in the ocean on them).
- Shop Thrift: Yep, I went there. One of the biggest wasters of materials and resources is the fashion industry and if you can bring yourself to not buy new clothes then I suggest buying second-hand. It’s recycling in a way and there are plenty of shops and online boutiques that cater to more high-end clothing brands. You can still be a fashionista and save the planet by not indulging the fashion industry in it’s wasteful practices and buying something that’s already on the market.
- Don’t Dispose: Whenever at all possible, don’t use disposable bowls, plates or cutlery. Although some might argue that the cost of re-washing bowls or plates outweighs the benefit of using them, I still think that at this point it’s better to not put more into landfills and to use a little water.
- Recycle: This might seem like an obvious one, but it seems like it gets overlooked so much. Paper, plastic bottles, glass and aluminum cans can all be recycled. Then there’s metal, copper, brass and probably a few others that I haven’t listed. Find out what kind of facilities are available in your area — some places even pay you to bring in your recyclables so, win-win!
Looking forward to seeing more of you,