If you have wanted to start living a more eco and sustainable lifestyle, here are some easy ideas to help you get started. The good news is that it’s not difficult to achieve an eco-friendly and sustainable life, but you will need to make some changes. Start out gradually by choosing a few items on this list that will work for you and add more if you like as time goes on. Even small steps to sustainable practices will be a start to reducing your carbon footprint.
Instead of heading to the grocery store every week, look for local farms, CSAs, and farm markets in your area. The food is fresher, and in most cases raised in a more eco and sustainable way. and not transported as far as factory-farmed food. Many of these businesses raise their food using natural ingredients and organic ingredients. Eating local is a great sustainable alternative as long as you have farms in your area.
Start a Garden
Starting your own garden is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment and your wallet. Gardening and spending time outdoors can also reduce and helps to feel connected to your food, plus when you raise the food yourself, you will save money and you will be heating healthy food which saves money and you will be eating fresh and healthy food!
Eat Less Meat
Another way toward sustainable living is to eat less meat. Meat consumption, especially factory-farmed meat is responsible for releasing greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming and climate change. Industrially raised meat requires a lot of land and resources to feed billions of animals.
You can cut back on eating meat by using less in recipes and adding more vegetables, beans, and nuts to your meals. And when you do eat meat look for sustainably raised meat.
Taking the time to compost can reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills and it leaves you with natural fertilizer for your garden. There are many different methods of composting from starting a compost pile in your yard or using a composter. Start by doing a little research and chose a way that works for you.
Avoid Food Waste
Food waste goes beyond humanitarian issues, it also affects the environment. When food is wasted, in most cases ends up in a landfill and when it decays, it produces methane gas.
When we waste food, we are also wasting the resources it took to produce the food. An easy way to reduce food waste is to plan your meals, not buy too much food, use a shopping list and plan out your meals. And most importantly, eat the leftovers.
Plastic has many toxic substances that can leech into our food and the soil when thrown away. In addition, plastic waste takes many years to decompose, which has a major impact on the environment.
While we can’t eliminate plastic altogether, there are some easy ways to reduce plastic waste. Instead of food storage bags, look for reusable silicone bags to store your food, they are a great plastic alternative. Glass containers are also a great option to keep food, and they can also be used for both food storage and reheating, and they are reusable. Use your own shopping bags or paper bags instead of plastic bags. And if it makes sense, buy in bulk so that you will have fewer packaged products to dispose of. Replacing bottled water in plastic bottles is a really easy trade-off. Use reusable water bottles instead. Also, look for products with sustainable packaging.
Reduce Paper Products
Paper towels are super convenient, but after one use, they are tossed into the garbage. Try cutting back on paper towels, and replacing them with eco-friendly products such as Swedish towels or bamboo paper towels. Both are re-useable and can be washed a few times before tossing them out. You will not only be helping the environment, but you will also reap economic benefits too.
Start small and try to replace conventional cleaners with more eco-friendly cleaners. Most household cleaners contain harmful chemicals such as carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and neurotoxins which can affect not only the environment but our health as well.
Instead, look for eco-friendly cleaners with less toxic chemicals. Shop for green products that are labeled fragrance-free or unscented. A great resource to check on safe cleaners and sustainable products is the Environmental Working Group Website.
Personal Care Products
There is very little regulation in the personal care product industry in the United States. While most of the chemicals and contaminants in personal care products may be harmless, check the ingredient label before using for any of these: parabens, phthalates, fragrance, Sodium Lauryl (SLS) BHA and BHT, Lead, or triclosan. Not only can these ingredients be harmful to you and your body, they can also be toxic to the environment.
Instead, opt for less toxic and environmentally friendly products which can be found on the EWG Skindeep website.
Recycle Reuse Repurpose
Instead of tossing Items that you no longer want or need, donate or recycle them to eliminate waste. When an item is reused and repurposed in a variety of ways, it reduces the amount of waste that is tossed into landfills.
Save the glass jars and reuse them for leftover storage, utensil storage, kitchen decor or to grow herbs in your kitchen.
Donate old clothing that you no longer want or need. These are just a few examples. Once you start thinking differently about getting rid of things in a more environmentally friendly you will be surprised at how easy it is.
I hope that the information here will help you to make mindful choices that will create a positive change for you and your home. If we all do just a little bit of eco and sustainable living at a time, the environmental benefits can have an undeniable impact on future generations.
Think of it as a social responsibility, and Earth day should not be one day a year but every day should be Earth day!
A great place to start is to be a conscious consumer, read product labels and support eco-friendly business and sustainable companies.