How to Go Green in 10 Steps

woman riding bike
Photo via flickr / danielfoster437

 

Living greener might seem difficult or overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Just by adopting 10 practical steps, you can start a happier, more eco-friendly existence.

Step 1: Keep Your Eye on the Tap

When using water, such as when you’re washing your face, brushing your teeth or washing dishes, make sure you only use what you need. This means closing the tap while you wash instead of letting water run down the drain. By being more mindful of your water consumption, you immediately make a difference. Did you know that closing the water when brushing your teeth instead of leaving the tap to run can save up to 8 gallons of water every time? That’s a lot of water you prevent from going to waste.

Step 2: Purchase Eco-Friendly Clothing Items

Although you might not be able to turn your wardrobe into a green space overnight, try to purchase eco-friendly clothing in future. This helps you to make changes in easy ways over time and that first purchase will motivate you to continue your eco-friendly clothing mantra. Some eco-friendly shopping stores can be found online at the Eco Fashion World website.

Step 3: Recycle!

This is the biggest change you can make to the environment and it’s also one of the easiest. By setting up a recycling area in your home and making sure you recycle items regularly, this helps to prevent waste from entering landfills. Get a recycling box or bag that is provided by your local council and keep it next to your regular rubbish bin so that you can take out rubbish and recycle at the same time.

Step 4: Re-Use

A golden rule of eco-friendly living is trying to re-use items you don’t want any longer instead of tossing them into the garbage. You can achieve this easily by looking at items in new ways. How can that old holey t-shirt be used again? Perhaps it could be cut up and used as cleaning cloths. Those milk bottles, on the other hand, can be used as pen holders or even vases. Be creative and you’ll save money while donating a bit of goodness to the environment.

Step 5: Reduce Plastic

Plastic is not biodegradable and can take up to 1000 years to break down. There are easy ways to decrease your plastic use.

  • Take a bag with you when shopping so you don’t have to purchase plastic bags;
  • Re-use your water bottle. Always check underneath to see how often the plastic can be re-used;
  • When purchasing products, make sure that they do not contain a large amount of packaging.
  • If you do use plastic bags, make sure you recycle them. Many grocery stores let you bring in your plastic bags and they recycle them for you. Check with your local store if they offer this service.

Step 6: Switch off

You might not realize that you leave televisions and lights on when you leave the room, but these are all drawing energy. Make sure to switch lights and appliances off regularly as this helps to save energy. Also switch off your computer when it is not in use for an extended period of time. When a computer is in ‘sleep’ mode, it is still using energy.

Step 7: Change Your Light-Bulbs

This is an easy way to ensure more efficient energy in your home. LED light bulbs have a much longer life span, working for up to 30,000 hours. Added to this, a LED bulb that uses 13 watts actually gives off as much light as a 100 watt bulb. This saves you money on your electric bill. From a safety point of view, LED lighting does not contain any mercury in its manufacturing process, as in the case of compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL).

Step 8: Give Your Car a Break

You rely on your car to get around, but sometimes you might be using it unnecessarily, such as when you drive to a place that’s in walking distance. Decrease the use of your car and you’ll not only save money on gas, but you’ll get a bit of exercise and also reduce your car’s carbon footprint.

Step 9: Eat Less Meat

Did you know that it takes up to 13 pounds of grain and 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat?  By eating less meat and more vegetables, we can greatly reduce the amount of energy that goes into producing meat, resulting in less greenhouse gases and a healthier lifestyle.

Step 10: Buy Locally Produced Goods

Check where products are made and try to purchase ones that are locally produced. This encourages business in your local community and also ensures that products don’t need to be transported a far distance in order to reach you, thus notching up carbon miles.