Recently, there has been a lot of talk about going green. Many businesses are even starting to adopt more sustainable practices. While making the switch to a more eco-friendly lifestyle can seem overwhelming, there are a ton of little switches you can make in your day-to-day actions to help the environment. From eating less meat to cutting back your energy use, here are five easy ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.
Eat less meat
Believe it or not, cutting back on the amount of meat in your diet can help reduce your carbon footprint. The livestock sector uses about 30 percent of the Earth’s entire land surface. Not only does raising and supporting livestock account for nine percent of carbon dioxide emissions, it also generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks, and automobiles combined. While you don’t have to eliminate meat completely from your meals, cutting back on your meat consumption from even just one meal a day is a great way to reduce the overall emission of global warming potential (GWP) gases. As you prep your meals, consider replacing some of your meat-heavy meals with veggies or even seafood. Not only will this help combat climate change, soil, air, and water pollution, it’ll also reduce your risk of obesity, cancer and heart disease. You’ll feel good knowing that you’re protecting the planet and your body.
In a world where we are very much reliant on digital technology and computers, it’s surprising to see the high volume of mail we still continue to receive each week. The less paper we use, the less paper that needs to be produced and the more trees that get to fill our forests. A quick and easy switch you can make to reduce the amount of paper you use and receive is to enroll in paperless billing statements. By going paperless, you will receive an email with a digital copy of your bill or bank statement rather than a paper copy in your mailbox. Not only will this cut down on the amount of paper being used, it also allows you to easily access all of your bills and store them in one place on your phone or computer. You won’t have to worry about accidentally throwing an important document out or misplacing it.
Upcycle your clothes
Each year 32 billion garments are produced for the US market with 64% of them ending up in landfills. While you may find yourself reaching for certain pieces in your closet less and less throughout the year, that doesn’t mean they’re ready for the dumpster. Rather than throwing out clothes you no longer like or wear, consider giving them to a friend, donating them to a local charity or thrift store, or reselling them. This will extend the lifespan of your clothing and allow someone else to make good use of your old wardrobe. You can even sell your used clothes online through a closet cleanout service who will photograph, list, sell, and ship your clothing for you to help save you more time.
Borrow instead of buy
We’re all guilty of running to our favorite bookstore to pick up a copy of the latest release or going to Target to buy a movie that we’ve been wanting to see since it was in theaters. Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to settle for less, but you can easily score the same items by borrowing them rather than buying brand new. Not only will this help reduce the amount of items that end up in landfills, you’ll also save a ton of money by borrowing. Many public libraries have large selections of books and movies, including new releases. Find a library in your area and start crossing books off your to be read pile without spending a penny.
Cut back your energy use
There are a ton of little switches we can make at home to cut back on our energy usage. Not only will this lead to lower energy consumption, it’s also more money in your pocket. That’s a win for your wallet and a win for the Earth! Start by unplugging appliances when they aren’t being used. Believe it or not, our electronic devices draw small amounts of power 24/7, even when we’re not using them. You can also use a drying rack or clothesline when possible to dry your clothes rather than using a dryer. It may be a little challenging to start taking all of these steps at once, so try one at a time until your home is more energy-efficient.