If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, you’re not alone. Forty-eight percent of consumers say they’re ready to start living a more sustainable life. These consumers spent a combined 128.5 billion dollars on sustainable products in 2018 alone.
While starting something new can seem overwhelming, achieving an eco-friendly lifestyle is simpler than it seems. Small changes in your everyday life can make a significant impact on your environment.
For those wondering how to be more eco-friendly, this article has all the tips, tricks, and helpful information you need to get started today:
Cut Out Plastic Shopping Bags
The average person who uses reusable bags can remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment over their lifetime.
The next time you head out to your local market or grocery store, consider bringing reusable shopping bags. Saying no to the plastic bags provided in stores is a simple yet impactful way to cut down on your single-use items.
Today, it is more convenient and easier than ever to get your hands on reusable shopping bags. In most stores, gas stations, and online shopping sites, reusable bags are available for purchase. While the plastic bags offered in most stores might be free of charge, investing in reusable bags can make a world of a difference.
The average plastic bag can take years to break down and can be detrimental to plants and animals. With reusable bags, you can guarantee that they will last for years. After purchasing your reusable bags, be sure to keep them in your car or by your front door so you don’t forget them on your way out.
Shoppers can take comfort in knowing that this small gesture can have a major positive impact on the environment.
Eat Less Meat
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock contributes 18 percent of the world’s global warming emissions. By eating less meat, we can reduce greenhouse gases and improve the climate.
If you love to eat meat, you can still help the cause by making small cuts to your diet. Consider dedicating one day a week to eating vegetarian or vegan. There are many delicious meat alternatives to add to your meals.
Many popular meat items at your grocery store likely come from big-brand corporate farms. In these farms, animals often suffer from overcrowdedness and other poor living conditions. If you’re a lover of animals, this is another reason to reduce at least some meat from your diet.
While there are small family-owned meat farms, there are small family-owned vegetable farms, too. However, if you’re a hardcore meat lover, there are still ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Consider reaching for organic, grass-fed, and local meat brands next time you go shopping.
Even if you choose to cut meat out of your diet in a small way, this can be an impactful way to be more eco-friendly.
Plant a Personal Garden
Whether you live in an apartment or house, there are ways to plant a personal garden for all. Gardens not only cleanse the air from pollutants, but they also look beautiful.
When buying food or plants from a shop, remember that most of these items travel an average of 1,500 miles before consumption. While this affects the freshness or flavor of the food or plant, it also adds to the growing global warming problem. By planting your own personal garden, you can improve both of these issues.
Gardens are also a great source of sustainable food. By growing your own fruits and vegetables, you can have peace of mind that you’re eating clean ingredients. When planting soil free of pesticides and chemicals, you’re reducing the amount of harmful materials in the environment.
Wear Sustainable Clothes
Did you know that the clothes on your body could be causing harm to the environment? The fashion industry is the third most harmful industry in the world for the environment. One of the best tips for how to be more conscious of the environment is to buy eco-friendly clothing.
If you’re looking to own a more sustainable wardrobe, start within your own closet. If there are clothes you’ve outgrown or will likely never wear again, consider donating to a secondhand store or charity. Rather than throwing your unworn clothing away, repurposing or giving it away can cut down on your amount of waste.
Today, many articles of clothing come from recycled and biodegradable materials. There are many benefits of biodegradable shoes, for example.
Also, be aware of the brands you support. Cheap, trendy clothing is easy to come by nowadays, but it can be harmful to the environment.
The fast-fashion industry is the world’s second-largest consumer of Earth’s water supply. Many mass-produced clothing items are also made by sweatshop workers in inhumane conditions. Consider thrifting your new clothes, buying from resale apps like Depop or marketplace, and supporting brands committed to reducing their environmental impact.
Get a Recycling Bin
While this may seem like an obvious answer, many people don’t often use a recycling bin. While 75 percent of American trash is recyclable, only about 30 percent gets recycled. By adding a small recycling bin to your kitchen space, it can serve as a daily reminder to be more eco-friendly.
Before tossing your trash in a recycling bin, be sure you know what’s accepted. Items to recycle include the following:
- clean cardboard
- junk mail
- rinsed out plastic containers
- paper bags
- outdated phone books
Items not to recycle include the following:
- bubble wrap
- electronic cords
- dirty plastics
While these are some of the most common items recycled, they end up in landfills as they’re made of non-biodegradable materials.
Now that you know five simple tips for how to be more eco-friendly, consider implementing them into your daily life. While small steps may seem insignificant at first, they can have a lasting impact when done every day.
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