Eco-friendly and green living practices are slowly moving from buzz words into mainstream consciousness. It’s great news that these topics are taking a more central stage, but for many of us, the specifics of how we can personally help environmental efforts remain vague. Unfortunately, we can’t all install solar panels and drive electric cars (yet)! But to help out, here are a few simple ways you can begin to start “going green” at home.
1. Buy Reusable Grocery Bags
This is a pretty simple step. You can head to organisations such as ReuseThisBag.com and order a few different sized options for your grocery needs. If we can all cut back a bit on the consumption of plastic and paper grocery bags alike, we can limit our waste considerably.
2. Ride A Bicycle
This is one of the most basic and effective ways to contribute to environmental efforts. Pedal power is a great way to get some exercise and cut back on your fossil fuel emissions. Travelling by bicycle also brings you closer to your environment and lets you experience sights, sounds and aromas that you might miss if you were in a car.
3. Buy A Water Filter
If you prefer bottled water to tap, ditch the plastic and buy a water filter! This will keep your tap water clean, fresh and delicious. Another product we’ve found incredibly useful when travelling is the Bobble, which combines an active-carbon water filter inside a water bottle.
4. Switch To More Efficient Lightbulbs
There are plenty of options for efficient lightbulbs, some of which can be found at MySmartBuy. These bulbs use energy more efficiently to last longer, cutting your energy costs and keeping replacements less frequent.
5. Collect Rainwater and use Grey Water if you can
If you maintain a home garden, or even water your back garden frequently, consider buying a few rain barrels. This collects natural water for you to use strategically in your garden, and keeps you from wasting water out of a tap or hose. Using eco-friendly washing-up products can help here as you can usually re-use use your old water after washing (grey water) to water your garden.
6. Recycle Electronics
Many of us store or throw out old electronics, but unfortunately, materials in electronic devices can be very harmful when discarded as rubbish. Take care to recycle these items. Your local council will have advice on where to take these items to be disposed of.
7. Turn Off Your Lights
Lights, televisions, computers, etc. – all of these can drain energy when left on carelessly. Switch off as many of these as you can when you aren’t using them, and also remember to unplug phone chargers and take TVs off their standby mode, as these ‘slow’ sources of energy use make up a significant proportion of our total energy footprint.
8. Do More Online
This may sound like a vague suggestion, but doing more online – paying bills, communicating, saving information, etc. – can cut back significantly on paper usage, and thus prevent some of our most abundant waste.
9. Maintain Doors & Windows
If you live in a country where it gets hot or cold in the winter/summer, old doors and windows are notorious for increasing the cost of keeping your house at a comfortable temperature. Maintaining doors and windows might cost you in the short-term but will keep your energy costs and consumption lower.
10. Grow Food
Finally, grow your own food if possible! Even a small herb garden can give you a wealth of natural products, connecting you with nature and cutting back on store consumption.