10 easy tips to a greener lifestyle
There have been a lot of sobering headlines about our planet in the last few months. Plastic rubbish is building up rapidly in our oceans, poisoning the environment and killing wildlife. The tragic death of the last male white rhino highlights yet another species losing the battle to survive. It seems we humans are just using too many resources and creating way too much waste for the planet and its animals to cope.
It is not all doom and gloom though. There are many things you can do to live a greener and more sustainable lifestyle. Here are 10 easy tips to get you started:
Only buy what you need
Do you really need more clothes, more makeup, another car? It’s easy to get caught up in a culture of always having the latest thing and buying more than you need. Not only is this bad for the environment but it’s bad for your pocket as well. Try having a capsule wardrobe or capsule makeup bag and only buying new items when the old ones are worn out, used up or broken.
Plastic Free Promise
Do everything you can to avoid this stuff. It doesn’t biodegrade and is piling up all over the earth and in the oceans, killing animals and poisoning our environment. There are now so many wonderful alternatives available when shopping for goods traditionally made with plastic. You can get bamboo toothbrushes and drinking straws for example, use a stainless steel or glass reusable drinking bottle, and buy food that isn’t wrapped in plastic.
Make Do and Mend
This was a common practice until relatively recently in our history. Do you really need to throw out that top because it’s got a tiny hole in it? Just sew it up! Your bag breaks? Fix it. Before you buy something new ask yourself if you already have something that will do the job.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Although recycling is excellent, it is also super important to only buy what you need in the first place (as above) and use the item until it has completely worn out, and then only at the end of it all, recycle. A good example of reusable items is a reusable cloth shopping bag, reusable wash clothes and reusable nappies (the later could save you about £600!)
Don’t use the car so much. Instead take public transport, cycle or walk, even if it’s just once a week. The later two have obvious benefits for your health as well!
Make greener purchases
Whenever you buy something, think, ‘can I buy something greener?’ ‘Something that’s better for my health and the health of the planet?’ ‘Something with less chemicals?’ Buying second-hand or recycled items is a great option as they use less resources than a product made from new materials.
Turn off lights, heating and appliances when you don’t need them. Use energy efficient light bulbs – they may seem expensive but they will save you ten times what they cost over their lifetime.
Taking showers rather than baths, only boiling as much water as you need in the kettle and not leaving the tap running whilst you brush your teeth are all excellent ways of saving water.
Share expensive equipment, especially the kind that doesn’t get used often such as a carpet cleaner or DIY equipment, amongst family and friends. This is also a great money saving tip.
10.Grow your own
Vegetables from shops are often packaged in plastic and have been shipped great distances, sometimes from other countries. This uses a huge amount of resources. Growing your own vegetables avoids all of this waste and provides you with food at a fraction of the price you would pay for it in a shop.
About the Author: Marie Hamm
I try to live my life as green as possible whilst being a mum to two under 5’s, and indulging in my passions of all things make up, beauty and fashion. This is a struggle! I hope you find my posts useful. I have a degree in Environmental Science and worked at Friends of the Earth for 6 years. From that I learnt a lot about how important it is to have a green lifestyle not only for your own health but for the wellbeing of the planet. I’ve now been a vegan and living a green lifestyle for 17 years.
Marie Hamm is a freelance writer and blogger. For natural, vegan beauty and lifestyle tips visit her blog www.greenmarie.co.uk