Eco-friendly living trends continue to sweep the nation, encouraging everyone to keep the environment safe and healthy.
Many people hear the term “eco-friendly” and have the misconception that helping the environment is pricey and difficult. In reality, it is simple to take small steps to go green. Best of all eco-friendly changes can frequently save you money. Going green is not about giving up what you enjoy, but rather, enjoying things with more environmental mindfulness.
Changes to the Dining Experience:
Use cloth napkins – Not only are they more durable, but if you ditch paper you save money over the years. Also, cloth napkins reduce your trash output, which means less energy is used transporting and processing your waste. An added bonus is, cloth napkins make your dining table feel slightly fancier.
Cook from scratch – We all know cooking at home saves a lot of cash, but it also saves gas which results in less fuel emissions into the environment. The added bonus here is you appreciate the food more when you prepare your meal yourself and generally, home cooked meals are a healthier alternative.
Eat more plant-based food – Meat is not the best for the environment, 51% or more of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Additionally, some meat may be loaded with antibiotics and typically is more expensive than a plant based diet. I am not suggesting to go completely vegan all of the sudden (unless going vegan interests you), but learning to cook some vegetarian meals will save you money, change up your meals, and contribute to helping clean up the environment.
Grow some of your own food– Many people have the misconception that growing your own food is a challenge. Growing your own herbs and vegetables such as tomatoes, basil, and lettuce are just some of the great ways to save money. If gardening is not an option, growing herbs by a window can still save you money over time.
Stop using disposable bowls – And silverware … Disposable products may seem easier to use, but the waste they create is filling up our landfills.
Be more conscious about wasting food – According to the National Resource Defense Council, 40 percent of our food is being wasted in the U.S. leading to unnecessary greenhouse gases being released and more build up in landfills. Do your part and save money by developing a well thought out shopping list and stick to accurate meal planning for you or your family.
Changes to your water usage:
Use reusable water bottles – Check your area, but most tap water is perfectly fine to drink. Bottled water is wasteful, and sometimes don’t make it to the recycling bin. Bottled water does not always taste better, and some companies have allegedly filled these plastic bottles with tap water.
Turn off the water – Most people are guilty of leaving on the water while doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your face, and so much more. By being more conscious of this small change, you can make a difference in the long run.
Take shorter showers – As nice as warm showers feel, reducing your shower time by even one minute will save about a thousand gallons of water each year, saving money on the water bill and conserving a precious resource.
Changes in energy usage:
Change your light bulbs – Replace your incandescent light bulbs with CFL or “compact fluorescent light.” CFL light bulbs use 25 percent of the energy and last significantly longer than normal light bulbs.
Consider a carpool – Carpooling saves gas and reduces traffic – which means less carbon emissions. Even better, walk or bike if that is an option.
Unplug – Many appliances actually waste electricity even while not in use. Invest in a power strip, and turn the strip off when appliances are not in use.
Turn off lights – Light switches are conveniently located by the door, so be conscious as you leave the room and turn all the lights off.
But slow and steady, wins the race. Your first steps do not have to be drastic by giving up most of what you enjoy. Instead, you could create a step-by-step plan and have the motivation to better protect our planet.
Start by recognizing which alternatives are obtainable, chart a course for phasing out wasteful practices, and stay updated on ways to be eco-friendly. Positive steps will begin the process of creating a more energy-efficient home.
Put some (or all!) of these easy tips into practice to be friendlier to the planet and your wallet.
What eco-friendly tips do you have? We want to know! Share your story with us!
“THANKFUL – Free eBook!
Join the Through Wolf’s Eyes newsletter and download your free eBook now.
Whether you are an avid TWE reader or first time downloader, a member of the iGeneration or on the brink of retirement, my hope is that through this eBook you can discover what matters most to you in life and and time to appreciate it all.