The world is quickly running out of natural resources. Pollution and other environmental concerns are rising at a rapid rate. The effects of global warming are being felt more each day, leading to an ever-increasing need for people to change their behavior in order to save the planet. While many do not understand what they can do to help slow down this crisis, there are many simple changes that anyone can make to decrease their own carbon footprint and be more eco-friendly.
1. Use eco-friendly detergents and cleaning products
Change up your everyday cleaning supplies by using green cleaners and detergents. Try switching to an eco-friendly all-purpose detergent, baby laundry detergent, or green cleaners that are made with biodegradable ingredients which can either be plant-based, mineral-derived or a combination of both. They’re not toxic for animals, plants, children, adults, etc., and they don’t pollute the air or water when they’re used.
You can also make your own cleaners by using baking soda and vinegar, which are effective for bathroom and kitchen surfaces. For bathroom surfaces, it’s best to combine equal parts of water and white vinegar before applying them to the surface with a sponge before wiping clean with a paper towel. The same process applies to kitchens, but the only difference is that you should add five drops of lemon essential oil! Lemon essential oils will help remove odors while still keeping everything safe for anyone who uses it regularly.
2. Use reusable bags
Another way to be more eco-friendly is to use reusable bags. This can save you up to $400 each year because you won’t have to purchase as many plastic or paper bags. If you’ve ever purchased groceries before then you know that buying one or two items will probably not warrant the need for a bag, but if you buy bulk food then it’s necessary. Not only are reusable grocery bags better for the environment, but they’re also better for your wallet! A lot of these reusable ones are pretty inexpensive considering how much money they’ll save you in the long run.
Another benefit of using reusable shopping bags is that some stores actually give discounts for bringing them with you instead of taking plastic and paper bags from them. There are stores that may give up to 10 cents off for every reusable bag you bring in! That’s pretty awesome. Not only are reusable shopping bags good alternatives, but so are recycled paper bags. These usually cost more than plastic or even cloth ones, but it’s still better for the environment since the materials used to make them are recycled.
3. Use rechargeable batteries
This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to save money and be more eco-friendly. All you have to do is buy rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to use disposable ones anymore! It’s a pretty straightforward solution, but it makes a big difference. One excellent suggestion is getting a battery charger that doesn’t require you to plug it in because not only are they made from sustainable materials, but they’re also portable, which means easy transportation if you ever need to take them with you when traveling or go camping.
4. Grow your Own Food
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is one of the best ideals everyone should strive for; however, it’s common sense that our lifestyles don’t always allow us to do so (both because we need to work too many hours and because grocery stores are expensive.) Homegrown food is the second-best option, even though you might lack space or sunlight. You can start small by planting herbs like basil on your windowsill or growing strawberries in pots near your kitchen. These plants take little maintenance and will be an organic source of food for you and your family. You can also try a garden/vegetable box on the balcony or terrace of your apartment building, though this will require more effort and time.
5. Switch to renewable energy sources
Even though having solar panels or wind farms on your property is pretty expensive, you can always start out small and do something like installing LED lightbulbs in all of your rooms! They use far less electricity than the standard ones and last a lot longer as well! You might be surprised how much it affects your bill when you make one simple switch. With those old bulbs, it’d probably take about six 100 watt bulbs to equal the same amount of brightness as one LED bulb. Although those would’ve kept you in the dark for hours, the LED ones can last up to about 20 years or more! That’s a pretty good return on investment (ROI) if you ask me.
6. Start composting
If you’re someone who needs visual proof before they start doing something new, I’d definitely suggest starting a compost pile. It doesn’t take too long to maintain and will reduce trash by maybe even 50%! All you need is some yard space or even an old tray if that’s all you have space for. Plus, it’ll make your plants grow better since they’ll get nutrient-rich compost, which many conventional fertilizers lack.
There are plenty of websites that will help you make a home composter if you’re interested in buying one instead. To start out, all you really need is an area where the sun hits well and something to put organic materials into the pile. Then just add food scraps every now and then to help create heat, so decomposition can occur! If you ever want to take your composting up a notch, I’d suggest adding some dirt or sand when your pile reaches about 3-4 feet high. It will keep everything in there in place while also giving you more room to work with.
By doing things like these, it’ll make renewable energy sources seem less intimidating and more appealing when people actually consider using them. Plus, they’re usually much better for the environment in comparison to fossil fuels! If we all just made a little effort to switch a few things around, then maybe someday we could get rid of them altogether.