There’s a lot of focus on eco-friendly living at the moment – and rightly so. The media has woken us all up to the perils of our plastic-hungry habits, and now, many people across the country are trying to figure out how to change their lifestyles.
Even small changes can make a big difference. With that in mind, here are a few useful tips.
Make the most of your garden. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, assign some soil space to grow some fruit, veg or herbs. A fruit tree, when established, will provide plenty of fresh produce, and vegetables like tomatoes, sweetcorn, salad leaves and runner beans, are easy to grow. This means you won’t be relying so much on supermarket products, which are often covered in plastic.
Make your own cleaning products. It’s surprisingly easy to create your own cleaning products, using basic ingredients like vinegar and lemon juice. Best of all, they’re just as effective as shop-bought ones, and they often work out as far cheaper.
Reduce your meat consumption. This is always a controversial issue (particularly if you love a good steak on a Friday night). However, the fact is that the meat industry does have considerable impact on the environment, and even reducing your meat intake slightly can make a difference.
Be aware. One of the simplest changes you can make is to be more aware of what you’re buying. When you’re in the supermarket, examine the products on the shelf. Is there an option that uses less plastic packaging? Which is easier to recycle? Will you really eat all of it, or will some of it get thrown away? Buy with your eyes firmly open.
Create your own beauty products (or search for greener options). You can have a lot of fun creating your own shampoo, moisturiser or bath bombs, while also avoiding chemicals or non-natural ingredients. Even making greener buying decisions when searching for the best perfume for women, or the right toothpaste can help, as some companies offer vegan, ethically sourced products.
Get energy-efficient technology. Some technology can improve your eco-credentials. A smart thermostat, for example, will ensure that you’re heating your home in the most environmentally-friendly way possible, by regulating the temperature much more effectively.
Composting is a fabulous way to make use of food scraps and discarded weeds from the garden. If you’ve got a small area outside that you can add a composter (this can even be made out of old wooden pallets), then go for it. It’ll break down all the wasted food and transform it into useful fertiliser for your plants.
Take your water bottle everywhere. Plastic-bottled water is terrible for the environment. Ditch the plastic and carry your trusty reusable water bottle wherever you go. Many places will happily refill it for you while you’re out and about, ensuring that you have no need to purchase a wasteful single-use water bottle ever again. The same applies for reusable coffee mugs – many cafes are more than willing to let you use it for your take-away hot drink.
Do you have any eco-friendly living tips to add? Do you avoid the bus in favour or a bicycle? Read all your newspapers online? Share your bathwater? I’d love to know.