Once upon a time, concerns about pollution, overconsumption, and environmental impact were barely a blip on our collective radars. However, things are different now. As populations have continued to soar, cities have become more crowded, and our buying habits have become worse and worse with each passing year, we’ve had to start worrying.
Our planet is on the line, and we’re fast approaching a critical juncture. And while much of the fault lies with wasteful mega-corporations, it’s the responsibility of all to be better wherever we can. Ready to tackle that head-on? Here are five steps you can take to become more eco-friendly.
1. Recycle Everything Possible
We’ve all heard it before – make sure to reduce, reuse, and recycle. However annoying the constant reminder might be, though, it’s honestly fantastic advice if you’re trying to be kinder and gentler to this planet we call home. After all, recycling not only reduces pollution and saves space in our already overcrowded landfills but also assists in conserving our natural resources, saving energy, and serving as a point of community cooperation.
So, do your part, recycle whatever is feasible for you, and think beyond the usual paper and glass. Nearly everything can be broken down and formed into new secondary materials, from batteries and old cellphones to junker cars.
2. Try to Avoid Plastic
Here in the US, practically everything we do contributes to the massive waste problem we have on our hands. We’re in the big leagues as far as trash and pollution is concerned, and our plastic bag habit has certainly played a strong supporting role in getting us there. They’re a nightmare ecologically speaking, resisting decomposition for thousands of years and killing thousands of animals every year as they make their way into our parks, development areas, oceans, and other spaces.
Thus, one of the easiest steps to be more environmentally friendly is to skip the plastic bag and opt instead for a reusable cloth version. More substantial and longer-lasting, they’re great for us and the world we reside in. Want to up the ante? Also, try to avoid one-use plastics and plastic packaging wherever possible.
3. Be Eco-Conscious with Fashion
Fashion is supposed to be fun and a way to express your individuality. However, it’s kind of difficult to fully embrace this when you’re an eco-friendly person surrounded by the damaging realities of fast fashion. Feel pulled in two opposing directions? You don’t have to give up having nice clothing and accessories. You simply have to be a little smarter with how you shop.
Instead of opting for the big brands that we all know and maybe-not-quite love, do a little research and choose companies that make sustainability, ethical labor, and environmental health a priority. Switching over to more sustainable accessories is a great move, too. For this, wooden jewelry such as wooden watches and wooden rings which naturally comes out on top and as a bonus, is super trendy right now. Although, always double-check that the brand you choose uses reclaimed wood rather than freshly felled!
4. Switch Up Your Lightbulbs
By and large, the sources of light we’re using within our homes aren’t something we think twice about. But if you’re on a mission to save the Earth (or at least play your small part in the fight against climate change), you’ll probably want to change your tune on the matter. It turns out that conventional bulbs pull a rather significant amount of power and have a horrible habit of dying soon after it was previously replaced.
Both of these things are hugely detrimental to our environment as it increases energy usage and ultimately adds one more thing into the local dump. Luckily, a simple swap for an LED bulb can allow you to rest easy. Longer-lasting and more efficient than their more-traditional counterparts, they’re a no-nonsense solution everybody should jump on.
5. Cut Down on Your Consumption
Credit card burning a hole in your pocket? Well, it’s doing the same for a lot of people, and it’s no wonder. While nobody likes seeing their hard-earned cash fly out of their wallet, buying clothes, electronics, treats, and other desirable goodies is super fun. Everybody enjoys having new, shiny things, right? Unfortunately, the result of a good spree isn’t only a cramped closet or kitchen counter.
It actively harms the planet since old, excess stuff will often eventually wind up in the garbage can. This makes it more imperative than ever that we get rid of things in better ways via donating/upcycling and bring in less from the start. Cutting down on your consumption is definitely a challenge but one well worth the extra effort.
Summing It All Up
Being eco-friendly hasn’t always been of such high priority, but with the rise in industrialization has come all sorts of environmental harm that simply needs to be addressed. And while much of the blame lies on the backs of giant corporations and large businesses, each and every one of us also has a personal responsibility to play our part in making tomorrow cleaner, greener, and safer for the coming generations.
Doing this doesn’t even take particularly painful action, either. Swaps like switching out conventional bulbs for LEDs, opting for reusable canvas or cloth shopping bags over plastic, and buying more sustainably-sourced (and ethically-produced!) clothing/accessories instead of the reigning fast fashion are all easy steps but ones that can add up to make a difference. Cutting down on how much energy you’re consuming and how much you’re purchasing, avoiding as much plastic packaging as possible, and making the effort to recycle only add to this. Together, this will help you live a much more environmentally-conscious life yet one that doesn’t feel like it has been turned entirely upside-down.