Eco-friendly living is on the rise, ranging from recycling and reusing to making better food choices and building green structures. Even small changes can make a big difference in not only reducing your impact on the environment but also making your home a healthier place. Between work, personal and family obligations, making time to live a greener life can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be impossible or even time consuming.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
This simple slogan can be applied to most things in life. Choose products with the least packaging possible when you are shopping. Reuse items if you can. Consider altering or remaking clothing, repairing and repainting furniture, or even using the plastic bags and boxes from food products for home cleanup and craft projects. Choose a trash company that offers curbside recycling to make it easy to keep up with recycling and to avoid piles of papers, aluminum cans and glass bottles.
Replace your usual household cleaners with several basic and easy-to-use products. Vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, borax and liquid castile soap can handle many home cleaning tasks. Add essential oils, such as lavender, tea tree and grapefruit, for fragrance to your homemade cleaners. Eco-friendly cleaners can keep your home and family safe and make it easy to involve the whole family with housekeeping.
Eat Local and Organic
Food choices are one way you can opt for an eco-friendly lifestyle. Shopping for locally grown foods reduces the environmental impact of food transport and may also provide you with better quality produce. Take the time to talk with local growers at your farmer’s market. You may find more organic foods available than you expect. When you can’t buy locally, consider buying organic. Organic foods have lower environmental impacts and reduce your consumption of chemicals of all sorts. Another advantage to shopping simply is that you can opt for reduced packaging by shopping for bulk goods at your local organic market.
Although choosing homemade cleaners can help you live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, some more significant choices are also options. Choose energy-efficient appliances, and reduce your use of resources, including electricity and water, where possible. Low-flow shower heads, water-efficient appliances and a clothesline can go a long way toward eco-friendly living. If you are building or remodeling, choose efficient heating and cooling systems and good quality windows to keep your costs and resource usage lower.
Driving, especially on a daily basis, can make it difficult to choose a truly eco-friendly life. Reduce driving when possible, and carpool if you are able. In some areas, public transit may be an option. Bicycling or walking can work in some areas, depending upon your commute. Even if you do need to drive to work, make an effort to consolidate errands to reduce your time on the road. Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle to further reduce the impact of driving on the environment.