Trying to be more eco-friendly might seem difficult, especially if you have to take big steps like installing a solar panel system on your roof, but there are other ways to be more eco-friendly that you might not know about. The following are a few examples you might want to consider.
Fight Disposable Products
People use many disposable products in their homes. (We’ve already looked at the disposable vs. reusable swim diaper debate.) Most of these items are plastic or paper, and you have to restock them repeatedly. If you stop using those things, you’ll be more eco-friendly automatically. You want to get rid of paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, and even parchment paper. Instead, you can opt for reusable items. For example, reusable silicone baking sheets can replace parchment paper. You can buy reusable sandwich bags or reusable wrapping paper. Your plates and utensils are reusable, so be sure to stick to those.
Consider the Refillable Route
One of the most surprising ways to be more eco-friendly is in your shower! More companies are offering refillable shampoo and conditioner options, eliminating all of those empty plastic containers you go through every year. Think of how much trash you could reduce by simply refilling products like your shampoo instead of buying a new shampoo bottle every time. The same thing goes for your kitchen; there are refillable olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and peanut butter options, just to name a few. And don’t forget the bulk section of your local health food market for seasonings, whole grains, and legumes. If it needs to be in a bottle or box, there’s a service that’s offering refills for you.
Buy Recycled Items Instead
Companies all over the world are starting to notice how important eco-friendliness is to customers. This is the reason you’re starting to see companies sell items made from recycled materials. Do your best to make sure you offer assistance to these companies instead of the ones that offer new items. Sometimes, these items can be a little expensive, but they’re worth the investment. If it’s not from recycled materials, make sure they are from sustainable materials to improve your carbon footprint.
Always Support Anything Local
The next you want to do is support businesses that are offering local products. If a product isn’t produced locally, then it’s not as eco-friendly as it could be. Anything far away from you has to make its way to you. This could mean it came by plane, boat, or truck. Imagine how much energy was used to get these items to you. A local item doesn’t have to travel much to get to you, and that makes it a more eco-friendly choice. It helps if the item was made using sustainable measures, so be sure to ask about that as well.
Switch to Paperless
It’s important to switch to paperless in every way you can. Most of the folks you do business with probably offer a paperless option. Retailers, credit card companies, and banks all offer these options if you take advantage of them. This does mean that most of the important paperwork you normally get through the mail will come to your email or will be available to download online. Be sure to organize your email so that you can find everything sent to you. You can create folders for each type of email and delete letters you don’t need in your inbox so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. You should also consider storing documents in one of your cloud accounts.
Rethink Your Transportation
You don’t have to drive everywhere. It would be great if you walk or bike around your town when it’s convenient for you. The less you’re able to use your vehicle, the better. Not only will you be more eco-friendly, but you’ll be able to exercise more than you do now as well. If you have a gas vehicle, using less of this means your bill should be much lower. This change isn’t going to be easy, but it’s worth it. Stick with it no matter how hard it gets, and you won’t even notice at some point.
These are some ways you can be more eco-friendly, but there are other things to do, like using reusable straws, investing in an electric car, using solar-powered appliances, and much more. Hopefully, some of these suggestions help guide you in the right direction.