Many of us are now leaning towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Creating less waste. Recycling as much as we can. Using more natural based products.
But what else can you do that may help you become a new ‘eco-human’?
Today I will share with you 5 ways I have switched my lifestyle to being more ‘Green’ and how living more eco-friendly isn’t as much hassle as you think.
1. Walk – Cycle – Run.
As we are all aware, CO2 emission from transportation are massive contributors to the health of our planet (and to ourselves) In fact; do you love that ‘new car’ smell? That’s the smell from the toxic glues used to hold it all together. Not so nice anymore right?
But seriously. We could all do with a little more exercise (I’ll admit that to myself) and where it permits, why not walk or cycle to your destination.
I walk EVERYWHERE and I have a driving license! It baffles most people I meet because I don’t own a car, and I don’t particularly want to, though I’ll admit it would be handy for getting large loads of shopping home or for the safety of walking home from work in the dark. In the case of shopping, I take a rucksack and only buy what I can carry. For long journeys I tend to take the train (and most of the time it ends up cheaper than buying parking in big towns, and I don’t lose the car!) Overall we could all do our bit by using our bodies to transport us, instead of relying on non-eco fuels.
2. Say NO to Straws.
There is a massive thing in the news about straws at the moment. The government in the UK is thinking of introducing schemes to reduce the use of straws. Even banning the plastic straw by as early as next year (2019) but its old news to those of us who have been living more eco for a while. Over 8 billion straws are thrown away each year. That’s an incredible amount of plastic waste!
I personally used to be a straw LOVER. I could not drink anything without a straw! I got myself stuck in a rut where I hated liquids touching my teeth, I was obsessed with the whiteness of my teeth and would only drink through a straw so the liquids did not stain. It took me a looooong while to get out of this but now? I refuse straws where I can and I haven’t bought any in over two years. I’m proud of my ‘sacrifice’ and besides, we have good alternatives now. I have recently invested in some metal straws for when I really ‘need’ to drink with a straw and hopefully they should last me a lifetime.
3. Natural Based Products
Who likes the smell of bleach? I know I used to, and i used to think the bleach smell meant something was clean! but products with harmful chemicals are not only bad for our planet, polluting streams and waterways but also for our health. So by scrubbing your kitchen sideboard with harsh chemicals like bleach means you are potentially harming yourself more than what the bacteria would have done to you. Especially over a long period of time.
I read a scary statistic a few months back that linked the long-term use of chlorine bleach-filled cleaning sprays as the equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day!
Now as a non-smoker I haven’t experienced the physical effects of smoking, but we all know respiratory problems and cancer are top of the list. Within the last half a year I have been using natural based products all around my home and the difference is amazing. For one, they are as effective, if not more effective, than my original brands and I would not switch back. Now when I am at my part-time retail work and I’m scheduled to clean the canteen, I find the chemical cleaning products overwhelming and the bleach products actually burn my nose! The chemicals in my products were just something my body got used to and it was fighting a silent battle, but I now know first hand just how powerfully damaging those chemicals are, so imagine what it does to aquatic life and the environment when it goes down our drains. Such natural environments that they have never been ‘used to’ the harsh chemicals.
I’m so grateful to have made the switch knowing I am improving my impact on the environment in a positive way. Plus my health has got better! I’m no longer as ill as I used to be and I feel generally healthier.
This year is the first year I haven’t really suffered with hay-fever, my supplements now are actually doing their job compared to my chemical based originals which proved to be useless because my body clearly struggled to absorb them. Overall there are tonnes of company’s that offer eco-friendly alternatives to your favourite harsh chemical based brands. Just be sure to research first because some harsh chemical products come in ‘natural product’ disguise!
4. Packaging awareness.
Tomatoes, cucumber, apples, carrots, broccoli, milk, bottled water. Do these products appear on your weekly shopping list?
These products often come wrapped in copious amounts of plastic. Tomatoes in a plastic box covered in a plastic film, cucumbers & broccoli shrink wrapped, apples & carrots in plastic netted bags, milk and water in one use plastic bottles. It actually agitates me how many of these things really don’t need to be wrapped or indeed double wrapped in plastic. Most of the plastic doesn’t actually keep them fresh because it has air holes in it anyway AND if you do happen to find packaging free produce, you often place it in a little plastic baggie to keep it all together in the trolley and if you don’t the cashier will do it for you at the till. Madness!
When shopping for fresh produce, I try to choose the stuff without packaging. When I buy loose, I do not use extra plastic bags to keep them together, just put it in the trolley. Many people say its filthy to put it all loose in the trolley but there is a reason you should wash your fruit and veg before you eat it.
I hope you wash your fresh produce before you eat it. Do you know how many toxins are on the outside of that? even if you are buying organic produce, that fruit and veg has traveled through warehouses and on lorries to get here. But scratch that. Do you know how many hands have already touched that, and where have their hands been before that?!
I may come across as a germaphobe and I guess I am slightly. But that’s not the point. The plastic carrier bag charge was introduced a couple of years ago. In a bid to reduce the carrier bag plastic waste. And I can say it worked, in my retail work we perhaps use 50%+ less bags than we did before, simply because people don’t want to pay 5 pence per carrier bag and with some shops now charging 10p per bag, why buy them at all? So if we can reduce carrier bags by that amount, why can’t the same be said for packaging? Well it can if we make it that way.
When I shop, I refused to buy products in plastic trays or wrapped in plastic. I opt for loose produce and avoid plastic wrapped even if it means I have to go without tomatoes or broccoli etc. until I find a shop that provides them to me without the packaging. What I would really love? greengrocer’s everywhere. Or a big enough piece of land to grow everything myself. So grow your own, take reusable bags / a rucksack for shopping, use cardboard boxes to hold the veg in the trolley if your worried about germs. Get your milk from the milkman in reusable glass bottles & get a reusable water bottle – better still filter your own water. FIND a way to reduce your packaging waste and limit its impact on the environment.
5. Purchase Second Hand – Donate – Sell – Borrow
How many times have you borrowed a household item from your aunty, or a DVD / Game from your mate? Or maybe you have a book buying problem and can’t stop buying second hand books. All of this is actually helping towards an eco friendly lifestyle not to mention saving you pennies!
When you borrow an item or purchase second hand, you are saving buying a new item and saving an old item which is potentially almost definitely going to end up in landfill. For example, you could go out and buy a £100 carpet washer that you will use once every two to three months, or you could borrow your aunties once in a while (thanks Aunt C!). Perhaps you have lots of clothing you could donate. Saving someone money by not having to buy a new one of that not-so-favourite jumper of yours and rescuing it from a landfill. Same goes for selling your old stuff. I’m a sucker for a good ol’ car boot sale. They are goldmines for bargains and they are the original recycling. Our grandparents where the ‘green’ generation before we were. Despite many people blaming the older generations for their uneducated ways of ‘greenness’. They used wind power to dry clothing, paper bags to hold and wrap perishables, preserved fruit and veg in reusable containers, heating only as much hot water as they needed and sharing baths and generally living a lot greener than most of us can say we do now.
All in all its very easy to make small changes to your daily habits and vastly improve the eco-friendliness of your lifestyle. Not only will you benefit but your family and the environment will benefit too. Every small step towards a greener planet helps. If you think you can’t make a difference then you are terribly blind to the influence one person can have amongst other humans.
“I can’t make a difference can I?”
You can. One person can influence those around them, whether it be influencing future generations or the people of now, you can create a domino effect, lead from the front. Lead by example.”
We need to look after mother nature, we need to look after mother earth, we need to teach each other and the future generations how to take care of mother nature.
After all she’s the only planet – the only home, we’ve got.
Thats all from me today, I hope this little snippet of my eco-friendly lifestyle inspires you to even change just one thing about your normal routine. If you have anything to add to this list let me know, I love knowing every-way I can lessen my impact on our environment.
Send me a message or leave a comment down below =D
Have a faboulous Monday and Keep moving forwards <3