How to live a greener life: 10 eco-friendly choices
Stabilising our environment so we can combat climate change has been a pressing issue for years now. Some parts of our everyday life are increasingly contributing to the degradation of our planet and it has been proven that it is not sustainable to carry on this way. Do you want to know how to begin a greener life?
Why should you transition into a greener way of living?
The United in Science 2020 report by the World Meteorological Organization shows that not even the extended Covid-19 induced lockdowns are lessening the damage to our environment, as people were prone to believe earlier in the year. In fact, 2016–2020 is set to be the warmest five-year period on record. The decay of Earth is not something to be taken lightly, especially considering future generations. It is in our best interest to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle if we want children to carry on a greener life in the future.
A greener life has the potential to reduce environmental pollution, conserve natural resources, reduce energy costs, and fight issues like global warming and deforestation. The question lays on how exactly is it possible to transition to this kind of lifestyle. Well, here are ten personal choices you can make to dive right into a more sustainable living.
How to live a greener life:
- Enjoy nature, fall in love with it.
This is the perfect starting point. If you don’t feel gratitude for the environment, for the planet that you live in, then it is game over before you even get a chance to start. You should go on a hike, spend some time outdoors, go for a swim, take a walk, stare at your garden, notice the wildlife around you, maybe hug a tree or two. Appreciation for nature, realising it is in danger, will help you make any changes for a greener life even easier. It will make you feel the need to look after the environment.
- Minimize waste.
Consider how much we waste, from plastic to food to energy… There’s so much being squandered all over the world on a daily basis. There are little things you can do: bring your own cloth bag to the supermarket, reuse any plastic bags that you might already have, don’t throw away any leftover food unless it is officially uneatable, and make sure to turn all unnecessary lights off.
- Buy less but smarter.
Even if the deals are out of this world, try to only buy items that you know you truly love. There is no need or room for the stuff you don’t really care about hanging around your home. Your best move would be to invest in quality items that you will want to repair over time. If it can be fixed, there is no point in just replacing it with a new one.
- Reduce the number of animal products eaten.
The consumption of animal-derived foods has a dreadful impact on our environment, as the United Nations’ Livestock’s Long Shadow report indicates. Raising animals for their consumption is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. Perhaps a full-blown transition into a vegetarian or vegan diet is still far away for you, and that is okay. You can still cut down the amount of times a week you eat meat, eggs, or cheese. A start with small changes is still a start.
- Beware of your transportation methods.
Vehicles emit a variety of gases that are harmful to the environment. This is why the ideal way of getting around in your daily life would be by using a bicycle or walking. Still, sometimes this is simply not an option. Well, in these cases you could try carpooling or taking advantage of your local public transportation to minimize the impact of your travels on the ecosystem.
- More is not always better.
Nowadays there is a tendency to always need more. More money, more clothes, more luxury items, more success, more socialization, more of everything, and anything. But maybe you have already realised this is not always the case. Having more of everything will not help you become happier, unless we are talking about being more affectionate, kind, or grateful. Figure out what makes you feel your best without getting caught up in the “never enough” discourse.
- Recycle all you can.
Recycling keeps trash out of the landfills whilst reducing the need for brand new raw materials. Getting raw materials is not only expensive, but it also requires a high amount of water and energy. None of this is good for the environment. By recycling, you are contributing to the conversion of waste into new, useful products.
- Support ethical businesses.
Your money has a certain political power. If you choose to invest in unethical corporations that do not make any kind of effort to protect our environment, these companies will never start changing for the better. It is in everyone’s best interest to support and buy from ethical businesses instead. These can range from fashion, food, makeup, and your energy provider, to even the bank you use.
- Preserve your water.
According to the World Resources Institute, more than a billion people currently live in water-scarce regions, and as many as 3.5 billion could experience water scarcity by 2025. This is not a very hopeful statistic, and it is one we should strive to change. In order to do this, your household should try to conserve as much water as possible. There are various ways to do this, such as turning off all your taps when not necessary, making sure to only wash a full machine load of clothes, switching to water-efficient appliances, and showering with less water usage.
- Buy your food from the farmer’s market or, even better, grow your own.
Long-distance transportation of produce relies heavily on fossil fuels, which are certainly not the best for the environment. If you choose to buy locally or even grow your own, you are reducing the reliance on this method of transportation since the food at the farmer’s market is transported within shorter distances. This way you are also reducing the use of chemicals or pesticides that harm the ecosystem since organically grown food does not implement them.
Now it is your choice to live a greener life
All these are ways you can make your life a lot more greener. Even if you only start by implementing one or two of them, the positive impact of that action will be of tremendous help to the planet. It is vital to remember that these changes have the potential to better the quality of your life and of future generations. If everyone does their part, we will be successful in reducing humanity’s footprint on this Earth.