Today, more than ever, it’s important for us to consider how our lifestyles are affecting the environment and start adopting at least some eco-living practices. Afterall, we see the frightening effects of pollution and global warming raging against our planet. It seems we are greeted daily with headlines about global warming, rising sea levels, endangered animals, unhealthy food supplies, water shortages, and so much more. As parents, this is alarming on so many levels and we are left wondering what the future holds for our sons and daughters.
Thankfully, all is not lost. Sure, all this doom and gloom might have us ready to ditch our modern way of life in favour of living off the grid, but it is possible to go green and live more eco-friendly lifestyles without sacrificing everyday luxuries and conveniences. With a few calculated changes, we can reduce our carbon footprints, limit our impact on the environment, and secure a better future for our children.
10 Eco-living practices that can help
While it’s not feasible to outlaw all products from other regions, we can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by choosing local when possible. For instance, buy produce from a local farmer, meat from a nearby rancher, and so on. This will cut down on the amount of energy and fuel needed for transport, keep money in the local economy, and provide access to fresh products.
Grow a garden
We can start our own garden or grow plants in containers to give our families fresh fruit and vegetables. We will have more control over how the food we consume is grown and in the process and get our kids outside learning about the environment.
Start a compost bin
Reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill by composting leftover veggie and fruit scraps. Simply collect eggshells, tea leaves, coffee grounds, and leftovers in a container. Then, add it to your compost pile of green and brown yard waste to make your own garden fertilizer.
When the weather is nice, opt for hanging out laundry to dry in the sunlight. Not only will this reduce your electricity consumption, line drying protects your clothes from damage, eliminates unneeded chemicals like laundry softener, and infuses clothes with that classic sunkissed smell.
Before buying new, buy used
No matter how eco-conscious you are, when raising a family there will inevitably be days where you need to buy new clothing, sports equipment, baby gear, furniture, toys, and more. Instead of rushing out to the nearest shopping centre, consider buying used first, even upcycling furniture if you’re keen. Often, you can find quality items at a fraction of the cost. Look at jumble sales, thrift stores, second-hand websites, and so on. In addition to saving money, you are also repurposing items that might have ended up in a landfill.
Ditch the plastic bags and other disposable items
Australia, like many other countries, has recently banned single-use plastic bags and is talking about getting rid of disposable straws. Look for reusable options so you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or your eco-conscious views. Purchase reusable containers for storing food, adopt rubbish free lunch boxes, fuse together old plastic bags to make durable reusable grocery totes, invest in stainless steel or reusable plastic straws, or braid together plastic bags to make waterproof mats for camping or use at the beach. Have fun and get creative with reusing and recycling objects into something new and useful and if you’re a coffee-lover, remember the reusable coffee pods!
Reduce your electricity bill
Go back to the basics and look for simple ways to reduce your electricity consumption. Unplug appliances and devices when not using them, don’t leave your phone charger plugged in all the time, turn up or lower your thermostat a few degrees to save on cooling or heating costs, set your water heater thermostat at 49 degrees Celsius or 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and shut the lights off when you leave a room. Conserve water and energy, plus save yourself some valuable time, by only running washing machines when they are full. Afterall, small cutbacks can really add up and make a big impact.
Make your own cleaners
Say goodbye to expensive and harmful cleaners and detergents. You can make healthier and cheaper options using common household ingredients, such as: vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, soap nuts, and more.
When needed, replace appliances with energy-efficient versions
There will inevitably come a time when we need to upgrade our refrigerator or stove. Instead of purchasing the cheapest model, look for an energy efficient option that will save you money and energy consumption in the long run.
What tips can you recommend for living a more eco-friendly lifestyle?
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