If you’re going to try and live according to a few new year’s resolutions, why not make the environment your inspiration? A goal like losing weight or reading more books has its value but kickstarting greener living habits have far reaching implications. Imagine the level of satisfaction you’ll feel come December. Plus, you don’t have to ignore the dessert menu the whole year.
Don’t worry! Living greener doesn’t have to be difficult, so it may be easier than keeping to a new meal plan or exchanging Netflix time for reading a chapter. In sunny areas like Australia, it can be a simple task like gardening or installing skylights Melbourne and Sydney locals can use to live more environmentally friendly.
Browse our top 10 easy tips for greener living and just pick ONE to get you started.
What is the Goal of Greener Living?
In short, your greener living decisions will benefit the planet or at least do less harm to it than your current lifestyle. This happens when you protect and sustain the earth’s natural resources and lower your carbon footprint. The latter relates to how much greenhouse gases your lifestyle generates.
You may not realise how your day-to-day living adds to humanity’s effect on the environment. Here’s how to minimise your negative impact.
10 Ways any Household can Live Greener Effortlessly
1. Waste Less
Take a hard look at everything in your trash can and answer honestly if you can’t reduce that load. For example, purchasing a reusable water bottle and filling it up instead of buying a bottle of water each time you’re at a store or restaurant will result in a lot less plastic waste. And the food waste after making dinner could become part of a compost system which you’ll use for #5 below.
2. Don’t Take More than You Need
Also be honest about what in your cupboards you really need:
- Will you eat all the food before their expiry dates?
- How many times will you wear that fancy dress hanging next to all the others? Do you really need another one?
- Can you upcycle a box or glass food bottle rather than buying yet another plastic storage container?
All this lifestyle requires are a few extra moments of contemplation before placing something in your shopping cart.
3. Smart Renovations
Even just by making a few changes at home you’ll instantly benefit the environment. A skylight in the right place lets in more light and help regulates temperature. That means less power usage through artificial lighting or the HVAC system. And you can exchange your showerhead for one that regulates the flow, so you waste less water. You can still have an enjoyable shower without litres of water going to waste.
4. Plan Better—Even Just Your Meals
Once you’re in the greener living groove, take a moment at the start of the week to plan your meals. Buy fresh ingredients accordingly so you throw away fewer wilted veggies or fruit. (Remember #1 above?).
5. Start a Garden
Are you really feeling committed to this lifestyle? Then be the example to the neighbourhood by starting your own garden. You’ll save some money on fresh produce and bring home less packaging, which is our next concern.
6. Rethink Packaging
When you buy groceries or other items with layers and layers of packaging, you’re supporting large enterprises with no respect for the environment. Rather opt for outlets that allow you to pick fruit you need and place it in your own fabric bag.
7. Wash Clothes…Less…Yes, Really
Washing your clothes less may seem gross and daunting, but in reality, your shorts or jacket don’t really need a full wash after every time you wear them. Perhaps a spot clean will suffice in some cases? Bonus: your clothes will last longer.
8. Find Easy Recycling Methods
You may not have free time to commit to sorting household waste for recycling but do some research about projects in your town. Returning plastic bags to grocery outlets or recycling batteries is a good start.
9. Spoil Yourself with a New—Energy Saving—Appliance
Modern appliances are often more environmentally friendly, because they use less power than older models. So, perhaps it’s time to upgrade your coffee machine?
10. Consider 2nd Hand Shopping
Lastly, if you do need to buy items, take a glance at what others are selling. Items like kids’ toys or furniture don’t always have to be brand new to still have great value and functionality. Buying this way means one less item that needs to be manufactured by factories.
What will be Your One Thing?
In his book The One Thing, the author, Gary Keller, talks about the power of simply changing one thing at a time in your life. So, no need to overwhelm yourself and your family with an entire new lifestyle. Make one adjustment, conquer it, and then move on to something else.
Looking back, you’ll be amazed at the transformation. And as you can see, many of these changes have multiple benefits for you too. So, there’s no reason NOT to go green.
Now, have a good year everyone!