In today’s world of melting ice caps, changing temperature and increasing pollution, who wouldn’t want to live a greener life? However, with all the conflicting, complex information out there, living green often seems too intimidating to attempt. But this doesn’t have to be the case. You can still live green without selling your cars, installing expensive solar panels and cycling to work every day. Here are a few simple ways you can take your first steps towards living a greener life.
1. Do You Really Need All Those Disposables?
One of the most important green changes you can make to your life is to reduce the amount of waste you dispose of. You can do this by completely eliminating disposable products and replacing them with reusable items. If you buy bottled water often, for example, you’re wasting money and creating too much toxic waste. Instead, buy a reusable water bottle and carry it with you wherever you go. Get glass or stainless steel bottles as plastic bottles can be harmful. If you carry lunch in disposable containers, it might save you time washing up, but creates too much waste. Replace them with a reusable lunch box which will significantly reduce your waste footprint.
2. Use Your Kitchen Scraps For Compost
Composting is one of the most earth-friendly things you can do. Not only does it put your waste to good use, but it also helps new plants to grow. Instead of throwing organic waste like vegetable peels in the trash, start adding them to your compost heap. When organic waste gets sent to landfills, it decomposes only partially because of the lack of oxygen and produces methane gas instead. Methane is very harmful because it’s one of the major greenhouse gases. If you don’t have a garden, you can add vegetable scraps directly to the soil of your potted plants. And if you don’t have potted plants either, dump them into your community compost pile.
3. Ditch Commercial Cleansers
Commercial cleansers are harmful for two reasons. First, they do not come under any sort of regulation, so their ingredients list often contains toxic substances. You probably won’t even know you’re coming into contact with these toxins because most brands don’t disclose their full ingredient list. Commercial household cleaners are also not eco-friendly because they come in plastic bottles that you just dispose of. Instead of using them, making your own household cleansers and store them in durable glass bottles. As long as you have a bottle of vinegar, baking soda and lemon, you can clean almost any surface in your home. This will protect your family and the earth.
4. Shop Local
Shopping at major grocery stores contributes to pollution in many ways. The actual transport of the produce from faraway farms to your neighborhood causes air pollution and uses up a lot of fuel. The materials these fruits and vegetables are packaged with also consist of non-biodegradable waste that chokes the planet. Most crops grown in large farms are grown with the help of countless harmful pesticides and other chemicals. These chemicals damage the soil, the water and our bodies. A better alternative that will help you avoid all of this is to shop at the Farmer’s Market. Since the produce sold at these markets is grown locally and are in season, they are free of chemicals and aren’t transported over long distances. Fruits and vegetables sold here are also not packaged in any way, helping you avoid contributing to waste. We highly recommend you take a cloth tote bag with you while shopping here to make it even more environment-friendly.
5. DIY Wherever You Can
There are so many products in your home that can be replaced with DIY recipes. Not only do these concoctions save you money, but they also give you greater control over what goes in. You don’t have to constantly expose yourself to hidden dangers anymore once you start DIY-ing. Instead of a body lotion, use raw shea butter or a moisturizing oil like jojoba or coconut. You can even create combinations of different oils to come up with a formula that works best for you. Even your face creams can be replaced with a few essential oils and a gentle facial oil like rosehip. Once you start exploring the world of natural beauty, you’ll never want to return to toxic commercial products again.