10 Easy Ways to Become More Environmentally-Friendly
Being environmentally-friendly doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or costly. As overwhelming as the change to go green can seem, it’s much easier than you think. And a few simple changes each day can make a big impact.
The ‘going green movement’ has encouraged a surprising number of people, businesses and communities to do their part in conserving and protecting our environment. Even one small adjustment to your regular schedule can help combat the growing climate change issues. Here are a few ideas which you can implement today to reduce your carbon footprint and make a difference:
1. Reduce Paper Wastage
The greenest paper is no paper at all, but if you must use it – be mindful! Where possible, keep things digital. Get into the habit of reviewing documents on-screen rather than printing everything out. When you do need to print, opt for double-sided and use environmentally-friendly paper. Swap the sticky notes for scrap paper when writing notes and ask your bank, phone and internet providers for e-statements rather than paper statements.
2. Avoid Using Disposable Water Bottles and Cups
Disposable cups are one of Australia’s biggest landfill culprits. Our nation’s caffeine addiction is responsible for 1 billion disposable coffee cups each year (and that’s not including the disposable water bottles). And because they don’t biodegrade, they clog up landfill and become a major pollution hazard. Instead, invest in your own reusable coffee cup and water bottle.
3. Turn off Lights
It’s a simple and obvious point, but many of us forget or don’t always take advantage of it. It’s a fact though - turning off lights and other electric items saves both energy and money. Appliances which aren’t being used should remain unplugged or switched off at the wall. Use a ‘smart’ power strip which senses when appliances are off and cuts the phantom energy use. With power prices continuing to soar, this change is a rewarding one for both your wallet and the environment.
4. Use Energy-Saving Lightbulbs
Making the switch to energy-saving lightbulbs is another way to cut down power bills and reduce your carbon footprint. LED light bulks can reduce energy consumption by a whopping 80-90%. LED lights are free of mercury vapor (which adds to the toxic waste in the air) and don’t contribute to headaches and other health issues as regular light bulbs will. They can also be disposed of in the trash without harming the environment.
5. Keep a Compost Bin
Compost bins are a fantastic way to make use of food scraps and reduce waste. Especially if you have a garden, there is no reason why households shouldn’t start a compost pile. It’ll encourage you to re-use the things you would normally throw away and your plants will love you for it.
There is no denying the effects cars and their fumes have on the ozone layer. By encouraging carpooling (or taking public transport and / or walking), you can contribute to lowering commuting emissions. When you do drive, there are a few ‘green’ tricks you can use to be an eco-friendly driver, including keeping the vehicle maintained and avoiding idling.
7. Swap Baths for Showers
Baths naturally use more water so if you’re a regular bath-taker, switch a few for a shower instead. Take shorter showers or install a low-flow showerhead to conserve water too. Investing a new showerhead will be well worth it when you get the next water bill, as it’ll save you a lot!
8. Shop with Re-Usable Shopping Bags
When it comes to landfill and pollution, plastic bags are one of the main culprits. Ditch the plastic bags and purchase a few re-usable ones to use. Keep them in your car so you remember to use them when you’re doing the food shopping. Plastic bags are slowly being phased out in many shops so it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be bag-less without a re-usable one to benefit from. If you do have a collection of plastic bags at home, you can even re-use these to help you live more a eco-friendly life.
9. Use Cloth Napkins Instead of Paper Ones
Bright white paper napkins and towels didn’t get that way naturally. Various bleaches are used to achieve that crisp white colour – and some of these bleaching products are more harmful than others. Chlorine gas is a common one (Elemental Chlorine), which affects the immune system and reproductive systems of wildlife and aquatic life. Make the switch to cloth napkins and towels or chlorine-free paper ones.
10. Repurpose and Recycle
Reduce, Repurpose and Recycle are the 3 R’s of waste hierarchy. Once you’ve utilised the above tips to help reduce what is produced and consumed, repurposing and recycling will boost your eco-friendliness a little further. The old adage “someone else’s trash is another person’s treasure” is perfect here! What is old and useless can still be reused for a different purpose. This eliminates more waste to landfill and gives you (or someone else) something ‘new’ and fantastic to utilise.
For the recycling part, do your bit at home by using the yellow bins each fortnight. And if hiring a skip bin, or looking for a commercial waste management company, select a provider with strong green credentials. Environmentally-responsible rubbish removal is all about recycling as much material as possible, transforming products into raw materials to be shaped and used for a new purpose – and reducing landfill.
Doing YOUR bit for the environment doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, it can be a very rewarding experience. And your health and wallet will also start enjoying the benefits.
For more information about how you can become more environmentally-friendly, speak with one of our staff today.