With landfills piling up, transforming your home into an eco-friendly place is a lot easier than what you might think!
Living sustainably is not about going “without” the things you love.
It’s about forming daily habits that are good for you, your family and the environment.
10 simple ways you can reduce your environmental ‘footprint’
1. Reduce food waste
Food, especially biodegradable foods thrown into garbage bins ends up in landfill.
Since rubbish is packed so tightly and there is not much air, your food and other rubbish breaks down in a way that creates greenhouse gasses.
Instead of throwing slimy food waste in regular bins, start composting food scraps in a separate bucket to create your worm farm and add it to your garden.
You’ll find that the waste in your bin will either be recyclable or dry, meaning you don’t need to line it with a plastic bag (double win).
2. Bring your own bag
There are so many options to buy reusable shopping bags instead of using plastic bags.
You can buy them in cotton, canvas, hemp, mesh, and recycled plastic.
Now you don’t have to go out and buy a fancy eco-friendly bag, any thick plastic bag lying around the house will do (at least you’re re-using them).
I use to forget bringing my own shopping bags but now I keep all the shopping bags in the car so that I never forget them.
I also have a few foldable shopping bags that can be popped into my handbag when I’m out buying smaller items.
3. Use reusable cups
Australians consume more than 50,000 cups of coffee every half hour, and an estimated 3 billion takeaway hot drink cups every year.
Sadly most of these cups are made from virgin materials rather than recycled paper and some have a thin plastic lining.
The next time you grab your caffeine dose at the nearest cafe, take your own cup or a stainless steel thermos mug with you instead.
Tip: I have a habit of grabbing a coffee when I’m out shopping so I always have a reusable cup in my main shopping bag that’s in the car.
4. Say no to single use plastic
Single use plastic or disposable plastics are used only once before they are thrown away or recycled.
These are items like plastic bags, straws, coffee stirrers, soda, and water bottles and most food packaging.
Australians use about 10 million straws everyday which equates to 3.5 billion straws a year.
If you must use straws, bring along your own reusable stainless steel or metal draws to reduce plastic waste.
5. Use public transport, walk or bike
Taking public transport, walking and cycling are good for your health and the environment.
Think about walking or cycling to work as a form of exercise and reducing carbon emissions at the same time.
If work is a long drive, consider public transport or carpooling instead. It’s a great way to relax and read a book on your way to work.
6. Install a water efficient showerhead
A water-efficient showerhead uses 40 percent less water and helps you save money on your electricity bills.
If you have an old showerhead, consider swapping it for a water-efficient model to reduce water wastage and environmental impact.
7. Go LED
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will cost you less to run than halogen and other incandescent lights.
Energy-efficient CFLs can also last up to ten times longer than traditional ones. The light from these bulbs will give off light as bright as your old bulbs while saving you money.
8. Recycle & dispose waste properly
Recycling and disposing of waste goes beyond recycling paper and plastic.
There are government initiatives available to collect toxic household chemicals such as solvents, poisons and cleaning products.
Additionally, there are drop off sites that accept batteries, fluorescent lights, whitegoods, and paint.
If you’re unsure, contact your local council or transfer station to find out what other products are accepted.
9. Pick up in public
No… not that sort of pick up! This is not a dating advice blog.
If you see a few pieces of rubbish on the street or when you’re visiting the beach or park – pick it up.
Yes there are less diligent and environmentally conscious people out there but that doesn’t mean you have to be too.
10. Use recycled paper or go paper free
Save some trees by going paper free. Switch your phone bill or credit card statements to electronic and have them sent to you in PDF via email.
If you need to print out documents or wrap presents, opt for using recycled paper or gift wrap instead.
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