10 Simple ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle

Maybe you’ve never really put much thought into it, maybe you didn’t think it was so easy, maybe you thought it would cost loads of money or maybe you just didn’t realize your current lifestyle was impacting our environment. Well, whichever category you fall into I’m here to give you some easy and practical tips on how to achieve a more sustainable and eco-friendly existence.

  1. Recycle more ~ We all know what recycling is and why it’s so important, but there are a few over ways to recycle than literally just throwing it into the green coloured bin outside your house. To recycle more you can buy versions of products that are already made from 100% recycled products, then recycle them again. Or you could just try and reduce what we use in the first place, instead of writing down your shopping list on a piece of notepaper, type it into your phone and save on paper.
  2. Take your own bag ~ In the UK and much of the rest of Europe it now costs 5p (or more) to buy a plastic bag at a supermarket. Everybody knows that you can get a bag for life or a canvas tote and use it again and again. But what about the plastic bags you use to put your fruit and veg into at the fresh produce isle. Why not opt for a paper bag and recycle it when you are home? Or you can buy a set of 100% organic cotton reusable produce bags that serve for your veg in the supermarket and also for packed lunches and picnics.
  3. Eat less meat ~ You don’t have to go cold turkey on this one, but a little goes a long way. Have at least 2 vegetable-based main meals every week and you’ve already reduced the carbon footprint of your diet by quite a lot. This would also help you to become more healthy overall as your search for exciting vegetable based recipes to try will lead you to consume more natural vitamins from your foods.
  4. Replace your lightbulbs ~ If you haven’t already done this, shame on you! As this tip will save you quite a lot of money in the long term. Energy efficient light bulbs can be found everywhere in our modern world and don’t cost a bomb to buy. However, don’t just go and rip out your old light bulbs straightaway because that would be very wasteful indeed. Wait for them to come to the end of their life and replace them accordingly. CFL bulbs can last up to five times longer than regular incandescent ones, plus they’re brighter.
  5. Opt out of Junk Mail ~ Nobody likes it, so why not get rid of it. Opting out of Junk Mail is a very easy way to reduce paper usage and all of the information that people post through our doors can be found online anyway. So don’t accept a huge archaic copy of the Yellow Pages just because you’ve had one for years, the internet is your Yellow Pages now and don’t go picking up an Argos catalog when you’re next walking past either, they have a website, so there’s no need.
  6. Switch to non-toxic cleaning products ~ As well as being harmful to your whole family (Including pets ‘Oh no my poor pupper/kittycat’) they’re not surprisingly, bad for the environment, there are many eco-friendly alternatives in supermarkets, the most popular and widely available of these being Ecover. You will also find that White Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda, with optional lemon involved for some cleaning jobs, will solve most of your cleaning needs without harsh chemicals.
  7. Reusable water bottle ~ Buying a reusable water bottle is such an easy way to reduce plastic production and encourage you to drink more water. Even though most of them are actually made out of plastic themselves such as the Camelbak range of water bottles, they are made with BPA-free plastic and the fact that you will be reusing them time after time make them good for our environment. You can also buy metal cannister style water bottles and ones made out of glass that is even better for the environment than the reusable plastic.
  8. Unplug ~ Everything apart from the white goods (Fridges, Freezers, Oven, Washing machine) can be unplugged in your house overnight, or when it’s not in use. To make things easier for yourself you can buy an energy saving extension cable for every room in your house, plug your appliances into that and then turn that off whenever you’re not using it, you’ve just turned off 6 different things with one flick of a switch. Nobody needs the toaster to be plugged in when there’s no bread in there, do they? And as for your white goods, the next time one of them needs replacing opt for the energy efficient model. It will save you money in the long run.
  9. Use more soap ~ Think about how many bottles of shower gel and handsoap you go through in just a month, especially when the whole family is involved. An easy switch you could make to reduce the amount of plastic you are using is to use the hard stuff instead, you can find most organic, skin friendly soaps completely unpackaged, therefore saving even more on waste, such as ones from the All Natural Soap Company. You can use this opportunity to support your local businesses as there are many small companies making and selling soaps at your local farmer’s markets. Also, consider switching to a hard version of shampoo and conditioner, which you can find being made by companies like Lush who sell their shampoo/conditioner bars either completely unpackaged, wrapped in paper, or in reusable metal tins. This is an amazing alternative for that annoying liquid allowance when traveling with hand luggage on a plane.
  10. Plant more flowers to save the bees ~ Gardening has been proven to boost mental wellbeing and what better reason to get out there and plant than to help save the bees at the same time. Planting even just a window box of beautiful flowers, you will have done your bit to ensure the future of agriculture and help the bees to flourish. Recently we’ve seen the loss of gardening as a past time, the modern world doesn’t have much time for this simple pleasure, however, it is at such a great loss to our environment. Plants that bees love in particular are lavender, poppies, sunflowers, buttercups, snowdrops and any other flower really, the bees aren’t so picky. Herbs are also a good way to help since you can use them in your cooking, herbs such as thyme, sage, fennel, and coriander will do well in a window box just outside your kitchen.If you take the time to make these small changes you will have already made a huge difference, just by spreading the word to your friends and family you can achieve so much. Helping the environment doesn’t have to cost the earth.

6 thoughts on “10 Simple ways to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle

  1. Pingback: What is the Paris Climate Agreement? – La Vie Biologique

    1. Thank you very much! Yes composting is a great way to upcycle your food waste. You can even compost bamboo toothbrushes and the razor blades used in a safety razor. I will probably be doing a segment about planting seasonal vegetables in the near future and will include things to do with composting in a post of that nature.
      Thank you very much for the insight though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohmygosh I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but I live in Canada and tried ‘opting out’ of junk mail and it was soooo hard! I started by signing up for an opt out website. Then I kept getting junk mail and called the post office to ask why. They encouraged me to put a sign on my door (which I did – I even shared the cute signs I made on my blog : https://savingsarahgrace.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/save-some-trees-please/ ). And kept getting junk mail. So I sat in the living room with my junk mail and called each business that the mail came from asking to be removed from their list. In the end, we still get some, from ‘the independent distribution companies’ that they couldn’t name, and from the free newspaper when they switch over mail carriers because they forget to tell the new kiddos to skip our place. It was worth it in the end, but not so simple. I envy anyone who lives somewhere it’s easy.

    Like

    1. We don’t actually get very much junk mail where my parents live in the UK, mostly just a few takeaway menus from local buissnesses, but I know that it can be a huge problem for some people and it’s such a massive waste. Where I live here in Paris I never get a single peice of junk mail! I don’t really know why. Maybe it’s because my mail goes to the caretaker of the building before it comes to me, so he’s in charge of who gets to come through the door, so if there are people with junk mail he will likely tell them to go away!
      I’m so happy that you persisted and managed to get most of it to stop though, and the DIY junk mail signs on your blog are trés belle, remind me of little things with newspapers and magazines we would do in school. I always liked these projects.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s