Becoming eco-friendlier in everyday life might sound daunting at first, but it’s not as difficult as it seems. There are so many ways to achieve this whether you are at work or home. The trick is to know why you’re doing it and to take it one step at a time until it becomes a habit.
Here are 5 ways to help you establish eco-friendlier habits in your daily life.
1. Unplug devices and appliances that are not in use.
One of the things we tend to overlook is leaving our phones plugged even when fully charged or leaving the office printer on when not in use. Become eco-friendlier by unplugging items that are not in use and devices that are fully charged.
It turns out that appliances and devices still use up energy even when turned off. Also, a phone charger that is plugged in but disconnected from a phone still consumes energy. This is referred to as plug load.
The amount of energy consumed from this might seem little. But when you add it up, it can save you $100-$200 on utility bills a year. Unplugging also protects your appliances and equipment from power surges.
You can do the same for your indoor lights. Switch them off when not in use or before leaving your room or office.
2. Declutter your email inbox.
How many junk emails are sitting in your work and personal email accounts? You might be wondering, what does that have to do with becoming eco-friendlier?
Cleaning your inbox of emails that you no longer need and unwanted emails such as spam can help the planet. These use up electricity. Even those emails that we don’t open release at least 0.3 grams of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Emails might not be tangible but these are stored in data servers that require huge amounts of electricity to run plus air-conditioning systems to cool the data centers that house the servers.
To reduce your carbon footprint, start by decluttering your email inboxes. If you have multiple accounts, consider going over each one. Check your mailing list too, you might have subscriptions that you no longer open. Keep subscriptions that you enjoy, and then unsubscribe from those you don’t.
3. Don’t waste food.
Food is essential to our survival. We prepare and consume food in our daily life. This gives us an opportunity to become eco-friendlier.
The process of producing food uses resources such as water, electricity, and land. Therefore, food waste means wasting these resources too, which is not sustainable. Additionally, food rotting in landfills releases methane which traps heat in the atmosphere.
Reduce or eliminate food waste by creating a meal plan. Check the amount of servings you prepare as well. This will help you prepare what you only need, avoiding possible food spoilage.
Another step that you can do is organizing your fridge and pantry and applying FIFO (first in first out) method. This means putting your older stocks on the front shelf so that you can use them first, and then putting newly bought food items at the back.
When we shop and prepare food better and eat smarter, we help the environment and slow down global warming.
4. Be an eco-friendly gift-giver!
Are there holidays and special occasions coming up? Consider giving eco-friendly items as gifts! There are so many items that you can choose from, you will surely find one for each of your loved ones.
For the special woman in your life, you can give eco-friendly jewelry such as earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. You will find beautiful pieces made from sustainably sourced materials such as recycled bronze or silver.
You can also give potted plants that will surely help brighten up the homes of your family and friends. You can choose from orchids, aloe vera, lavender, snake plants, and other indoor plants.
5. Switch to reusable alternatives for everyday items.
As you may know, single-use items impact the environment. Such as plastic utensils and straws, plastic bags, small plastic food wrappers, plastic razors, disposable napkins, and many more. Practice becoming eco-friendlier by switching everyday disposable items for reusable ones.
When eating, swap plastic spoons and forks by using the ones that you already have in your kitchen cabinet. Next time you’re having food delivered, inform the restaurant that you won’t be needing plastic cutlery.
In the bathroom, switch your disposable razors for reusable ones. Safety razors are made from high quality materials such as stainless steel and plated brass. The blades can be replaced, and you can return the old ones for recycling.
For your skin care routine, you can incorporate alternatives to cotton pads. A pack of reusable cotton pads can save you and the planet 1,750 single-use cotton rounds. These are made of sustainably sourced materials. Fortunately, many brands like OKO Creations, LastObject, and TruEarth offer their sustainable options at affordable and accessible prices.
You can use the pads for removing makeup or cleansing your skin. These come with a bio-based case so you can easily pack them for work or travel.