Reducing your carbon footprint is more than just the occasional positive action. To make a genuine difference, you need to change your life’s daily rituals and habits. Therefore, rather than just making the occasional greener choice, you need to commit to behaviour that is kinder to the environment and, in so doing, live a green lifestyle.
So, while we are all working towards positively impacting the environment, there may be more to be done than you realised. You need to live a sustainable life, which can feel something like a maze. Here we offer some green lifestyle changes to help you become more eco-friendly.
Change your light bulbs.
There are traditional lightbulbs that are cheap but are quick to blow. These bulbs are also hungry for energy and are likely to cause higher electricity bills in your home. While a single light bulb might add only a few pence to your bill, imagine the impact of all the bulbs in your home.
Therefore, your first step to a green lifestyle couldn’t be easier as you switch to energy-efficient bulbs throughout your house. Light-emitting diodes (LED) are the most efficient and last the longest, though they are also the more expensive to buy. You can also choose halogen incandescent or compact fluorescent lamps (CFL).
The initial cost of changing will be higher than buying the traditional bulb. However, over the longer term, the energy-efficient bulbs cost less. You do not have to replace them as often, and they use less energy. You can increase their efficiency by switching off lights that are not needed, and you will really be on your way to a green lifestyle.
There are such things as vampire devices and phantom appliances. While this might feel like a supernatural presence in your home, they are the electronic devices that continue to leech energy even when not in use. Your light on your TV uses almost the same amount of energy as when the television is switched on. Your toaster pulls energy from the socket even when not in use.
Consequently, getting into the habit of flicking the switch at the plug at the end of the day or when you have finished using the appliance can make a significant difference.
If you have an item, such as your satellite box, which you keep switched on for all those timed recordings, you might want to use a smart socket. A smart socket allows you to time when the electricity is supplied and when not. These sockets may be a small investment but will pay for themselves with your cheaper electricity bills.
Businesses like to provide us with convenience, so many single-use and disposable items have been manufactured. While items such as disposable containers for your lunch, instead of a lunchbox that needs washing, feel more convenient, it is counter to a green lifestyle. Equally, bottles of water or juice create a mass of waste in landfills. Consequently, buying yourself a refillable water bottle (or coffee cup if you need that caffeine hit) is a great way to commit to a sustainable lifestyle.
Reduce your packaging demands.
You can take your shopping bags with you and save yet another plastic bag manufactured when you go shopping. While remembering to put your shopping bags in the car before you set off can be a pain, it is essential to protect our oceans from plastics.
You can make an even bigger commitment by avoiding pre-packaged foods where possible. When shopping for fruit and veg at the supermarket, you could easily go for those without packaging. Better still, shop for these unpackaged items locally and save the petrol too.
Grow your own.
The ultimate way to cut down on food miles and packaging is to grow your own food. Truly sustainable living comes from feeding yourself from produce from your land. While a completely sustainable lifestyle will take a long time to aspire to, you can get started in your garden with a lot more land. Planting a fruit tree or a vegetable garden can begin your journey. If you have a small space at the back of your house, you could always grow vegetables in pots.
Finally, and most obviously, the easiest first step to a green lifestyle is recycling. Separating your rubbish into the different coloured boxes and ensuring they are out on the pavement for collection is an easy starting point. There are bins for your kitchen that now help you separate as you live your life, making saving the planet convenient.
Thanks go to Sophie Blackman at Point Blank Digital for this guest post.