Many people have asked me how they can start being eco-friendly. Many people believe that one has to radically changing their life overnight. When I first became an environmentalist, I wanted to do everything. I wanted to throw out all non-cruelty-free products, fast fashion clothing items, go vegan and move to the beach so I can do beach clean-ups. I soon realised that living an eco-friendly lifestyle is actually a process. And like every other journey, you have to start small.
Here are 10 simple ways to start your journey towards sustainable living:
- Turn off unnecessary lights
This is pretty basic. If you’re not in a room or if it is daytime then turn the lights off. There is no need to keep it on if nobody is present.
- Recycle your waste
There are many ways you can recycle waste. First, separate your waste from paper, glass, metal and plastic. Arrange with a recycling company to collect recyclables every week like Pikitup, or find the nearest recycling bins in your area. There are recycling bins at many Woolworths and Pick ‘n Pay grocery stores.
- Use a dishwasher
This is the perfect excuse for not washing dishes. Dishwashers use less water and electricity. It is way more eco-friendly and is a time saver. If you have a dishwasher then use it. If you don’t have one then try to use less dishes.
- Put a timer on your geyser
Heating your geyser uses the most electricity. If you leave it on throughout the day, it will run up your electricity bill. Put a timer on it or put a reminder on your phone so you know when to switch it on and off.
- Spend less time on your electronics
This might sound like something your grandparents would say but it’s important! I am guilty of binge watching Netflix series and during that time my laptop is plugged. Now I have gained more control on how many hours I spend on my laptop… and tablet… and phone… Take a break. Go outside. Interact with real people.
- Use recyclable bags
Investing in reusable shopping bags is totally worth it. It reduces plastic waste and costs less. You can read more about reusable bags in my post Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic Bags.
- Use recyclable mugs
If you often takeaway coffee or need a caffeine kick on your way to work then you need a coffee mug. There are so many available online and in stores. I carry one in my bag in case I decide to buy a Green Tea Matcha Latte from Starbucks. At some cafes like Woolworths Cafe you get a discount for bringing your own cup!
- Plant something
This is what almost every new environmentalist does. Planting something in your garden is a great way to connect to the earth. You can even buy a cute little indoor plant if you don’t have a garden. Click here to see 5 easy indoor plants you can keep in your home.
- Make sugar water
Bees love sugar water. Like humans, they get dehydrated and need a boost from working the whole day. Simply mix water with about a teaspoon of sugar in hallow container (you don’t want the bees to drown) and leave it outside.
- Spread the word
This may seem simple but I think it is vital. It doesn’t matter which platform you use or which specific environmental topic you focus on – spreading the word inspires change. Again, you don’t have to be extreme. Simply sharing a quote or a blog post will make a difference.
I hope you found these tips useful. Remember, every little thing you do makes a difference to the planet. Just make sure it is a positive change.