The world is in trouble. The physical world, our climate, is facing huge challenges. At times it can seem like there is little that can be done to stop it, to make a difference. The truth is, however, even the smallest changes in lifestyle can have impacts and even bigger benefits.
But where does one start? And how does the eco-friendly lifestyle affect each individual person? The possible changes are almost incalculable – from small changes to ditching plastic bags and bottles to more substantial changes like “green” changes to your home and car. The benefits of these changes are just as numerous, and it’s worth the effort to make these changes.
When it comes to going green and embracing all things eco-friendly, there are a few dozen questions that pop up. After you make modifications and changes to your home, what next? What about your car? It’s eco-friendly now, but where do you find the best auto insurance for eco-friendly vehicles?
What is eco-friendly living?
The first step in any substantial lifestyle change is to understand what it entails. So what is eco-friendly living? Anything eco-friendly or environmentally mindful considers the environment and its well-being.
To live in an eco-friendly way is to live in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. Many of the man-made products used every day can have detrimental effects to the world around us. Taking a hard look at each and every lifestyle decision can pay dividends for us and the earth.
But eco-friendly isn’t one size fits all. There are different eco-friendly lifestyles to consider.
A zero-waste lifestyle focuses on limiting the amount of waste you create. The name of this game is to reuse. People looking to create a zero-waste lifestyle will reuse whatever they can. Everything from reusable bags, water bottles, and straws.
Anything that can’t be reused should be recycled to ensure there is as little waste as possible.
This kind of lifestyle helps to reduce both pollution and landfills. That kind of reduction can also help limit the amount of waste and plastic in the world’s oceans.
A vegan lifestyle requires a person to refrain from eating any animal by-products including by not limited to meat, fish, milk, eggs, and even honey. A vegan lifestyle focuses on limiting the impact to the world’s ecosystems.
Disrupting even one ecosystem can have a big impact on other parts of the world. Limiting or removing any animal intake, including clothes and accessories, can help increase the declining animal populations.
A self-sufficient lifestyle is close to homesteading. People who choose to be self-sufficient rely on only themselves to produce their food, clothing, and other basic needs.
This is an incredibly time consuming lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Even choosing to be self-sufficient in a few areas of life can be great for the healing of the earth.
A conscious consumer lives life in a traditional manner, but takes the extra step to research the products and companies they support. Not only are conscious consumers worried about how their products are made, but they are also concerned with how companies give back and support the environment.
This kind of thought process and analysis can be used when making just about any purchase. Even something that may seem completely unrelated to the world and climate. Something like a mattress can be more eco-friendly with just a little research.
And finally, a minimalist lifestyle is all about less. Minimalists purchase and keep fewer things in their homes and lives. Fewer things in a home means there are fewer low-quality pieces.
The lower the quality of a piece, the higher likelihood of it needing to be thrown away and replaced. That means more in area landfills. Minimalists, on the other hand, find high-quality products that are responsibly made and will be used for years to come.
These lifestyles are great for quality of life and the world, they aren’t the only ways to be more eco-friendly.
How do you live an eco-friendly lifestyle?
Maybe those eco-friendly lifestyles seem too all-encompassing or difficult to accomplish all at once. There are more general lifestyle changes that can be made to be more eco-friendly.
#1 – Turn off the lights
Being eco-friendly means being conscious of the amount of energy you consume. Most of us use dozens of electronics each day, but do we turn them off?
It’s not enough to leave something on stand-by. Stand-by electronics still consume energy and leave you with a bigger carbon footprint. Next time you walk away from your laptop or T.V., remember to turn it off.
#2 – Look for eco-friendly technology
Many companies are putting a great emphasis on eco-friendly living, such as car manufacturers producing electric vehicles. The next time you need to upgrade your car, appliances, or other pieces of home technology, look for something that is eco-friendly and climate responsible.
#3 – Choose reusable
Replace any single use plastic or paper products with reusable alternatives. Don’t go to the grocery story without your reusable bags. Switch to a refillable water bottle rather than the standard plastic.
The switch is simple, but it has big impacts on the environment.
#4 – Don’t waste food
Food waste is one the biggest concerns in our world today. People throw literal tons of food away every year. That food heads to landfills and wastes away.
Being more conscious of your food waste not only helps the environment, but it can also help people in need.
#5 – Compost and recycle
If you do have food that spoils, then consider composting. Food can be composted and reused as fertilizer or a food source for animals. Composting keeps food out of the landfill and methane gasses out of our atmosphere.
Recycling is a similar process. Just about any piece of waste can be recycled. It just takes a little work and research to find out where and how to recycle different pieces of refuge.
So eco-friendly is great for the environment, but what about for you the individual? Eco-friendly living also has a reward or two for people themselves.
Rewards of Eco-friendly Living
There are hundreds of benefits to be derived from eco-friendly living. Each person who chooses to change their lifestyle can look forward to so much more than a feeling of pride.
#1 – Health benefits
People who move toward eco-friendly living can look forward to improved health and personal well-being. Eco-friendly living means more fresh, organic foods and less processed content. Putting more good food in often results in more energy, less brain-fog, and a stronger body.
#2 – Cost savings
Sustainable living practices, like those outlined by eco-friendly living, often means more money in your pocket. Bills are often lower because less energy and gas is consumed.
#3 – Better efficiency
Eco-friendly practices also mean more efficient output. Looking at, and changing, the way you use valuable resources can make common home systems more efficient. More efficiency means less time and energy expended, and more resources to go around.
#4 – Durable products
Most single use products are flimsy. After all, they are only meant to last one use. Making the switch to more eco-friendly products means there is more durability and higher-quality products being used everyday.
Durable products reduce waste, but also boost longevity and safety. Products that last longer can help save more money in the long run. And there is less of a concern for breakage or personal injury.
#5 – Healthier future
Perhaps the greatest reward of eco-friendly living is the knowledge that each change is helping to create a healthier planet. Healing the world means there is more of a planet to be passed onto future generations.
Eco-friendly living is a big change and an even bigger commitment. Most of our traditional or mainstream choices are not eco-friendly, so it can take some time. But the benefits to our world and personal rewards far outweigh any temporary discomfort.
Laura Gunn writes and researches for the auto insurance comparison site, AutoInsurance.org. She is passionate about all individuals knowing how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle and why it’s so beneficial.