Picking up and sticking to a selfless, eco-friendly lifestyle can be challenging when we know that our efforts are offset in minutes by big polluting companies. The reality is that climate change necessitates a collective response. Personal lifestyle changes might not seem very effective, but we can achieve outstanding results when implemented across the board.
Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle means being aware of the environmental impacts of your actions and being accountable for those consequences, whatever they may be.
Think collectively. It’s important to understand that your decisions impact others locally and globally. You might not see the benefits of your eco-friendly endeavors, but others definitely will. Future generations will be indebted to you. So, what can you do to live more sustainably and play your part in protecting the planet?
The IPCC found that, in 2018, 89% of global CO2 emissions came from burning fossil fuels and industry, so it only makes sense to start with energy sources. As governments scramble to get renewable energy sources up to speed, we as consumers can hasten this process by swapping harmful fossil fuels for sustainable sources where possible.
Installing solar panels is a popular way for homeowners to supply their energy needs self-sufficiently. Failing this, people can choose an energy supplier backed by renewable sources.
Outside of the home, consumers can substitute internal combustion engine vehicles for hybrid or electric cars. More extensive lifestyle changes need more significant consideration, so you might consider renting an electric car before deciding which option is right for you.
We are only at the foot of the mountain with renewable energy. New alternatives will come on the market in the decades, providing individuals with more creative solutions to reduce their emissions. Watch this space.
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Waste nothing. A mantra to live by wherever you go.
Let’s start with energy consumption. There are endless possibilities for reducing energy usage, from using a clothesline in summer to throwing on an extra layer in winter. Challenge yourself to find new creative solutions to be more energy efficient in your home.
We also need to talk about food waste. A 2018 study published in a Science Journal suggests that 6% of global greenhouse emissions come from food losses and waste. Buying only what we need helps reduce emissions associated with storage and transportation and prevents plastics from seeping into the environment.
One bonus of becoming more energy-efficient and reducing food waste is saving a bit of money. Consider it compensation for your eco-friendly efforts.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
There is no excuse not to recycle in countries with structured waste management systems. Failing to do so results in wasted packaging entering the environment and damaging natural habitats.
Give yourself a hand, join the zero waste movement and simplify your recycling system. Designate a specific area for your recycled items, buy additional bins, and add appropriate labels if needed, so that you don’t fall into the trap of trashing items made from perfectly recyclable materials. Millions of tonnes of recyclable items end up in landfill every year, ultimately releasing harmful pollutants into the environment.
The more that you recycle, the guiltier you’ll feel on those occasions when you don’t feel like rinsing out that empty tin of tomatoes and adding it to the recycling bin. Put in the effort, and it will soon become second nature.
It’s not easy making new habits, so don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t adopt a sustainable lifestyle faultlessly to begin with. Begin with minor changes, and praise yourself for any progress you make.
Remember, you’re doing something great. Sharing your new eco-friendly habits with others is a great way to inspire positive change. Encouraging friends and family to make more sustainable life choices is perhaps the most powerful thing you can do. With more people on board, the burden is lessened for us all individually.
Small changes can make a big difference. It might require some initial upheaval, but you will soon learn to love your new eco-friendly lifestyle.