Have you been wanting to make the switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle, but you're not too sure where to start or it seems just too complicated? Don't worry, we all felt like that at one point on our eco journey. The main thing you should keep telling yourself is 'every little helps'. So the fact that you are considering to make eco-friendly changes in your life is already a step in the right direction.
How To Get Started
You may have heard people say it is 'too expensive' to live eco-friendly, but did you know there are easy steps you can do at home to help the environment and your pocket at the same time?!
Switch Baths to Showers
According to the Environmental Agency UK, taking a 5 minute shower uses 1 third of the amount of water you would need to fill your bath. Making this switch helps the environment & saves you money in the long run too! For those advanced Eco-Warriors, you can purchase an aerating shower head which mixes the water with air, providing you with the pressure of a power shower, but limiting the water usage.
2. Turn off your tap
According to research by the Environmental Protection Agency USA (EPA), turning off the water between wetting your toothbrush to rinsing (twice a day) can help save up to 750 Liters per month, per person! Making this easy switch will help the environment & save you money.
If you are already doing this & want to do something extra, you could also turn your shower off whilst you are applying your shampoo and conditioner too.
3. Reuse your water
You must be wondering what I mean by this. Finding a use for the water that goes to waste around the house makes a difference to you & the environment. For example, the water you use to boil your pasta, rice or potatoes can be reused (once cooled) to water your plants.
The water that gets wasted at the beginning of your shower whilst you wait for the water to heat up can be used too. You can use this water for your plants, fill your kettle or pets water bowls or to even fill your bucket for mopping the floors or cleaning windows. Finding a purpose for this usually 'wasted' water helps us reduce our impact on the planet and our pockets too.
4. Cooler Wash
Setting your washing machine and dish washer at a cooler temperature will help save energy and reduce your carbon footprint. EPA research has shown 75-90% of the energy your washing machine and dishwasher uses is linked to heating the water. Lowering the water temperature will reduce the amount of energy needed for the wash cycle, lowering your energy usage which is great for the environment, your budget and it helps prevent your clothes from shrinking which is a bonus! For those advanced Eco-Warriors, you can purchase packaging free & plastic free dishwasher and laundry detergent which helps reduce waste and are usually found to be chemical free, which is an extra benefit.
5. Reuse & Recycle
Reusing items you already have until it reaches the end of its usable life and then recycling the item, will have a big impact on the money you spend and the environment. Recycling can be daunting and confusing, so I suggest you start by focusing on 1 category such as glass. Glass jars such as pesto, jam, sauces and Nutella etc are great examples of items you could reuse and recycle. To remove the labels mix baking soda in water and leave the glass jar with its label covered by the solution for 30 mins or so until the label comes off easily. Remember to remove the jar lids and give the glass a wash prior to adding them to the recycling bin. The World Wildlife Fund highlights recycling glass as having a positive global impact as it can be easily recycled and repurposed into different glass items without losing its quality. Recycled glass also reduces air pollution by 20% and water pollution by 50%, along with less glass items taking up space in landfills.
I hope you have found this eco starter guide useful. I have highlighted easy things you can do at home without having to purchase any fancy things. With every little step you take towards leading a more eco-friendly lifestyle, the closer we will all be to a healthier & greener future. Thank you for being part of our eco community. Together we can all make a difference.
Zero Gib x