Green Living 101 – How to Get Started

close up of seedling on ground - green living 101

You may be tired of leading a wasteful lifestyle and feeling determined to pursue an environmentally sustainable lifestyle in this new year. Any step you take toward eco-friendly living is one that benefits the earth, whether you try to make your home, your neighbourhood or your whole world greener. Here are some ways to get started with green living.

1. Stop Smoking 


If you want to improve both your health and the health of the environment, you should stop smoking. Not only do cigarette butts make their way into our soil and waterways, but tobacco smoke is known to have more than 2,000 poisonous substances, including formaldehyde and other dangerous air contaminants. 

Smoke from smokers can lead to cancer, influenza, asthma, and other respiratory infections, not only for the smokers themselves but also to the people around them who are exposed to second-hand smoke. So, if you want to maintain good air quality indoors and out, work towards quitting smoking.

2. Minimize Using Chemical Cleaners


One easy way to benefit the environment is to trade up your cleaning spray for renewable and organic cleaning products. Everybody needs to clean, but most standard cleaning supplies can adversely impact the environment, not to mention your well-being. 

Luckily, you can create organic, green cleaners using traditional household goods like baking soda and vinegar to keep your home clean and sparkling without harmful effects on aquatic ecosystems.

3. Produce Less Rubbish


plastic water bottle on beach - green living 101

Many waste-generating everyday activities have green alternatives. For example, buy a sturdy water bottle instead of disposable water bottles, pay your bills online and search for other paperless solutions to reduce the amount of waste paper you generate.

Advocate for a less wasteful society. Write to the companies whose products you purchase and ask them to use biodegradable packaging. Lobby your politicians to ban disposable plastics. It’s one thing for you to give up using plastic water bottles, but it will be much better for the earth when water companies give up using them.

4. Instead of Plastic, Use Canvas or Eco Bags


Most shops provide sustainable alternatives to their generic wasteful plastic and paper bags. A canvas bag is durable and can carry more groceries than a conventional plastic or paper bag. You may also use a canvas bag to hold things or pack items when traveling.

If you have children who are about to go to kindergarten, it is a beautiful gift to invest in some linen bags. Those bags will be extra practical when they have to carry books and school supplies.

If you’re not using canvas bags, reusing plastic bags is another way to be more environmentally conscious. Only use your plastic bags in your house in small waste containers or recycle your used food pack. Any little improvement will make an immense difference.

5. Pick Your Skincare Products with the Earth in Mind


When it comes to personal grooming and green living, you must take precautions to avoid wasteful products. Microbeads are the most harmful of these—they are little pieces of solid plastic that are not biodegradable and as such pollute water supplies. 

Ensure that your body wash, facial scrub and other products don’t contain these beads. Furthermore, skip the chemical additives and choose natural products made from sustainably-sourced ingredients. If those products are made locally, so much the better.

6. Grow Your Food 


The more food you can plant and grow yourself, the greener life you can live. Growing your own organic fruits and veggies lowers the carbon footprint and the pesticide load associated with your food, not to mention the amount of money you spend on groceries. 

Growing your own food doesn’t mean you have to start a small farm. You can easily grow vegetables or a couple of your favorite herbs on a terrace, patio, or windowsill. Any food you grow yourself is food that didn’t have to be packaged and trucked someplace else.

Takeaway


Make this a year for lifestyle improvements. You can make an impact by making incremental improvements to your daily life that are environmentally friendly. Green living doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as plain as turning off the light when you’re not in a room. Start to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle today.

Feature image: Gelgas Airlangga; Image 1: Catherine Sheila

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