Five Ways to Become More Eco-Friendly

eco friendlyMany of us are looking for ways to become more eco-friendly – to reduce our carbon footprint, to recycle more, or to simply to look after the Earth a little bit more. However, it can be difficult to know where to start as there is so much conflicting information out there. Luckily for you, I’ve simplified some of the information to give you five easy ways to become more eco-friendly.

Reduce

Often, the emphasis on being eco-friendly revolves around recycling products that you’ve already used. However, to really become more eco-friendly, you should aim to reduce the amount of things you buy – that goes for new clothes, new household products, new furniture etc. One great way to eliminate impulse buying is to give yourself one week to think about whether you actually need the item.

You could also reduce the amount of new things you buy by buying reusable items rather than disposable items – such as razors, batteries, food storage containers etc. Try borrowing music and books from the library and take a look around local charity shops for clothes and furniture.

Re-Use

Take a look on sites like eBay to buy and sell used products. The media gives us this idea that we always need to buy new, but chances are, if you buy something that is a year old, you’ll get it for far cheaper than if you bought it new and you’re helping the environment. Things like new mobile phones, iPods and laptops can all be bought in this way. If you’re looking to buy a new car, consider buying one from a second-hand garage – chances are, they will offer you money on your old car and the second-hand car will be thousands of pounds/dollars cheaper than if you bought it new. Example: I’ve just bought a 2007 BMW for £8,000. The one the road price for the car if you were to buy it from a garage is over £24,000, so I’ve saved myself £16,000.

Recycle

Recycling is still a very important part of being eco-friendly and you should aim to be recycling everything you can where possible. If you have a recycling centre near to your home, that makes it really easy for you – but if you don’t, why not plan a meeting with the local government or local schools to talk about starting a new recycling drive or to open a new recycling centre that’s near to you?

Recycling also means to buy recycled produce – things like toilet paper, paper, plastic bags, cans, bottles etc. can all be made from recycled materials these days, so support recycling by buying recycled.

As for your food waste, make a compost heap in your garden out of the food. Eventually, you’ll have rich compost, perfect for using in flower beds and in borders to grow new plants and food.

Eat Local

Although supermarkets are really handy for buying everything in one place, if you take the time to travel to separate shops, such as the butchers and the grocers, you can actually save money and help the environment as well as local producers. Try using the supermarket for things like batteries and tin foil – things that you wouldn’t be able to buy anywhere else, but make the effort to go elsewhere for your food.

Conserve

Possibly the simplest way to become more eco-friendly is to start conserving energy where you can. That means turning lights off when you leave the room, making sure all appliances are switched off at the wall not left on stand-by and unplugging appliances when you’ve finished using them. Quite often, we make the mistake of leaving laptops and computers plugged in overnight or we leave the television or the games console on stand-by. Turning these items off and only using energy where necessary will save you a significant of money over the year and it also helps to save the planet.