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5 Ways to Live an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

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5 Ways to Live an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

“Our planet is the only home we have. We should take care of it.”

If you’re building a hydroponic garden at home, recycling your old clothes or books/magazines/newspapers, and giving talks at seminars on how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, you’re right on the buck!

Over the past 50 years or more, humans have made a tremendous impact on the environment and our ecosystem. It led to the launch of comprehensive studies like the one heralded by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment

We know the way we live our lives has a massive impact on the environment but there remains a handful who think what we do is too insignificant to protect our environment. The task is too massive and impossible.

This cannot be further from the truth because we all have a responsibility to do our part to live in a way that benefits our earth. 

It sounds life-changing, daunting and a big deal but it’s really not. All we need are small adjustments in our lifestyles and it CAN make a big difference. 
Here are 5 ways to jumpstart your new eco-friendly lifestyle.

1. Using Multi-Purpose Bags

Just divine multipurpose fashion tote bag
Just Divine Tote Bag

Changing the environment is a movement, not to be done by a single person. A movement is when every one of us does our parts to gravitate towards a common goal. And the goal is to simply reduce the negative impact we have on our ailing planet. 

One thing we can do is to actually use our own reusable eco-friendly shopping bags to cut down our plastics consumption. 

In many countries, grocery stores, hypermarkets, and supermarkets no longer automatically offer plastic bags like they used to. You either have to buy them or bring your own bags while shopping and it is a shift toward a more sustainable everyday practice. 

These multi-purpose bags are fashionable, adaptable and can be used over and over again!

2. Public Transport

public transportation signboard
Photo by Akram Shehadi on Unsplash

There are nearly 10 billion people on the planet. You can imagine how many motorized vehicles there are on the roads leaving behind carbon footprints even as you’re reading this. The skies of highly-populated cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manhattan NYC, Seoul, Beijing, New Delhi, San Francisco are often wrapped up in a dome of pollution at the end of the day. 

The clogged roads are direct effects of the local public transportation endemic. Not only does this lead to air pollution but also clogged, congested roads. Give our countenance to alternative travel means by considering the use of public transportation whenever the option is plausible. 

Another option - car pool or assigning alternate designated drivers. 

3. Plastic Straw Substitutes

metal straw in chocolate milkshake
Photo by Sarah Gualtieri on Unsplash

The bubble tea trend burst into the scene like a bullet train and before we knew it, you can find one at almost every corner of the block. But how many plastic straws and cups are being used and thrown away every day?  

But worry not, you don’t have to give up your sweet tooth indulgences just yet. 

You can choose to make better, wiser choices instead, like swapping out the plastic straws for something more sustainable and eco-friendly. Bamboo and metal straws are great examples. They get the job done and are way more sustainable and safer for the environment. 

Having your own metal or bamboo straw for your bubble tea fix promotes the idea of sustainability and encourages more eco-friendly practices. Over time, you can opt for more eco-friendly kitchen and dining utensils at home too!

This home and personal change of lifestyle will inevitably have a blanket spill-over effect on the food and food delivery industry. As it is, companies like Ubereats no longer provide plastic utensils for their food delivery services. 

So, use their own metal or reusable utensils like straws, forks, and spoons at-the-ready in replacement of the plastic counterparts whenever we order in!

4. Recycle More

recycling cartons and boxes for plants on tabletop
Photo by Stephanie Harvey on Unsplash

We don’t put much thought into throwing away a stack of magazines, old newspapers, or old school text books into the bin but in a world reliant on computers and digital technology, we can do more recycling and less printing.

In fact, choose to do what you can on your computer or smartphone without using paper, save documents in PDF format in a HDD instead of printing them out, and bring your old clothes or furniture to the recycling center instead of throwing them out for good. 

Other ways you can do your part for the environment includes downloading ebooks, using both sides of the paper whenever you have to print documents, start composting, and don’t shred paper. Shredded paper is harder (sometimes, not possible) to recycle. If there is sensitive personal information on the documents, blank them out or tear them off before handing them over to the recycling center. 

In this modern age, going without paper or notebook is a walk in the park for most. More than 40% of the waste consists of paper and paper products that could have gone to recycling centers. 

The less paper we use, fewer trees are cut down. And if you’re purchasing furniture or kitchen utensils, opt for hardy ones that can last you for a long time to come.

5. Sustainable fashion


Organic Cotton Dragon Rose Peplum Top

I recently wrote an article about the importance of sustainable fashion and it really resonated with the readers. It is about a global movement in the fashion industry that can foster change in how consumers buy and dispose of clothing and fashion accessories.

The world is putting in the paces towards greater ecological integrity and social justice. Sustainable fashion concerns more than approaching and changing the use of fashion textiles or products. It addresses the fashion industry’s current system to counter issues like fast fashion which is a result of the continuous stream of new, affordable fashion items flooding into the market every day. 

Sustainable fashion aims to minimize the costs on the environment. It was reported that the textile and fashion industries are the leading causes of our planet’s plights. Globalization, the lower cost of production, more affordable prices, and fast-shifting consumer trends have simply fast-tracked the problem.

The fashion industry:
  • Uses high amounts of water

  • Pollutes the environment through chemical treatments

  • Uses dyes and other harmful chemicals

  • Manufactures large amounts of unsold clothing

  • Forces the incineration of materials

  • Fill out landfills with environmentally-hazardous deposits

In the UK, 79 billion cubic meters of materials are used by its fashion industry; only approximately 20% of clothing is recycled or reused; 350,000 tons of clothing ends up in the landfills every year according to Earth Pledge, a non-profit organization. 

How you can contribute to the case is by supporting ethical trade, manufacturing practices, and positive environmental messages. If time is on your side or if you have the talent for it, consider producing clothes out of eco-friendly materials or buying second-hand clothes instead of new ones. 

It’s still a niche concept in its teething stages but when you put your weight behind the idea, it shows the world that you can look fashionable without having to cause a big impact on the environment. You can find out more about sustainable fashion in this article by Harper's Bazaar about 10 Simple Steps to being more Sustainable.

Conclusion

Your journey towards living a more earth-conscious lifestyle begins with these five simple steps! The great thing about them is that they’re not nearly as intimidating as some make it up to be, are they?

So, if you’ve always wanted to try your hand at changing your lifestyle bit by bit, give these five suggestions a shot.

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