Understanding Carbon Footprints: The US vs. the World
The average US citizen has a carbon footprint of 16 tons – one of the highest in the world.
There’s no denying we’re having a huge impact on the environment, and that’s a major problem. A lot of people are aware of the issue, and making an effort to reduce the harm they cause. Fortunately, there are various things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.
Making a Difference: Reducing Your Environmental Impact
15 Eco-Friendly Tips for Sustainable Living
If you want to know how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, check out the 15 tips below.
1. Avoid Single-Use Water Bottles
Go Green: Ditch Single-Use Water Bottles
A plastic bottle seems insignificant, but we get through so many of them that they’ve become one of the worst environmental issues in the world. Switch to a reusable bottle and you’ll quickly notice how much of a difference it makes. If the tap water in your area is fine to drink, that would be ideal. A filtration system can further improve it.
2. Reduce Your Meat Consumption
Sustainable Eating: Reducing Meat Consumption
A lot of people are turning to a plant-based diet to reduce their environmental impact. The meat industry causes a huge amount of pollution, so cutting your consumption of meat can be very beneficial. You may not want to cut out animal products entirely, but limiting them where you can is a great step in the right direction.
3. Cook More at Home
Sustainable Cooking: The Power of Homemade Meals
Cooking food at home gives you more control over where your food comes from and the packaging it’s in. You can choose more eco-friendly options from the store, helping to reduce your carbon footprint. As an added bonus, cooking at home is typically healthier.
4. Use Reusable Shopping Bags
Bag It Right: Embrace Reusable Shopping Bags
Every time you use a reusable bag that’s one less plastic bag that ends up in a landfill or somewhere worse. Reusable bags are also more durable, so they’re less likely to split and let your groceries hit the floor. Several countries have already banned the use of plastic bags in supermarkets, so why not get behind this trend?
5. Look for Certified Sustainable Products While Shopping
Shop Smart: Seek Certified Sustainable Products
Various products may have labels to show they’re eco-friendly. Bear in mind, however, that there are several types of these labels, and they’re not all the same. If you’re uncertain, look up any label you see to make sure you’re buying responsibly.
6. Be More Energy Conscious
Energy Efficiency: Tips for a Greener Home
Don’t waste energy at home. Turn off lights and appliances like TVs and computers when they’re not in use.
Switching to energy-saving lightbulbs can also have a significant impact on your energy use. There’s plenty to learn about being energy conscious, so educating yourself will help you even more.
7. Use Renewable Energy Sources
Harnessing Nature: The Power of Renewable Energy
Relying on the grid for your electricity is convenient, but it’s also harmful to the environment. If you can source energy from solar or wind power, it will significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Solar panels are becoming an incredibly popular choice across the US, and they’ll also help you save money on your utility bills.
8. Switch to Eco-friendly Personal Hygiene Products
Clean and Green: Eco-Friendly Personal Hygiene
When looking at different personal hygiene products, some may have excess packaging, questionable ingredients, or unsustainable sources. Look out for these products to make sure you can choose the better options. The same thing applies to cleaning products.
9. Avoid Fast Fashion Products
Slow Fashion: A Step Towards Sustainability
Fast fashion has become a major issue as brands can make low-quality clothing at such a low cost. These garments fall apart quickly, but as they’re so cheap, people will just throw them out and replace them. Look for “slow” fashion designers who make an effort to use sustainable fabrics from ethical sources.
10. Use Public Transport
The Eco-Commute: Using Public Transport
Vehicles burn through a huge amount of fossil fuels, so reducing the number of cars on the road can be very beneficial. Taking trains and buses where possible is far more efficient, so you should do so if you can. If driving is a must, carpooling will still help.
11. Grow Your Own Fruit and Vegetables
Homegrown Goodness: Growing Your Own Food
Knowing where your food comes from helps, but growing it yourself is even better. It eliminates a lot of the processes that come with food production such as cultivating, transport, storage, and packaging. You can also be confident that no chemicals are used.
12. Get a Reusable Coffee Cup
Brew Responsibly: Get a Reusable Coffee Cup
This is similar to having a reusable water bottle and is highly recommended for people who love coffee. We get through a huge amount of disposable coffee cups, so this will help you cut your waste. Many coffee shops now even offer discounts for people who bring their own cups.
13. Avoid Plastic Straws
Sip Responsibly: Say No to Plastic Straws
Plastic straws are known to be very harmful to wildlife. Many companies now opt for paper straws instead as they’re less harmful and recyclable. Metal straws are also a great choice as you can wash and rescue them.
Recycle Right: A Simple Act for the Planet
This is one of the easiest things to do to be more environmentally friendly. All kinds of materials such as plastics, metals, paper, and glass are recyclable, so don’t throw them in the trash. Depending on your local recycling center, you may also be able to recycle other items such as old electronics or clothes.
15. Donate Unwanted Items
Sharing is Caring: Donate Unwanted Items
You might have plenty of stuff at home that’s perfectly good but no longer of any use to you. If so, don’t just throw it out.
You can donate old clothes, children’s toys, books, electronics, furniture, and more. Anything that’s still fine to use might be valuable to someone else, so it’s much better to donate these items than to add them to a landfill site.
Taking Action: How to Live an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Knowing how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle is helpful, but you need to take action if you really want to have an impact. It’s reasonable to start small, and then make gradual improvements over time. Before you know it, you’ll be living much more sustainably than you ever realized you could.
Brighten Your Home and Finances with Solar Energy
One of the best steps you can take as a homeowner is to install a solar energy system. Not only will this reduce your energy usage, but you’ll also benefit from energy bill savings, making it even better in the long run.
If you generate excess power, Chariot Energy’s Solar Buyback plans could even earn you some money! Take a look to see if you’re eligible.