How to Live an Eco-friendly Lifestyle

We’ve all seen those viral videos of oceans completely filled with trash and turtles with straws stuck in their noses. Around the same time that those videos were being seen by almost everyone, news came out that we have 12 years to save the planet from a climate change catastrophe. This news combined with the heartbreaking videos inspired a change in my outlook on life; I became more serious and considerate toward the world we live in. Then and there, I decided I would change the way I lived — whether it was using less plastic or recycling more, I was willing to do anything in my power to make a difference. Yes, altering one’s lifestyle can be super difficult, but by taking it day by day and making easy changes, you too can live a simple eco-friendly lifestyle!

  • Less Plastic 

First things first, you have to take a look at your current lifestyle and pick the small things that can be changed. For me, it was plastic of any kind. I started by buying a reusable straw as well as a cute utensil set from Amazon. I noticed how often I would use plasticware and straws at restaurants and at home, and the fact that the reusable objects came in the most adorable colors and containers made my purchase even better! Another plastic that I replaced were plastic bags, whether they were grocery bags or small snack or sandwich bags. Conveniently, many stores now sell bags that are reusable and some of the proceeds even go to charity! Stores like Urban Outfitters even give you a free bag with any purchase. As for the smaller plastic bags, I switched over to tupperware and glass containers. Since a single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade, any little change can make a huge difference. 

  • Cloth over Paper

Here in the United States, the production of paper towels accounts for 15 percent of deforestation. This is one of the leading causes of global warming, and it shows no signs of ending anytime soon. Decomposing paper towels produce methane gas which has become the leading cause of the climate disaster we are all currently living through. Instead of overusing paper towels for any mess or spill, switch to using rags. By doing this, you won’t have to spend as much on paper napkins and can instead machine wash all your rags in a load together. 

 

  • Skip out on Buying Products with Excessive Packaging

I stopped buying from brands that overdid their packaging. Many lines now use glass and cardboard as an alternative to plastic, so try going for those instead. By going for products that are more simplistic and green for the environment, the actual consumer is making an impact in the market. If companies see that ecological and reusable packaging is selling more, they will then change the way an item is manufactured in turn. 

  • Eat Less Meat 

This may seem random and like it has nothing to do with the environment, but the extreme amount of meat being eaten has reached an all time high. Eating less meat can sound hard at first, but rationing and slowly eating smaller amounts makes the process easier. Raising livestock like cows, pigs, and chickens creates a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions which have also been a leading factor in why climate change even exists.

 

  • Buy in Bulk 

So many stores have allowed customers to buy in bulk for awhile now, but not until recently has it received any attention. Buying in bulk is super easy and significantly lowers your shopping trips to the grocery store! Doing this saves money, waste, and the environment! When purchasing larger quantities of essentials such as food, the costs are lower than buying the product multiple times. Also, you can use reusable containers like mason jars and tupperware to limit how much waste you accumulate over time. 

*Having trouble finding stores that sell in bulk? 

Try Winco and my new favorite Hello Bulk Markets! Both of these stores have several locations in the Salt Lake Valley. I’d recommend Winco for food while Hello Bulk Markets sells food as well as body care and household cleaning supplies!

 

  • Use Less Energy 

This last method is the most straightforward and effortless to include in living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Simple actions like turning the lights off in rooms that aren't in use, turning the water off while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, and washing clothes in colder water when possible all help greatly. These are manageable and uncomplicated steps that can be added into any routine in order to conserve energy and, most importantly, save the planet. 

It’s simple, we have to change before it’s too late. Every so often we are given an update on the well-being of the place we call home, and as of right now, it is not looking good. Having only about a decade to change the way we live in order to save the planet is something that needs to be said more often. These methods, ideas, and practices are easy to follow and only create positive effects. It may be difficult to change a daily routine instantly, but consistency as well as simplicity is the goal. Thinking about the impact one can make with these changes can also be used as encouragement. It’s time to be more caring and less selfish. The key is to live life consciously because our home is depending on it. 

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