We might not realise it, but many people already have eco-friendly (or perhaps money-saving) habits such as bringing their own water bottles, recycling plastic bottles and tin cans, carpooling, or traveling by public transportation. There are still plenty of other ways you can go green, so why not take another step towards conserving the environment? Every little bit counts, no matter how simple you think it may be!
You’ll notice that these small changes in your daily life will not only help protect the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, but also help you save money in the long run!
Resusable shopping bag(s)
Many places now don’t provide plastic shopping bags, or customers have to pay extra for plastic bags. That’s why it’s important to remember to bring along a reusable bag or two when you go shopping, which will be sturdier and more stylish, especially for groceries. Be sure to wash your bag periodically to prevent bacteria buildup.
Reusable drinking straws
Straws are obviously a threat to our planet, and if you can’t stand the thought of not having one, buy a few metal straws and keep them on you all the time. Switching to reusable straws will lower the amount of pollution in our oceans, and less pollution means less harm to the environment and marine life!
Bring your own tumbler
Get rid of plastic water bottles for good — there’s no reason to continue using them! Invest in one or a few reusable water bottles. They’re more environmentally friendly, come in a variety of sizes and designs, and they save you money. Some places even offer you discounted drinks if you bring your own tumbler!
Bring your own cutlery
Why stop at straws and tumblers? If you’re already bringing around a reusable straw and water bottle in your bag, it’s easy to make space for a portable cutlery set. It’s especially handy if you’re travelling with children, or often bring your own food to work.
The amount of recyclable waste that goes into our landfills is disgusting. Recycling is a really impactful and easy way to be more environmentally friendly. A lot of product packaging (cardboard boxes, aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles) can be recycled, so Make sure you’re always recycling plastic, glass, and paper instead of just tossing them in the trash.
Don’t leave the water running
If you’re the type to keep the tap water running when brushing your teeth or washing your hands, it’s time to make a conscious effort to turn off the tap while you do so. Also, don’t wash a pile of dishes under constantly running water. Fill the sink instead, and then rinse the dishes in a fresh sink of water.
Unplug electronic devices
Computers and other electronic devices continue to use energy even when they’re turned off. Unplug them when you’re not using them to save energy. To make it easier to unplug your devices when not in use, organize them together neatly in a box or single extension point.
Re-use scrap paper or go paperless
Whether you’re taking notes for a class or letting your toddler go nuts with the crayons, never recycle a piece of paper until it has been used on both sides. Better yet, go paper-free by cancelling your newspaper subscription or monthly bill statements, and subscribe to the online/email version instead.
Use natural cleaners
Use less chemicals when you clean by swapping out your conventional cleaners for options that are organic and green, such as vinegar, baking soda, and other natural cleaning solutions. They’ll still get your kitchen clean, they just won’t spread harmful chemicals around. Alternatively, buy an eco-friendly brand of cleaner or detergent.
Install a water-saving shower head
Today’s low-flow showerheads have come a long way, and many of them have excellent water pressure, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for the environment.
Change to LED lightbulbs
Light-emitting diode (LED) lightbulbs use a quarter of the wattage of regular bulbs and last way longer. These days, they come in a range of colors (from warm yellow to cool white) and don’t flicker like they used to.
Sell, swap or donate preloved items
Instead of dumping old clothes and other reusable stuff in the trash, sell it on Carousell or Facebook, donate to charity drives (e.g. Tzu Chi), or join local barter trade communities on Facebook to swap items. It’s a win-win situation, and someone else might greatly benefit from your unwanted possessions.