6 Ways to Live More Eco-Friendly at Home
Many of us care enough about the environment to want to live greener. There are more ways than ever before to do just. But many of us are at work most weekdays and / or busy with family commitments and don’t have a huge amount of free time available, so here are six easy ways to live in a more eco-friendly manner at home.
1. Use Renewal Energy
Good Energy matches your use of electricity with power from 100% renewal sources.
The renewable energy comes from wind power, hydroelectricity, solar and bio-generation.
The gas Good Energy supplies isn’t currently from renewable sources, but Good Energy invests in certified carbon neutral reduction schemes to ensure the gas they provide is carbon neutral.
Learn more about how Good Energy can make your energy spending more eco-friendly.
2. Go Vegan
Going vegan seems unconnected to being eco-friendly. Actually, it’s not.
The United Nations confirmed that just under 10 percent of human-linked CO2 generation originates from the cultivation and management of livestock.
Having a vegan lifestyle or simply eating more vegetarian meals is therefore good for the environment. Additionally, most health experts now suggest that a predominantly plant-based diet is the healthiest option, so it’s a win-win!
If going began seems a bridge too far, why not buy having say three meat-free meals each week. You’ll be surprised how tasty vegan/vegetarian food can be. Why not treat yourself to a new recipe book or two such as Elly Pear’s Let’s Eat which is predominantly plant-based but does include a little bit of diary, fresh fish and seafood.
When going vegan you do need to ensure you are consuming enough protein. You might be surprised what is included in a list of the 10 most popular plant-based proteins.
3. Cloth and Canvas
Using a cloth that can be used, washed and reused again is far better than disposable kitchen paper for wiping down. You might think it’s a little old fashioned – maybe like your grandmother used to do – but it’s far better for the environment.
And why not invest in micro-fibre cloths to make light work of your cleaning and reduce use of cleaning products which often contain harmful chemicals – often harmful for the environment and for your health! Micro-fibre cloths only need water to clean really efficiently. If you must use cleaning products, please opt for eco-friendly versions.
Similarly, instead of using plastic bags for shopping, purchase an attractive canvas bag that holds plenty of groceries and can be reused weekly. These types of bags are also machine washable and don’t chafe your hands when you’re heavily loaded with goods.
Most canvas bags can be used for years and when they are disposed of, even if they go to landfill, will biodegrade naturally.
4. Old Mattress Disposal
If you’re about to throw out your old mattress and replace it with a new one, wait a second. Mattresses are, of course, one of those items that you are not likely to take to a second-hand shop or even give away, unless it has hardly been used, whereas there is often an option to dispose for other household items to be re-used.
I imagine most of you have seen an old mattress or two abandoned on kerbsides now and again?!
The cost that local councils charge to come around to collect your mattress range from free to upwards of £75, depending on your UK address. You can learn more about this from the following article: How Mattress Recycling Costs Vary Across the Country.
Many companies such as Happy Beds will dispose of your old mattress when you buy a new one, so always ask your supplier the question and also ensure they pick it up and dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner.
5. Use FreeCycle, Gumtree, Loot or Buy Second-hand
Rather than always buying new, it is always worth looking for free or cheap alternatives for many items. This avoids the pollution caused by manufacturing facilities, avoids the use of landfill, and saves money too.
And you might have products that you no longer use but are perfectly serviceable. Perhaps you would be happy to give them away to someone who would make good use of them?
Websites like FreeCycle allow people to advertise items they’re giving away. Gumtree is another source of free ads with greater reach. Loot within the London limits is useful too. Beyond that, look at the classifieds in the local free paper or check nearby charity shops to see what they have available.
And have you thought about buying clothes and accessories from charity shops? Nowadays you can classify that as vintage finds! And you really can find some wonderful bargains if you take a little bit of time out to look around.
6. Do You Have a Compost Bin in the Garden?
A compost bin helps recycle plant-based remnants from product packaging, food, and plants themselves. Many products now arrive in biodegradable packaging that may be suitable for home composting. Check the packaging label to be sure.
After a while, the contents of your compost bin will be ready to use as fertiliser for your plants.
Check out this article for more information about Home Composting. It includes lots of advice and also special offers on compost bins.
Look for other ways to be greener at home such as avoiding single-use plastics such as coffee pods. New ideas are popping up every day as people experiment with new concepts to protect the planet a bit more. If you have school children, get them involved too. They’ll probably have lots of ideas of their own.