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Big and Little Ways to Live a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

There are plenty of good reasons to aspire to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. One pressing question we face is, "Is the earth overpopulated?" The most obvious and important reason to consider is that everyone has a measure of responsibility to this planet. We know that climate change is causing real issues now and will cause even greater problems in the future if left unchecked. The podcast A Climate Change is an interesting way to keep up on all things environmental so you can make good decisions for our planet.

Another good reason to live a sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle is that, often, you end up saving money in the long run. Sustainable living is all about reducing waste and reusing the things we buy, so you don’t have to buy lots of cheap things that don’t last when you can instead invest in something that won’t have to be replaced for far longer.

Living a more sustainable lifestyle, much like any other goal, is much easier when you break it down into smaller goals or steps. Make each change separately and make a habit out of it, rather than trying to completely change your way of life all at once. This will make it much easier to keep up with your goals and build on them.

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Composting Food Waste

This is one of the simplest ways to reduce your household waste and you even get a product at the end of it. Composting food waste involves putting any vegetable peelings and scraps in a compost bin and allowing it to break down under controlled conditions. This will eventually turn into compost, making a fantastic fertilizer for any plants you grow.

Composting works hand-in-hand with growing your own fruit and vegetables, which is a great way to live more sustainably in and of itself. By eating produce you grow yourself, you cut down on the amount of grocery shopping you need to do. 

This means you don’t have to use your car to drive to the grocery store, where vegetables are packaged in plastic after being transported there. True, it’s hard to be completely self-sufficient, even if you have the space and time to grow enough vegetables and fruit to feed your family, but it can be a tremendous help.

When composting food waste, focus on raw vegetable scraps. These break down the best and, unlike meat or cooked food, won’t invite pests into your compost pile or bin.

Depending on the amount of compost you produce and need, you can get different types of bins. Some compost and vegetable/garden waste bins can be collected and sent to places where they will be processed and used by farmers. This is handy if you don’t grow anything or use the compost.

The simplest way to collect compost is to create a compost pile, which is exactly what it says on the tin. Most people prefer to keep their compost in bins. Some compost bins are designed to speed up the process by increasing the temperature in the bin. Another good method to break down a lot of compost is to use special worms.

Use Clean Energy

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We all need electricity to function in modern society. While electricity production is one of the leading causes of environmental damage, you can switch to clean energy and lessen your contribution to the issue.

Many countries and governments are trying to switch to cleaner sources of electricity by using wind farms and solar farms. These are renewable energy sources that don’t cause harmful emissions or emit lots of greenhouse gases. They aren’t perfect, but they are much better than the alternative.

You can make sure that you only use clean energy by looking into private energy suppliers. This can guarantee that you’re contributing to renewable electricity.

Rooftop solar panels and solar batteries are another great way to take control of your energy usage. You generate electricity on your property and get it directly from the source, the sun. Most properties are suitable for solar panels, but make sure it’s worth your while before you have anything installed, as they depend on how much sunlight your property gets.

The batteries will store the electricity for you, so even at night or during winter, you can use electricity without relying on the mains. You might even be able to use it during blackouts in your area. Any excess electricity you can’t store will be sold back to the mains for other people to use.

Reducing Plastic Use

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Plastics are one of the biggest threats to the environment. Plastic is harmful to produce, as it uses fossil fuels that can’t be replaced and that create toxic emissions. Once plastic has been produced, it’s there forever.

Most organic waste breaks down over time, including clothes made from animal and plant textiles. But plastic doesn’t break down at all, so it sits in landfills or is broken into smaller pieces and gets unwillingly eaten by animals and humans alike. We still don’t know exactly how long it will take for plastic products to decompose completely.

So, one of the best things we can do is to reduce the amount of plastic we use in our everyday lives. Replace single-use plastic bags with reusable bags wherever possible. It can be a bit of a pain to start with, but you do get used to keeping a cloth bag with you.

Many companies are producing plant-based plastic replacement products that will decompose over time. Bamboo toothbrushes and plant-based packing peanuts are both examples of this. Support those companies that are willing to make the effort and others will follow suit.

If you do end up using plastic, see if you can find ways to either reuse or recycle that plastic so that it doesn’t go to waste. 

Home Maintenance and Utilities

One of the best ways to ensure that your home is eco-friendly is to keep it in good condition. This saves you money, helps the environment, and allows your family to be safer and more comfortable at home.

For example, your roof, doors, and windows all play a part in insulating your home. As they get worn down and damaged, their insulating properties are chipped away. This means that, in winter or the colder months, you have to use more energy to properly heat your home. You’re essentially heating your home and the outside where that precious heat escapes due to poor insulation.

If you find that there’s a draft or you’re spending more than you should on the heating bill, look into the condition of your roof, doors, and windows. Cracks, holes, leaks, and other issues could be the problem. Replacing or repairing this can and will cost money, but it’s worth it to save money and electricity in the long run.

Another way to save money and energy is by checking the HVAC system itself. Always get a registered and qualified HVAC contractor like Fox Family Heating and Air to do this. It’s a good idea to check the systems at least once a year, or when you notice an issue. You can then use that same contractor to fix any issues they discover, such as heat pump repair. The better your system is, the more efficient it will be.

Even if your home is in relatively good condition, you can still cut down on your utility bills by using electricity more intelligently. Do you really need your home to be cozy and warm when nobody is in? If not, use a timed thermostat to control when your heating or AC is switched on. A smart thermostat can monitor the temperature, your energy use, and set timers so that nothing gets wasted.

Greener Transport Methods

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We talked a bit about the needs of modern life earlier, including some of the necessary evils it involves. We need to use electricity. We probably can’t escape using some plastic products or receiving packaging. We also need to get around.

Cars account for a massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions around the world, and they’re one of the things we can control. 

First, let’s talk about cutting down on the amount of time you spend in your car. Shorter or non-existent commutes are the best commutes, and remote working can help you to massively reduce your carbon footprint, especially if you use clean energy at home. Try to find shops that are closer so you don’t drive as far.

Some people are able to completely get rid of their cars. You might be able to walk, use a bicycle, or rely on public transportation to get around. Depending on your lifestyle, this can save plenty of money (cars are expensive to buy and run) and the planet all at once.

However, not everyone lives in these conditions. You might live away from the city or you may have a family or job that necessitates a car to get around. In this case, consider electric or hybrid cars that use far less (or no) fossil fuels to run. Again, they aren’t perfect, but you can enormously reduce that carbon footprint while still getting around just fine.

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