With climate change being an enormous problem we face today, many believe that there isn’t much we can do about it. The truth is, we all have the power and ability to take action and do something about it. Even the smallest changes in our everyday lives play a role in the fight against climate change. A lot of people have chosen to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and It’s actually a lot easier than people think. Below are some ideas that anyone can incorporate into their routine to become a bit more green and show a little love to our planet Earth.
There is No Place Like Home
The best place to start making changes is in your own house. There are so many little things one can do such as unplugging phone and computer chargers after you’re done using them. Even though the charger isn’t connected to a device, it is still consuming energy. Adjust the thermostat even if it’s just a few degrees. That will definitely help you consume less energy. Do it when you leave the house and place it at a comfortable level, once you return you can change the temperature again. You can install a shower head or sink head that uses 70% less water than you usually use and it will make a big difference. Speaking of water, turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth! Go one step further, take shorter showers. Set a timer and once it rings you get out of the shower. It really doesn’t take thirty minutes to take a shower and you only use the water when you have to rinse. Start washing your clothes at a low temperature. We don’t usually think about this, but heating water consumes a vast amount of energy. After washing your clothes, have them be air dry on a line. Not only will these changes be saving the environment but they will also be saving you money as your water and electricity bills will be dramatically reduced!
Create Eco-Friendly Habits
The best way to create and maintain a green lifestyle is by creating habits to help us achieve that overall goal. After all, “We are what we repeatedly do” (Aristotle). So try to make a habit of buying your groceries and clothes at local stores. In Segovia, every Thursday there is a local market right in front of the Cathedral where you can buy many fruits, vegetables, and even clothes and plants. Speaking of buying, buy less. Next time you are at a store and thinking of buying something that may harm the environment (ex. It’s in layers of plastic packaging, it is made using palm oil, etc.), ask yourself “Do I really need this?” If the answer is no, well that means more money in your pocket.
The 3 Rs Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… and another R?
We have all heard of the 3 Rs. Reduce your waste, reuse your things, and recycle them. What most people don’t know about is the 4th R which is Refuse. Refuse to use plastic cups, straws and bags (cut it out as much as you can), refuse to buy plastic water bottles and invest in a reusable water bottle instead. In fact, take a look around at different things that you can reuse often instead of investing in one time use materials. Refuse to throw out clothes you no longer wear and instead donate them or even sell them on online thrift stores such as Vinted! Be realistic (arguably the 5th R) next time you are food shopping ask yourself if you are really going to eat this? Make sure that you aren’t consuming and buying things unrealistically, whether that be food, clothes, electronics. If you wont use it don’t buy it, there’s no shame in that! Trends come and go so it’s important to buy smart and buy things that will last. Being realistic with yourself shows that you not only know yourself but you care about yourself and the environment as instead of contributing to waste you are avoiding it entirely.
Another way to incorporate a more green lifestyle is by getting creative. Repurposing products such as a glass jar into a vase or a food container. There are many simple things you can do to repurpose the things you probably already have in your apartment! For those of you who are feeling crafty here’s a few ideas: https://www.littlehouseoffour.com/2015/11/10-ideas-for-repurposing-everyday-items.html
This is definitely taking an extra step but you can always try to make your own cleaning products. So many of the cleaning products we use have a lot of toxic chemicals and come in plastic containers. This way you will be able to use natural ingredients and most importantly know what ingredients are actually going into the products you use. If you don’t have the time and find it much easier to buy cleaning products then at least make sure you double check some of the ingredients in the back or shop local. The same applies for makeup and skin care products. Consider a green gift for friends and family, next time a birthday or anniversary is coming up think about getting them something that is eco friendly. This way you will help others live a more environmentally friendly life as well.
Some extra steps you can take are to stop supporting fast fashion. Trends come and go, you will end up buying some pair of pants that are very trendy now, but in three months those pants are going to be in the back of the closet and once again you’ll have “nothing to wear”. Figure out your style, what you like and don’t like, search for pieces that make you feel good about yourself and are practical. You’d be surprised at what you can find in local and vintage stores.
Go meat free. This may not be the most appealing, but it truly does help. You don’t have to quit meat forever but consuming less is definitely a great start. Maybe settle to having it once every 2-3 weeks instead of 3 times a week.
Go paperless. We are currently living in a digitalized world where everything is online. The need for paper has decreased, but some people still like using notebooks and reading in paperback. Try switching the notebooks for ones that are recyclable and at least give the Kindle a try.
For more information on how to be more environmentally friendly and how to live a sustainable lifestyle, check out this article Flavia wrote!
Our Earth needs us to live a more sustainable, eco friendly lifestyle now more than ever, even the smallest changes make a difference.