In these uncertain times, the importance of preserving the planet is becoming increasingly prevalent. The earth can’t renew itself quickly enough to meet our needs in terms of the resources we need to use, and the world’s population seems to only be continuing to rise. The only hope we have of saving our precious planet is to start using less and using fewer bad things, such as pollutants. It’s easy to think that one person can’t make a difference, but, when we rid ourselves of this notion, we start to notice the impact we can have as a collective unit.
Of course, it’s hard for the individual to know their place in this equation. It’s become cool to save the planet, but we all have our busy lives, and it might seem difficult or time-consuming to start living the green life. You might think that you’d have to change too much of your daily routine, and you’d rather just recycle the odd plastic bottle. Whilst that is important, the fact is that going green could make your daily routine less stressful, as you’d be using and wasting fewer resources. This could save you huge amounts of money, in turn.
Here are some ways in which you could live a greener lifestyle and a cheaper lifestyle.
Reduce before you reuse or recycle.
We’ve all been told time and time again that we should be recycling our plastics and cardboards or even reusing them as much as possible, but the best way to save the planet and save yourself some money is to first reduce the amount of such products that you consume. When it comes to the 3 Rs, this is the most important one. Our landfills are overflowing, and this comes down to a culture which promotes over-consumption of everything.
Whilst you should look into refillable water bottles and other goods which can be used on a far more permanent scale, you should mainly be looking into ways in which you can stop wasting resources and materials in your daily life to save money and the earth. Food is one of the biggest things wasted on a daily basis, so you should be conscious when you do your weekly food shop that you buy only the things you know you’ll eat. If you make a meal that’s too big for you to finish, save any leftovers which can be saved for a future meal.
A way in which many people don’t realize they can make an impact on the earth is through their diet. Becoming vegetarian or vegan can reduce your carbon footprint more substantially than avoiding your car or public transport. Perhaps that sounds insane, but it’s true. The meat industry is a factory-based process which does far more to pollute the environment that all the world’s transport combined. In addition, the more meat we consume, the more animals are needed in factories, and the more crops go to cattle rather than people. Considering the food shortage in third world countries, this doesn’t seem right.
In fact, you don’t even need to become a vegetarian or a vegan to make a difference. As mentioned in the very first point, the first step is to reduce. If you simply reduce the amount of meat you eat per week, you’ll be making a huge difference to the earth. You’ll also be saving yourself far more money than you realize and looking after your health. Meat was once a rare and occasional treat, and it isn’t necessarily healthy to consume red meats every day of the week, which many people do in the modern age.
Returning to the importance of recycling, it’s important that you understand how many valuable resources you may have in your possession. It isn’t only paper, cardboard and plastic which can be reused in some industry; electronics are made of precious materials which can be repurposed too. Before you throw your old phone away, stop for a moment, and consider recycling it instead.
When you throw such things away, not only are you hurting the planet and wasting resources which aren’t renewing quickly enough to meet our ever-demanding needs, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to make money (never mind saving it). Do some digging, and you’ll find some sites out there which offer respectable amounts of cash for old electronics, and Amazon even has a buyback program for their old goods. You can feel good about the planet and your back pocket.
Insulate your home.
When it comes to saving money and the environment, you can do so much to help yourself and the world on which you depend from the comfort of your home. You produce so much energy in terms of powering lights and the radiators which heat your household on a daily basis that there’s boundless potential to make a positive impact on the planet by reconsidering your energy usage.
Insulating your property could really reduce the amount of energy wasted. You could look into residential tinting to help keep heat or even conditioned air trapped in your home, as this could really reduce your energy bills each month. Insulating the walls and your attic will make a huge difference too. You’ll feel much happier about the amount of money you spend on energy in your household per month, and you should also feel happier about impacting the planet on a far less damaging scale.
Start switching off unnecessary things around the house.
We live in a digital and electronic age, but this means that our households are overflowing with so many electronic items that we often waste power without realizing it. You can’t exactly turn your fridge off overnight without spoiling all your food and wasting resources in a different way, but there are appliances you could be turning off more frequently. For example, you should be turning off your microwave, TV and computer at the power outlet every time you’re not using them. Leaving things in standby doesn’t completely cut out the amount of power being used, and you could save yourself money on your energy bill, once again, by doing this. Basic things such as switching off lights when you’re not in a room should also become second nature.
Stop wasting water.
Something that we seem to almost waste more than electricity is water. We depend on water for our survival, and wasting it is completely counter-intuitive to that. Droughts and shortages could be avoided in nations across the world if we simply thought about the ways in which we used this precious commodity. There are people in the world with access to no clean water, but diseases could be massively prevented if we cut down on our unnecessary wastage. Starving the world of water is more damaging to the environment and humans than many other forms of resource overuse.
Turning off running taps when you brush your teeth and fixing leaky faucets are two ways in which you could make a difference. You could even get creative whilst you wait for your shower to heat up and use a bucket to collect that cold water; this could be used to water plants, mop your floor or any other boring chore which could always use a little excess water. You’re making life easier for yourself if you use excess resources for things on which you often don’t like wasting your precious resources.
You don’t need your car for everything. If you’ve got a two hour drive to work each morning then your car might be a necessity, but the five minute drive to the shop is unnecessary. In fact, you could set yourself a challenge to not drive anywhere if it’s a ten minute journey or less. Walk to your local shop or your local pub when you want to see your friends. You might grumble about the idea of wasting half an hour of your time trekking somewhere rather than ten minutes, but you’ll be saving the environment and unnecessary petrol costs.
Better yet, your body might thank you when you find that your health has improved. We should all be walking for about 10,000 steps per day. Do you walk that many? Given that we all drive from points A to B to C, and so on, it seems unlikely that most of us manage to squeeze that much exercise into our lifestyles. You might find that you make time to do so when you start walking to places rather than driving to them. There’s also something far more relaxing about a quiet, peaceful stroll than a stressful journey on busy roads.
Going solar could save you money.
Perhaps you’ve been hesitant to take the plunge with renewable energy sources for your household, but going solar is a great long-term investment. In fact, any renewable energy systems around your home could qualify you for cash back on the costs of installing such equipment if you do a little digging and check whether your situation is applicable.