They say that there is nothing more selfless than planting trees, and this same concept applies to the self-discipline and resilience required to live eco-friendly. On the other hand, committing to a life of doing as little harm to the environment as possible has plenty of benefits to your personal health and the world in you inhabit.
Highlighted in this article is an overview of small lifestyle adjustments––particularly in the products you use most frequently––that can improve your health and add you to the group of people making themselves part of the solution rather than contributing to the problem when it comes to the environment.
The Importance of Environmentally Friendly Living
With over seven billion people on the planet all moving in a rather materialistic direction, the impact that personal lifestyle choices can have on the environment is astounding. This is why adopting eco-friendly living into your personal life is important in this day and age.
The simplest way to define “eco-friendly living” would be living in a thoughtful manner that considers how your actions affect the environment. This allows you to reduce the ways in which you can damage the planet by being conscientious.
In the long term, it can become a purpose to live your life, but in the beginning, it can be about applying a green mind to using resources and disposing of waste. This includes easy tasks like shutting off lights when they aren’t in use, recycling products, and conserving water.
What Are Environmentally Friendly Products?
Eco-friendly products are those that do not harm the environment in their production, regular use, or disposal. In addition to the long-term benefits that these products have to the environment, many of these products also have immediate value to health and home life.1,2
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When looking at the “environmentally-safe” products available at your supermarket, you may be discouraged because you think switching over to them will take a lot of time and effort. Many of the products available feature official labels and high prices. However, before you start bending backward for the high-cost items, it’s important to consider your plan of action.3
You probably won’t be able to spin your life on a dime and swap over every single product you use for an environmentally-safe alternative. So, it is more important to place your cash where it will be most effective. The following guide provides a look at a few ways you can use eco-friendly products to reduce your impact on the environment while improving your quality of life and not breaking the bank.
Eliminate Landfill Waste
One of the first places to make an adjustment is in the amount of trash you are sending to the local landfill. Think of cans, bottles, bags, and above all, single-use plastics. Plastics used in food wrappers, drink containers, or shopping bags will be thrown away within a day and will spend up to half a century clogging up the environment.4 Luckily, there are easy ways to avoid some of this waste, especially from single-use plastics.
Biodegradable Shopping Bags
Instead of using plastic bags every time you shop, tote your shopping in a stylish cloth sack that doesn’t cut off the circulation in your fingers—or harm the environment.
From water bottles to liquid soap dispensers, use durable steel, aluminum, glass, or ceramic containers that you can cherish. Then buy your products in bulk and reduce waste.
Recycled Fabric Clothes
The production and use of synthetic materials produces some of the highest quantities of microplastics in the environment. Begin considering fashion choices on their capacity to cause no harm when they have served their purpose.5
Reduce Toxic Pollution and Emissions
Many of the products used in the home can seem fairly harmless, but when they are discarded in large quantities, their impacts on the environment can be severe.
Non-Toxic Cleaning Products
Some of the household cleaning agents that you are used to might be benign in small quantities, but with billions of individuals dumping small quantities of microplastics, chlorine, ammonia, detergents, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the water systems, the effects accumulate to disastrous proportions.
This one is tough because even eco-friendly cleaning agents are not always so great. Carefully study the cleaning agents you choose from the store. Or even better, get familiar with the use of vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and a host of other effective cleaning agents that were used before the advent of toxic petrochemicals.6
Emission Saving Products
There are solar powered phone chargers, LED light bulbs, water-powered clocks, and rechargeable batteries to help reduce the amount of energy you are using. These products can also help reduce the cost of energy expenses.
The United Nations (UN) has warned that within the next 30 years, over two billion people could be affected by a water shortage issue. However, individuals can still get a jump start on preventing this and begin conserving water today.7,8,9
Water Saving Appliances
From dishwashers that use a steam bath instead of a pre-wash, to shower heads that have timers, there are many products to help you save water. Even though it may seem like a readily-available commodity in the U.S., water is more precious thank you think. Your efforts will be repaid in reduced expenses and an important contribution to the global water supply.
Changes take time, and the mess humans have created for the planet’s well-being won’t be gone overnight. Nevertheless, incremental progress is the best way to restore the planet to some of its former glory. You may not be able to do everything—maybe not even everything on this list. But even a little improvement is still better than doing nothing. Then, you can also encourage others to take small steps towards a cleaner planet.
Photo credits: Photographee.eu/shutterstock.com, ElizavetaGalitckaia/shutterstock.com, Zyoma/shutterstock.com, JPC-PROD/shutterstock.com