It’s easy to think that you have to make these massive changes to your lifestyle in order to “go green.” However, the small decisions compound over time and have a noticeable impact. So, if nothing else, we recommend starting with the things you do on a daily basis.
Try These Eco-Friendly Habits
No matter what your current lifestyle looks like, we all have a ways to go in terms of becoming more eco-friendly and conscious of our environment. Here are some very simple green habits that will help you become a more environmentally-friendly citizen of your neighborhood.
Carpool to Work
Driving to the office by yourself on a daily basis consumes a lot of fuel and releases carbon emissions into your community’s air supply. If you live near other coworkers, it doesn’t make sense for you both to drive to work. You should carpool together – thereby cutting your fuel consumption and carbon emissions in half. And the more people you include in your carpool, the better!
“If four people are all going to the same place and driving their own vehicles, then four times the gas is being used. Put those four people in the same car, and you lessen the consumption by 75%,” RNR Tire Express notes. “That level of fossil fuel savings will compound week after week, and by the end of the year, you’ll save hundreds of gallons of fuel.”
It doesn’t have to just be work, either. You can carpool to school, sports practices, church, and other gatherings.
Use a Bidet
Okay here’s an extremely simple tip: Ditch the toilet paper and start using a bidet. Believe it or not, bidets are a much more eco-friendly alternative.
People who strictly use toilet paper generally take two to three flushes when taking a “number two.” Those with bidets can generally get away with one less flush than average.
“People who use bidets have complete control over the stream of the water. Usually, a wash can take about fifteen to thirty seconds,” BidetMate mentions. “That consumes less water than what it takes to flush a toilet.”
Plus, with less dependence on toilet paper – which obviously requires paper – bidets are considered less resource-intensive.
Take Shorter Showers
If you want to take your water conservation efforts up a notch, try changing your showering habits. Here are two specific adjustments you can make:
Take shorter showers. Start timing how long it takes you to shower. Then aim to cut that time in half. If you take a 10-minute shower, for example, see if you can cut back to five minutes. You’ll save gallons of water and prevent your water heater from working over time.
Take cooler showers. If you’re bold enough to do it, take a cold shower. But for most of us, this isn’t realistic. You can, however, bump the temperature down a bit to conserve energy.
If you live with a partner or spouse, consider taking back to back showers. This ensures that the water doesn’t have to be heated up twice to take a shower. It conserves the heat that’s already built up from the first shower.
Don’t Let Food Go to Waste
We live in a culture where food isn’t nearly as prized as it was 100, 200, or 1,000 years ago. There was a time when food took work to find – hunting and harvesting your own food was the norm. Today, quick meals and cheap food are readily available anytime you want. This has led many people to inadvertently adopt wasteful food habits – including letting food go to waste.
Take some time to purge your pantry and put all of the old food to use.
Chef and author Ollie Hunter says, “It’s easy to turn it into something else; aquafaba (chickpea water) can be made into a vegan mayonnaise; fry squash seeds in oil and sprinkle with salt for a snack; cut courgette stalks into penne shapes and cook like pasta. You need to find creative ways to use everything up; wasting food is down to a lack of imagination.”
You can also be more resourceful with the food on your plate. Rather than tossing meal scraps into the trash can or garbage disposal, create a compost pile in your backyard and use it to reduce waste and/or fertilize your garden or yard.
Putting it All Together
It doesn’t take much to be a more conscious citizen of the earth. Whether it’s carpooling to work, adding a bidet to your bathroom, or composting wasted food, simple habits compound over time and have an exponentially positive impact on the environment. Do your part and encourage others to follow your lead!