Living green is all about making small, progressive changes to your life. The message of needing to completely change our lives is rammed down our throats on the regular, but anyone with a balanced viewpoint will see that this is not realistic.
Yes, time is short. Yes, drastic global change is needed on a limited timescale. But human nature means than you will never get the entire population to upend their lives overnight – until disaster strikes, at least.
I believe that encouraging people to live green must be done with a more gentle approach. Ensuring that people develop a real interest in living green is key to changing the world. That is a marathon, not a sprint.
So, in this article, I am going to share with you some easy changes that you can make to live more greenly. They won’t be painful, and they won’t change your entire life. But changing these small things will make a big difference – and hopefully you will enjoy the process.
1. Use eco-friendly teabags
Did you know that your typical teabag is not completely biodegradable? That shocked me, too. This item which is so easily thrown in the compost actually contains the plastic polypropylene.
Making the switch to an eco-friendly teabag is a simple change you can make. In the UK, you can find such teabags in major supermarkets – PG Tips and the Co-op have launched their own plant-based alternatives.
Many biodegradable teabags can also be bought online, should that be easier for you.
2. Switch to a renewable energy supplier
Another step that is very easily done – and is not necessarily going to cost you more money, either. Switching to a renewable energy provider will help to increase the demand for solar, wind, and other forms of energy.
There are definitely some providers that are better than others. Also, some renewable energy providers use biomass energy which has its own problems (if you’re vegan, you potentially won’t want to support that).
The system is not perfect. You are, of course, going to be using a mix of energy from the National Grid regardless. But the idea is that your switch means more renewable energy is pumped into the system.
Renewable energy being available to the homeowner is, hopefully, the start of a green energy revolution.
3. Eat meat-free on the weekend
For many people, eating meat is something that comes naturally – whether you like that statement or not, it’s true for many.
Even if you enjoy eating meat, why should all meals contain it? Try eating vegetarian – or even vegan – meals on the weekend to help reduce your meat consumption.
It’s no secret that the meat industry is wreaking havoc on the environment, so reducing consumption is only a good thing. Even if you don’t want to stop eating meat completely, reducing your consumption like this is a great place to start.
Instead of seeing it as a major sacrifice, try to seek enjoyment from the chance to explore new cuisines and cooking styles. There is an incredible selection of different foods, tastes, and dishes that you will have never tried.
In fact, some of the best food I have ever eaten has been meat-free.
4. Use LED light bulbs
You may have already adopted this point without knowing it. LED light bulbs last a long time, and they are far more efficient too. That means less waste, less power use, and they even produce a nicer light.
Halogen energy-saving light bulbs were a nightmare – I think we can all agree on that. Waiting for your bulbs to warm up was inconvenient, and saw many opting out from using them.
Luckily, LED light bulb technology was not far away. Now they’re readily available everywhere – head into your local hardware store (or even supermarket) and switch your bulbs.
Hopefully you’ll see your energy bills drop – and need to change fewer bulbs in the future!
5. Get your food shopping delivered
This is incredibly convenient, saves you a huge amount of time, and is better for the environment. Instead of having everyone driving their own cars to the supermarket, you can have your food come to you!
Previously, this would mean your food coming packed in single-use carrier bags. However, shops such as Asda and Sainsbury’s have now changed this so that plastic bags are not used (in the majority of cases).
Personally, I would rather spend my time working on other things than wandering around the supermarket trying to find obscure ingredients. It’s much more convenient to have someone pick and pack my groceries for me.
6. Wash your recycling
Did you know that a lot of unwashed recycling is diverted to the incinerator or landfill? Processing plants will reject batches of recycling that are too dirty to be processed.
So, before throwing your yoghurt pot in the recycling bin, give it a quick rinse out. This is a very quick and easy change of habit that makes a massive difference.
What easy changes have you made to live green?
Let us know in the comments of any other quick and simple changes you’ve made to your lifestyle.