I’ve always been a bit of a tree-hugger. I was the kid that believed there were fairies at the end of the garden and that the trees could talk if only you listened hard enough. Ever since I started learning about climate change at school and since taking more control of my lifestyle as an adult, I’ve been searching and investigating more and more ways to lessen my own impact and learn how to be more eco-friendly.
It’s a journey I’ll forever be learning more about but I find striving to be more and more eco-friendly to be really rewarding. I make switches whenever I can and I’ve trained myself to be more aware of what I consume. In doing this, I’ve not only become more eco-friendly, but I also save a lot of money and have a lot less clutter! Here are 46 ways to be more eco-friendly.
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” – Theodore Roosevelt
- Buy biodegradable
- Buy recycled products
- Switch to a search engine that plants trees when you search!
- Go paperless
- Opt for paperless interactions with companies like your bank
- Encourage your workplace to go paperless
- Ask for email receipts in store
- Say no to plastic
- Think straws, unnecessary packaging, plastic bags, etc.
- Some take-away places will even let you bring your own food packaging to cut down on waste!
- Fix it, don’t throw it
- Take reusable coffee cups, water bottles, bags, etc, with you everywhere!
- Shop consciously
- Research the brands you use regularly and see what their policies on the environment are
- Make fewer impulse buys – wait a few days and see whether you really want and need something before you buy
- Use public transport, bike or walk instead of driving whenever possible
- Buy things second hand
- Try charity shops, thrift stores and boot sales
- Use online sites like eBay and Depop
- Opt for more natural fibered clothes like cotton over polyesters
- Conserve water
- Turn the power off!
- Unplug power strips and devices when you’re not using them
- Use lights and heating only when you need them
- Swap to renewable energy
- Have solar panels installed
- Switch to an eco-friendly energy supplier
- Swap to LED light bulbs (they’re about 80% more efficient than halogen and will last a lot longer!)
- Check your cleaning products
- Use ‘green’ cleaning products
- Dispose of waste correctly
- Avoid harsh chemicals wherever possible
- The 3rs (in that order!)
- Reduce: Overall, reducing the number of things you consume is the best way to ensure they don’t end up in a landfill and is also the best way to keep our lives free of clutter.
- Reuse: Can you DIY that shirt back into fashion? Would that chipped mug make a good plant pot? Try to come up with creative, but useful ways to reuse your old things.
- Recycle: If you can’t get any more use out of something, recycle it, give it away or pop it in a charity bag
- Invest in eco-friendly appliances
- Insulate your home
- Only use your dishwasher and washing machine when it’s full!
- Using the dishwasher once a day is also better than washing up multiple times
Beauty & bathroom:
- Check your beauty products for microbeads (these are tiny bits of plastic that end up in the ocean)
- Use your beauty products up before buying a new one
- Bathroom swaps
- Recycled/tree-free toilet paper
- Bamboo toothbrush
- Reusable cotton rounds
- Electric razor
- Eco-friendly period care (I have a whole guide on menstrual cups, but period pants are also a great switch!)
- Bamboo reusable makeup remover pads
- Try making your own beauty and cleaning products!
- Switch to shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bars – ditch those plastic bottles!
- They might seem a little pricey, but they last a lot longer than bottled alternatives.
- You can also get toothpaste tablets, which I’m curious to try
- Start a vegan diet or add some vegan meals to your week! Did you know that meat and dairy production is responsible for 14.5% of climate-changing gases, more than all forms of transport combined?
- Buy groceries without plastic
- Buy loose fruit and veg and bring your own reusable bag for them.
- Find out if you have a local zero-packaging shop. They’re not everywhere (and driving hours away is probably counterproductive!), but they’re slowly making their way into the market.
- Use a microwave instead of your oven
- Meal prep your meals in one go and use the microwave to heat them up throughout the week
- If that doesn’t fit your lifestyle, focus on making larger portions so you have to cook less frequently
- Align your cooking times with whoever you live with, so the oven doesn’t have to heat fully again
- Have your groceries delivered
- One van delivering multiple peoples’ groceries is much more efficient than multiple cars heading to the shop
- This will help you cut down on impulse buys, saving you money and reducing food waste!
- Buy local and seasonal
- If something’s grown in the UK, but it’s out of season, it’s likely come from a big factory farm where they use lots of power to grow your produce in artificial environments
- Cut down on food waste – Did you know that 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year?
- Meal planning can help you make sure you use up everything you buy!
- Compost your organic waste
- Grow your own veg, fruit, herbs – anything you can!
- Try these eco-friendly kitchen products!
- Opt for looseleaf tea – many teabags contain plastic
- Switch your coffee machine out for a french press (I’m biased but it might even taste better too)
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, nor is it a checklist. Going green can seem intimidating and like there’s a ‘correct’ way to do it, but really it’s just about us each taking the steps we can take towards a more sustainable way of living. The most important thing you can do is become more aware, from there you’ll start to notice areas of your life that can be improved yourself and make the changes that are best for you and the planet.
If you have any other tips or swaps, make sure to share them in the comment section!
Here’s to saving a pretty world. Love, Ella-Rose xx