Most of us have probably wanted to go green, but the billion-dollar question is, where do you start?
In a recent study, 93% of respondents in the US and Australia admitted to being generally concerned about the wellbeing of the environment. This much-needed shift in priorities has led many to adopt various sustainable switches and adjustments to better the environment.
While meaningful changes must come from governments and businesses, there's equally so much you can do at home to ensure that our earth isn't completely depleted of its vital resources. By slowly incorporating more eco-friendly practices within our daily lives, we can make a tremendous change for our precious planet.
Here are five low-effort sustainability switches which could make a big difference in conserving the environment.
We should brush our teeth at least twice a day, so surely it makes sense to do it in an eco-friendly way. If you are looking to go green, you should find something that involves zero-waste ways to keep your teeth clean.
Up to270 million toothbrushes were sold in the US in 2020 only. Of course, very few to none of those toothbrushes are recycled and they end up on our oceans.
One alternative is bamboo toothbrushes. Bamboo is easily renewable and is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet. Additionally, no chemicals nor pesticides are required for its growth. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush could be the first step towards going green.
Additionally, you can ditch your normal plastic toothbrush for a replaceable head toothbrush. This one enables you to replace the head by simply removing it from the handle. The handle itself is 70% bioplastic and can be reused for years to come.
This may look like a small step but it can go on to achieve bigger things once it is in full swing.
Laundry detergents are almost always packaged in plastic, and they often contain harmful chemicals that can affect your skin. Finding an alternative that can do the job without plastic and chemicals will be a welcome reprieve.
Instead of getting your detergents from the store, you can always make your own detergent at home. As hard and complicated as it may sound, it is an easy task that requires just three ingredients. The ingredients are castile soap, baking soda, and essential oils such as lavender.
There are three simple steps to making the detergent. Dissolve the soda in very hot salty water, grate the castile soap into the mixture then add essential oils for fragrance. After that, you can close, label, and store until it’s ready for use.
Another eco-friendly laundry tip is air-drying your clothes. Washing and drying your clothes on the dryer does more damage to the environment than you realize. A lot of energy is used to heat the water in the wash and to run the dry cycle.
It will do the environment so much good to switch to a washing hanger or get a washing line.
If you are conscious of the environment, changing your shopping habits is a major step. Switch from buying items in packets to buying in bulk.
Eliminating packaging reduces the carbon footprint. The less the packaging the less it ends up in the landfill. At home, for example, single sugar packets used for teas and coffees need to be switched to large sugar dispenser containers. When filled with sugar, these dispensers can last up to a month. Imagine the number of sugar packets, each in separate packaging, that you could use within that time.
Buying products in bulk also streamlines the transportation needed for delivery, helping to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions. According to the Bulk Is Green(BIG) Council, the emission is reduced by 48%every time a product is refilled in bulk, compared to when we buy in the traditional packaging.
Apart from saving the environment, buying in bulk also saves you money and reduces food wastage at home.
More and more people are looking for eco-friendly alternatives to items they use every day. After all, if there was an alternative route you could reduce your environmental impact without it significantly affecting your life, wouldn’t you take it?
At home, we use cutlery all the time. Most people go for plastic cutlery especially when they have many guests. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, more than100 million pieces of plastic utensils are used by Americans every day. These can take up to a thousand years to decompose, leaking harmful substances into the earth in the process.
So what options do we have? First off, bamboo cutlery is a viable alternative to plastic ones. They are easily compostable and are harmless to the environment. Another material you can shift to is edible cutlery. This is a fairly new alternative made from rice and wheat flour. They are not any different from the ordinary spoon as they stand up to everything from hot soup to ice cream.
Lawns are thirsty and require a lot of water. Shifting from lawns to growing more plants around the compound is an effective way of conserving the environment.
There has been a major movement of lush green lawns and watering them every day for a while now, but just growing some grass is not all it takes. If you live in your own home, or if your landlord will let you, you can plant shrubs and small gardens, herb gardens, and native flowers that require less watering.
You can also try growing your own fruits and vegetables in the garden. If you’re green-fingered, it's a great way of giving back to the planet and improving local biodiversity.