The environment needs our help—with rising global temperatures, massive deforestation, and pollution threatening our civilization, everyone needs to do their fair share to help curb climate change and the degradation of our planet.
A lot of people think that living an eco-friendly lifestyle is incredibly difficult and requires big lifestyle changes that are just too much to ask for anyone who’s already stressed with maintaining a solid work-life balance. But actually, you can be eco-friendly by making only a few minor changes to your daily routine.
Here are 7 lifestyle changes to help you become more environmentally conscious.
1. Cut Back on Red Meat
It’s no secret that Americans are hooked on beef and steak. Here’s the problem with our insatiable obsession over red meat: in order to meet the demand, a massive amount of cows are slaughtered each day all across the country. When cows are killed, C02 from within their bodies is released into the atmosphere—it’s harmful to have large amounts of C02 entering the atmosphere because the gas traps heat on Earth and contributes to global warming.
If you want to help cut C02 emissions, just cut back on your red meat consumption. You don’t have to cut meat out altogether—just reduce your intake and opt for white meat, like chicken and fish. White meat is a healthier eating option, anyway.
2. Use Less Water
Rising temperatures are evaporating important water supplies from lakes and rivers. But even if climate change weren’t happening, the world’s tremendous population growth has put a strain on available water supplies. Some countries, like South Africa, have actually run out of usable drinking water and had to import it from elsewhere.
There are a few things you can do to cut back on your water consumption. First, try and take shorter showers. Ideally, most of your showers should take no longer than 5 minutes (you might want to buy a shower timer for your bathroom).
If you have a lawn, you should consider cutting back on how often you water it. That, of course, may lead to a dead lawn. Consider replacing your lawn with artificial grass or with desert landscaping if you live in an arid climate. Some states even offer tax incentives for replacing your grass lawn.
Lastly, cut back on your consumption of soft drinks. Soft drinks require a lot water to produce. Not only are they not healthy for you, but their production reduces the amount of water that’s available for more important things, like plumbing.
This is an easy one: recycle. You can easily recycle plastic bottles, cans, glass, and cardboard. Consider getting a recycling bin for your home, or store your recyclable items in bags and take them to a recycling center (you can get paid out for your contributions). Most parks and offices these days have recycling bins, too, so you can always use those if you’re not able to recycle at home. Recycling is truly one of the most hassle-free ways to practice environmental sustainability.
4. Use Public Transit
Automobiles are another huge contributor to harmful emissions. Instead of driving everywhere, consider using public transit when you’re able to. Again, you don’t have to use public transit exclusively—that would be very difficult in states that don’t have very good public transit systems. But if you’re able to take a bus, train, or bike to wherever you’re going, you’ll be doing your part in reducing emissions caused by cars.
Public transit can actually be more convenient than using your car—for instance, when you use public transit you won’t have to worry about parking your car at the airport, or limiting your alcohol intake when you go out so you’ll be sober to drive home.
Some people feel apprehensive about using public transit when they’re travelling alone or in a foreign country. Use some of our eco-friendly travel tips to give you peace of mind when traveling afar, ensuring that you’re doing your part to save the world while exploring it!
5. Avoid Plastic Products
Last, but certainly not least, try and use fewer plastic products. Some types of plastic products can be recycled, but others are nondegradable and wind up polluting the soil or the ocean (plastic is a real menace to sea turtles).
One of the easiest plastic products you can cut are plastic straws. Plastic straws are really unnecessary to have, and yet they’re responsible for a tremendous amount of plastic waste. Consider getting a reusable straw, instead.
You can also cut back on using plastic bags when you go to the grocery store. Opt for reusable grocery bags and keep a heap of them in the trunk of your car so you’ll always have them available when you go shopping.
That wasn’t too hard, was it? With just one or more of these small lifestyle changes, you can make a hugely positive impact on the environment.