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Eco-friendly made easy

  • Published at 06:11 pm September 13th, 2018
WT_Sept 13, 2018
Photo: Pexels

Simple tips and savvy swaps to help you go green

With the passage of time, researchers have been able to identify aspects of our everyday life and items of regular use that contribute to the degradation of our planet. The 3Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - are more than a string of three words and time has come that we go further than just turning off the lights when we leave a room. 

Becoming more eco-friendly means making more conscious choices as a consumer. Adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle can be overwhelming if we don’t know where to begin, but it doesn’t have to be. The truth is, we can have significant positive impact on the environment with just minor tweaks to our lifestyle.

Here are a few simple tips to get you started:

Aqua light 

Reducing water waste can be as simple as turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, leaving it on has just become an unconscious habit. Speaking of habits, we tend to wash our clothes after only a single wear - not only is that horrible for the environment but it’s actually bad for our clothes too. Why not do Mother Nature, and ourselves, a favour and wait until they’re actually dirty? 

Little drops of water add up to gallons over the course of time, so consider calling in a plumber to check and repair leaky taps and pipes around the house. Try trimming your time in the shower down to 5-7 minutes; you’ll be just as clean without wasting those extra liters.

Light bulb moment

Fight phantom energy drain by unplugging electronic devices when not in use. Many gadgets and appliances - such as phone chargers, TV sets and computer monitors - draw power when plugged into an outlet whether or not you’re using them. This is electricity you aren’t consuming, and although it may sound trivial, it adds up over time.Photo: Pexels

Keep the water heater off until you actually need it. The next time you’re replacing bulbs, opt for LED bulbs or compact fluorescent lights instead of incandescent ones. Energy conservation helps you just as much as it helps the environment. Don’t take our word for it though, follow these tips and you’ll see the difference it makes in your electricity bill. 

Home refresh

Commercial cleaners involve lots of harmful chemicals - in their manufacture, use and disposal. Consider using a DIY multipurpose cleaner, they’re insanely easy to make and so much better for the environment. All you’ll need is a spray bottle (glass preferably), vinegar, baking soda and a few drops of citrus or lavender essential oil and voila you’re done.

Green up your space by adding a few plants to your home, they’re easier to maintain than you’d think and they work great as air purifiers. Plants such as aloe vera, money plants and areca palms remove toxins from the air and lower the levels of indoor pollution by improving air quality. To help with the initial setup, you can use an app like Plant Life Balance that suggests plants and shows you how it meshes with your interior. 

Consider growing your own fruits and veggies too while you’re at it. You can even compost food scraps to use as natural fertilizer. Not only does that reduce the amount of waste you dispose, but it also helps keep your garden green - it’s a win-win!

The last straw

Photo: BigstockPlastic has snuck its way deep into our lives, making it seem impossible to go without it. However, there are simple steps we can take to minimize our plastic footprint. Make a pledge to say no to plastic straws and you’ll soon realize how unnecessary they are. While you’re at it, say no to plastic utensils too - they fill up landfills with their brittle worthlessness. Replace plastic Tupperware around the home with glass or stainless steel ones, and try to avoid purchasing items that come in plastic packaging as often as you can. 

Instead of buying packaged water bottles, carry a stainless steel or glass bottle with you everywhere and refill as needed. Don’t take a plastic bag for items you can carry in your purse or backpack. The next time you go grocery shopping, take your own bag with you. Customize your shopping experience with an adorable tote or a sturdy jute bag and keep them in the back of your car so you don’t forget.