So you’ve figured out recycling but buying a plot of land to start an organic farm feels a little beyond you? Do you already know to unplug your appliances when you aren’t using them but don’t see a tiny home in your future?
Here are some intermediate eco-friendly changes to do your part without giving up your entire life.
1. Take out your carpeting.
Some carpets release harmful gases that hurt you and the planet. Replace your rugs with eco-friendly brands or embrace hardwood floors.
2. Try composting.
You don’t need a garden or even a backyard to re-purpose your food scraps. Use this guide from Eco Watch to get started!
3. Make your own cleaning supplies.
You’ll save money and skip on the toxic fumes and plastic waste that comes from buying bottles of chemicals at the store. Try recipes like these from Good Housekeeping.
4. Learn to sew.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but learn to sew buttons back on and to repair holes. You’ll be able to keep your clothes for longer even after minor tears or damage.
5. Learn to be handy around the house.
Washing machine broken? Leaky faucet? Refrigerator making a funny sound? Try and fix it! You’ll save money on repairmen and new appliances and you’ll produce less waste. There are lots of websites with step by step instructions to help even beginners fix almost anything.
6. Start a kitchen herb garden.
Plenty of herbs are happy to grow in a little pot on your windowsill. Research what will grow best based on your gardening skills (mint and basil are pretty easy) and get some little plants at your local hardware, grocery, or home and garden store. You’ll save money, spice up your palate, and save the energy used to grow, refrigerate, and transport the herb packets you’d buy at the store.
7. Eat less meat, especially red meat.
The production of meat, especially red meat, is really rough on the environment. Studies show cutting back on meat is even more important than cutting back on driving in terms of environmental impact. You don’t have to go totally vegan, just try taking a vegetarian/vegan cooking class or buy a meatless cookbook to expand your meat-free recipe options. Alternatively, try giving yourself a limit, like having beef only once a week.
At the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do unless corporations and governments decide to make the environment a priority.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it to adjust your lifestyle and help normalize more eco-friendly ways of living. If nothing else, you definitely save money!