Being eco-friendly isn't about drastic change and massive overhaul. It's not about spending loads of extra money in the hope of making it back someday. It's not about sacrificing how you live your life. It really can be done with just a few small changes that you'll barely notice.
Use e-paper instead of paper-paper
There's plenty of noise going around all the time about saving the rainforest and not wasting paper, and there are plenty of simply solutions you can make to your lifestyle to make sure you don't use as much paper. Nowadays, every person and their dog uses their phone nearly non-stop throughout the day. We're never apart from them, so play that to your advantage by using e-tickets wherever possible. They can be used for anything from cinema tickets to train tickets to plane tickets to even parking tickets now. There are even shops that will text a receipt for whatever has been purchased straight to a mobile number associated with the card that paid for the thing. It even extends as far as keeping all your bank statements online instead of coming through the post, using e-books instead of paper ones and paying your bills online. These are small changes and small differences in that moment, but should add up to drastically affect the environment. So, use your smart phone to its full effect and use e-paper instead of paper-paper ones.
Boycott The Beads
Over the last few months the microbeads that are present in many different products we use every day have become infamous. These tiny pieces of microplastic cause loads of damage to the environment by being eaten by sea animals, causing huge damage to the food chain as the microbeads are found in there millions and millions and millions. It's become so bad, that organisations like Greenpeace have called for organisations to 'ban the bead'. Well, while a legislative ban on microbeads may be some way off in the horizon, people's boycotting of microbeaded products would go a long way to reducing their destruction of the environment. They're found in a vast array of products in the U.K alone, so look out for products that contain mircrobeads in the form of polyethylene and polypropylene. Boycott the beads leads to banning the beads which leads to a safer environment, and changing your shampoo is a tiny price to pay for that.
Saving Energy at Home
Our homes consume a huge amount of energy, just through the activity of us having to live there. Don't worry, this lifestyle change doesn't involve building bivouacs and living off roots and berries. Quite simply, embrace the mentality of putting on another jumper before reaching for the radiator. Taking that approach works really well. In addition, be a bit smarter about when your heating is on during the winter months. If you're not there or you're asleep, do you need your heating on? Play with the timer so that it comes on and off at strategic times in the day. It'll save you money and save the environment.
Despite the advances in hybrid and electric car technology, petrol and diesel cars are still widespread. So far, the newer technology hasn't been good enough to surpass the older models. There's no need to trade in your petrol car just yet, as many people believe that it's not the type of car you drive that makes it efficient, it's the way you drive it. Taking steps to make your petrol powered car run as efficiently as possible does save money, can extend the life of the car and prevent you from having to trade it in for a brand spanking new electric one that you can't drive in the rain because it stops. Driving at a steady speed and lessening the need to brake can make your car more efficient. As can not using the air con, driving with the windows up and streamlining the car a bit, as well as lightening the load carried around in the boot. Now, no-one's asking you to go all Top Gear and strip the car back to its skeleton in order to make it lighter and more efficient, but it does pay to be more mindful of how you drive. It's not saving the environment, but it surely would slow down its rate of decline, hopefully long enough for some truly game changing technology to replace petrol powered cars.
Obviously there are a million and one little changes you can make, so for the sake of time and space, some of the simpler and smaller ones are bullet pointed here...
• Keep your freezer full, it works more efficiently
• Use a reusable water bottle, instead buying more bottled water
• Take reusable bags to the supermarket instead of getting plastic ones
• Take the stairs instead of the elevator, it's good for your health and the environment
• Be strict on recycling, it goes a long way
• Turn off your computer and monitor when you've finished with it
• Start and use a compost pile
• Keep plenty of plants in your house
• Use rechargeable batteries
These are just a few, many you will have heard of before, but it really can't be stressed enough how easy these are to fit into your everyday life. They benefit your day-to-day life and the wider environment, there's no down side.
By Guy Bezant - Online Journalism Intern
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