Do you want to live more greenly and do your bit for the environment? You might think that involves a lot of effort but it doesn't! Here are a few simple ways to improve your lifestyle by living more greenly.
Get a recycling bin
This is one of the most simple ways to be green. A separate bin for any paper and card means you can either take it straight to your local recycling centre. Or, if your council provides a recycling bin, you can put it straight outside for the bin men to collect. Don't ignore that recycling bin!
These bins from The Green Office are for paper and cans.
Get a compost bin
If you don't already have a compost bin or heap in your garden then you should get one. Not only is home made compost great for your plants, but you're cutting down on the amount of waste that gets thrown away when it could go to good use.
You should also get a little bin with cornstarch liners for your kitchen. Put all your food waste, vegetable peelings etc. in there then add it to your garden compost heap when it's full.
If you don't have a garden then you can either donate your compost to a community garden or some councils will come and collect it for you.
Keep yourself healthy
If you can keep yourself healthy that could mean fewer trips to the doctors and less money spent out on medicine. For example, if you have pet or dust allergies then you should take a look at air purifiers. These little machines eliminate pollutants, dust and pet fur from the air. They can also keeps nasty chemicals at bay.
Fewer allergy symptoms means you don't have to drive to the supermarket to buy anti-histamines as often. The same goes for any illness. Make sure you eat well, exercise and think about your health.
This has been a bit of a craze over the last few years. Upcycling is taking something you no longer use and turning it into something you will. This could be turning an unfashionable tea set you'd never drink out of, into a shabby chic plant pot or a broken camera lens into a cool mug.
Escama Studio has a number of ideas for turning ring pulls from cans into beautiful crocheted pieces of art.
It's not practical for everyone to have solar panels on their homes and windmills in their back gardens. However, that doesn't mean you can't power your home in an environmentally-friendly way.
Many electric providers now offer green tarrifs. I've just switched to a 100% green tariff with LoCO2, a small company with UK call centres. The price per unit is roughly the same as what we were paying with EDF on their normal tariff.
Donate your clothes
If you have unwanted clothes, don't throw them away! If they are worth something you can sell them on eBay so someone else can get use out of them. If they are good quality but you're not worried about money, give them to your nearest charity shop.
Or, if you don't want to hassle of finding somewhere to donate them to, go to your local recycling centre and pop them in the clothes bin. They'll do some good elsewhere and won't end up in landfill.
The same goes for furniture. Generally, it costs money for a company to take your old sofa a way when they bring you a new one. So they will charge you -- often quite a lot -- and it'll still only end up in landfill.
There are plenty of charities out there who would love to have your unwanted furniture. Most will come and pick things up for free but some may ask for a donation.
Emmaus is a charity that works to help homeless people get back on their feet. Your old furniture could help furnish a new home or it could be sold in one of their shops, making valuable money for them.
Please let me know if you have any other tips on green living in the comments!