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6 Easy Changes You Can Make to Live More Sustainably Today

When it comes to incorporating beneficial habits into your life, making changes feels even better when you make a difference in the world.  Anyone can help the planet by going green and learning how to live a sustainable life. However, not everyone knows where to start.

If you want to know what you can do, check out these six easy changes you can make to live more sustainably today. They’re simple tips anyone can use to change their routine and make it more eco-friendly.

 

 

1. Avoid Plastic Products

When you imagine easy green living, plastic waste might be one of the first things you think of.  Most people have seen the commercials where people recycle products in green bins before images of overflowing landfills cover your screen. You might have also heard about plastic trash amassing in the ocean, choking turtles and clogging the bellies of seagulls and whales.

Avoiding plastic products might feel too simple, but it makes a huge difference when you’re learning how to be environmentally friendly. Every time you avoid a soda bottle or plastic grocery bag, you keep money out of the hands of the companies that produce them.  With less demand for their product, those companies could eventually switch to greener alternatives. You then also avoid tossing those plastic things in the garbage, which keeps them out of the ocean and landfills.

 

Farmers Market
Photograph by Erik Scheel (pexels)

2. Buy From Local Farmers

Another easy way to live sustainably is to buy food from your local farmers. Check out the next farmer’s market in your area to discover all the fresh food you can try — or learn how to start growing your own.

When you buy local, you help reduce the CO2 emissions caused by transporting food across the country or around the world. Since mass food production accounts for 68% of CO2 emissions, that’s a huge help in cleaning the atmosphere.

 

 

3. Opt for Electronic Bills

It’s a pain to remember to go to the mailbox for your bills every month, so why not switch to electronic bills? Online billing is an instant way to pay what you owe and it saves you six pounds of paper every year, which keeps your trash can empty and leaves trees where they belong.

 

 

4. Check Your Display Settings

When was the last time you checked the display settings on your electronics? Your laptop, tablet and phone could all reduce their energy usage if you set an automatic dimming timer. After five, 10 or 15 minutes of inactivity, let your electronics go into sleep mode so you don’t have to recharge them as often.

 

Compost
Photograph by Sippakorn Yamkasikorn (pexels)

5. Try Composting Your Garbage

Concerned about keeping even more garbage out of landfills? Use some soil and a container to start composting your waste, including items like eggshells, tea bags and newspapers. You’ll naturally break down the waste without polluting the environment and get a homegrown fertilizer in return. Maybe you could use it to grow vegetables one day, too!

 

 

6. Make Your Own Cleaning Products

People often take issue with chemical cleaners because they lead to toxic waste runoff in natural waterways. Runoff hurts wildlife and foliage, but you don’t have to participate in that kind of pollution if you try new ways to live more sustainably.

Instead, check around your home for supplies and make organic cleaning products from things like salt, baking soda and lemon juice. As you learn how to live a greener life, you’ll find it can be just as effective as anything you bought at the store.

 

 

Start Your Changes Slowly

It’s not smart to change your entire way of life overnight — you could end up shocking your system and going back to old habits. Instead, start your sustainable changes slowly with easy steps like these. Adjusting your display settings, making cleaning products and buying local food are things everyone can do to start making the planet a better place to live.

 

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Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel is an education writer with an interest in sustainability. Read more of her work on her blog, Syllabusy, or follow her on Twitter

3 Comments

  1. Just a note- It is a good idea to use electronic bills, but it is a mistake to say this keeps the trees where they need to be. Trees that are used for paper are from tree farms. These trees are planted and harvested by the paper companies. Many are in isolated parts of the country, for example northern Maine, and the rural South. I have worked summers planting trees, to support my family while my husband was finishing up his graduate degree.

    The use of paper hurts the environment because of the pollutants that paper mills use. If you can find and use naturally made paper ( And I know it is unlikely your bills use it) using paper is a great sustainable business.

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