Learning how to live an environmentally-friendly life means living in a manner that is cohesive with the environment or eco-friendly. It literally means that you are living “earth-friendly” or in a way that is in no way harmful to the environment. This generally means that you most likely are using products and participating in practices in your lifestyle that contribute to ‘green’ living which in turn helps to preserve resources for the earth such as energy and water. The products that you use will also reduce the occurrences of pollution of the water, air, and land.
As people living on this planet, we have an obligation to make certain changes to our lifestyle in order to help ensure a much more sustainable future for those who come after us. It really isn’t that exhaustive of an effort for any one person to put in. The changes are actually quite subtle yet powerful. It starts with an intention of being centered on living with a focus on keeping your part of the world clean in the way in which you particularly interact with it. It exceeds merely the notion and goes further into the actual acts of being the influence in your community as far as how they behave as well as the businesses in the area and then down to the individuals themselves.
Learning how to be more environmentally friendly means much more than just turning off a light when you leave a room or dividing the garbage from what needs to be recycled, it is a matter of changing the entirety of the way in which you live your life. It is a way of life, a lifestyle.
What Does An Environmentally -Friendly Lifestyle Mean
Learning how to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle starts with becoming mindful of each action that you take and the choices that you make in your life and how it is affecting your surroundings. These three levels will begin your journey into becoming eco-friendly.
- What you consume affects the planet. You need to watch every aspect of how you are living and make sure the things that you are doing cause the least amount of harm to the earth.
- Figure out what your carbon footprint is and then make a concerted effort in reducing that footprint as much as you possibly can.
- Join forces with other eco-friendly people who are striving to make their communities as environmentally sound and sustainable as is possible. Doing it one community at a time until eventually everyone is doing it.
The very first step in learning how to live a greener life starts at home with an immediate change in the way that you live and consume in your life. That would dictate the driving conditions that you habitually use, the types of packaging that your products are housed in, how your garbage is disposed, and how natural resources are being implemented in your home.
Next, you need to determine the carbon imprint that you hold, something that may or may not be transformable, e.g. if you live in a house or if you have a need to drive a vehicle or if you hold a particular type of job. Is it possible that you can lessen your footprint on the environment?
The last of the three levels is actively getting involved with those around you in the community who are working towards a more sustainable, eco-friendly neighborhood, businesses, people. This is not always easy for people to get used to because it takes away a lot of the modern conveniences that people in this day and age have become so reliant on. It becomes a difficult adjustment.
How The Modern Lifestyle Impacts The Environment
Once you have decided that living eco-friendly is important for you and your family in order to do your part for the planet, there are many changes that need to be made to the way that modern times have us programmed to handle our everyday activities which greatly affect our footprint. You’ll need to take a look at every moment of your day to get yourself on the right track to living a proper eco-friendly lifestyle.
- Hierarchy of Waste. 1) Reduce 2) Reuse 3) Recycle. You want to reduce what you are producing as far as waste is concerned, what you are consuming, reducing the amount of waste that is generated. Reuse the packaging when you are through with the contents for other purposes as opposed to throwing them out. And, of course, recycle which is nothing that we haven’t been saying for years. Things like plastic, aluminum cans, glass, paper that can be made into other things.
- Conserve. There is a lot of energy necessary in order to produce electricity and fresh water. There are very subtle changes that will save a ton of energy such as turning off the lights when your not in a room or the TV, using the proper type of insulation, fixing leaks, using the max in daylight, purchasing different types of devices that are energy efficient, installing windows on the home that are efficient with energy. All of these things will greatly reduce the amount of energy that you consume.
- Plant. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there is a dire need for more trees on the planet. They provide so much as far as timber, oxygen, fruit, control flood, prevent eroding soil, shelter for our wildlife. The forest areas have been greatly decreased over the last few decades by great percentages due to massive scale deforestation. Environmental groups are working tirelessly to educate people on the need to plant more trees in an effort to clean up the planet and make it more eco-friendly. If you own a home and have the ability to plant trees, this is a way in which you can contribute.
- Protect Water Resources. Seepage into the groundwater of various hazardous wastes such as ammonias, oils, paints and many other chemicals happens quite frequently when people dump these things out in their yards or in the water system. This type of material should never be disposed of in this way. The way to stop this is to join one of the groups in your area for water conservation and protest the people responsible for these acts.
- Energy efficient. Five-star energy rating products are going to consume much less energy and be much more environmentally friendly due to their proven energy efficiency. Traditional bulbs will burn 40% more energy and last 10 times less than a CFL bulb.
- Produce. Buy products that have been grown locally which will greatly reduce the impact that you have with your footprint as there will be less likelihood for them to use plastic bags, save gas when going to a local market, and less packaging on free produce, and there is usually too much so you can offer the extras to friends and family.
- Litter. Litter comes from all kinds of different sources and it is disgusting, whether it be from a home, building site, industry, pedestrian, uncovered vehicle, someone driving. This has a major impact on the environment as well as the wildlife that lives there and those who come to tour. As the people who live in whichever country you live in, it is your responsibility to keep your part of the world clean and make sure that your kids have that same lesson instilled into them.
- Buy smart. You should always try to find a recycled symbol when you purchase items from a store for your home which will show that you’re responsible and care about the environment. Remember to carry a tote bag when you go shopping so that there is no need for plastic bags to be used for your purchases that could potentially end up in the landfill at some point in time.
- Join. Participate in groups within your area that are based on environmental issues to prevent pollution. Protecting the planet is everybody’s responsibility and to go out and advocate for that end should be everyone’s desire. This helps to educate those who may not otherwise know of ways that they can do their part to clean up their areas and may serve as the motivation that they need.
Replacing Transportation For Walking And Cycling
Living the eco-friendly life could take some getting used to for people as there may be disadvantages as far as letting go of conveniences that some have become used to in the modern age like maybe fast food restaurants or certain kinds of luxuries that aren’t environmentally suitable like fancy gas guzzling vehicles. One of the biggest savings that you can give to the environment is driving. The more that you conserve in this way, the better you become as far as living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. You may need to have a personal vehicle to get from home to work. But the idea is to buy something that is eco-friendly and find other means when it’s really not necessary to have to drive. Walk. There are so many benefits to walking not only for the environment but as far as health and there are many social benefits of walking if you choose to do it with a partner. No one holds conversations in real time anymore. We're always texting or on FaceTime. This is an opportunity to really grow your bond while very easily reducing your carbon footprint by not driving. If your office is close home, walk. If that’s not possible, take public transportation or develop a group of coworkers who are able to carpool together in order to save gas. You could even ride a bike and get exercise while saving the planet.
Benefits of Cycling To Work
The benefits of cycling to work are fantastic for the planet as you’ll be saving fuel every day. This is a significant decrease in your carbon footprint. The really great thing is you’ll also be gaining health benefits of cycling everyday especially cardiovascular health. Cycling is among the best cardio activities making for a very strong heart and overall body.
The Impact Of What You Eat And The Environment
This is a tough one for some people to contend with as so many are used to the fad diets or eating all kinds of things that are not suited for a healthy environment and that would include meats and dairy. The pollution that exudes with the natural resources being consumed in order to raise the livestock to produce these types of foods is enormous and gets worse every day.
Eco-Friendly Diets To Try
The fad diets zooming around the world as far as keto or paleo or Atkins are all bad for the environment. Most are protein-based, high fat meaning meats or dairies. The types of diets that most should be trying to implement into their life should be plant-based, either vegan or vegetarian minus the dairy. Many ponder the question do vegetarians live longer than carnivores and really you’ll get a different answer depending on which doctor you ask. Meat, fat, dairy, starch are going to raise cholesterol and impede the heart functionality, raise blood pressure, cause weight gain. Again, though that's dependent upon who you ask, what diet you choose and how the creators of that diet come to their logic for the health benefits of that diet. Some doctors swear by keto which is meat based and terrible for the environment but will this person live longer than a vegetarian? Some doctors back it. Who knows?
If your community is not up with being eco-friendly yet, start them on it. Begin the group and suggest that there be a community garden. Start the neighborhood on swap meets and ask that there be farmer’s markets set up. You would probably be surprised at how many people probably are on the same wavelength but just never knew how to get the ball rolling. You will make it much easier for the entire community to actively participate in cleaning up the neighborhood along with their personal residences.
Once you begin to learn how to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, you won’t be able to tolerate the world around you that isn’t.