Living environmentally friendly no longer equates to wearing fisherman’s pants and eating lentils for dinner every night.
It’s been a few years when the so-called ‘inconvenient truth’ of our global warming crisis hit the mainstream. Many of us jumped to attention and started making immediate changes to the way we live. But are we still paying attention to living sustainably? Here’s how to add a shade of the conscious colour to your world.
7 Ways to live environmentally friendly lifestyle
1) Energy usage
The first step to reducing your carbon emissions is to learn how much energy you are actually using. Start with determining how much energy your household is using by looking at your power bill or by using a simple power meter. Reduce your consumption wherever possible. When you’re not using your appliances, turn off the power at the wall; wash the dishes with your hands, dry clothes with lines and buy appliances that are energy efficient. You will see the difference in your energy bill, and the environment will reap the benefit.
It may be more convenient (and cheaper) to buy imported goods that are frozen and canned but these kinds of foods usually contain carbon emissions, pesticides and high preservatives. So best to go down to your local farmers market and buy fresh organic food in your supermarket instead. The food will surely tastes better and can lasts much longer. Your environment and your body will appreciate you for it.
More than one-quarter of the food we purchase ends up in landfill. Composting your kitchen waste is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint as well as reduce landfill waste. If you have a large enough backyard, grab a composting bin or start a worm farm. For those city dwellers, try a Bokashi Bin. It is an odourless, indoor composter that will ferment all of your kitchen waste. Also, use one hundred percent bio-degradable cornstarch rubbish bags so your waste breaks down quicker in landfill.
4) Water usage
There are a number of inexpensive water saving devices that could help reduce your household water consumption. Limit your showers to four minutes with a shower timer, and use flush and flow restrictors and a Hughie Sink that hold the water that would otherwise travel straight down the drain while you wash your vegetables or dishes.
You have heard of ‘recycling’, but have you heard of ‘upcycling’? Upcycling is a great way to create, rebirth and relive some of your oldest treasures. Use your creativity to upcycle those vintage finds for Christmas presents or birthday gifts.
Most modern buildings and homes are lit up with hungry halogens that chew up energy and produce a large amount of heat. Using replacement LED downlights can conserve up to ninety percent in energy and lower the lighting component in your electricity bill significantly. They appear just as smart and can last for a very long time.
7) Solar power
We have the world’s most renewable clean energy source and there are some nice small gadgets that use this power and ease your life as well. There is a portable solar charger called ‘Solio’ that can charge your phone, iPad and other handheld devices and you won’t have to use your wall charges ever again. Solar power or small scale wind power can generate a significant proportion of your electricity from renewable resources and these can easily be installed on your roof. You can also switch to ‘Green Power’ with your energy provider.