Looking out for our beautiful world doesn’t need to demand significant sacrifices from your time, comfort or resources. Here are our top easy ways to go green and do your bit to care for the environment.
Convenient ways to use less energy.
1. Unplug unused electronics.
2. Replace high-usage lightbulbs with energy efficient alternatives.
3. Don’t preheat the oven – unless absolutely necessary!
4. Use a laptop instead of a desktop at home.
5. When you need to replace old appliances, buy energy efficient models.
6. Use a clothesline: besides saving energy, your clothes will smell heavenly and you’ll get the chance to soak in some sun while you do your laundry!
Simple water-saving ideas.
7. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes before they go into the dishwasher.
8. Buy a water efficient model next time you need to replace your dishwasher.
9. Shower instead of bath – you can even make a habit of showering with your significant other!
10. Don’t leave the tap running while brushing your teeth.
11. Use a professional car wash service, as they’re optimized for maximum efficiency in order to save money.
Easy food choices that embrace sustainability.
12. Eat vegan meals some days, as non-organic animal farming contributes significantly to destroying the environment.
13. Start your own backyard eco garden (this is therapeutic for the soul, too!)
14. Plant herbs in garden pots. Use biodegradable plant pots wherever possible.
15. Support organic farming by buying organic produce.
Know your recycling necessities.
16. Recycle glass (it can take up to a million years to decompose naturally!)
17. Recycle newspapers – it could literally save millions of trees.
18. Recycle cellphones and other electronics to prevent any toxic fluids from leaking into the soil.
Reusable objects show that small changes make a difference.
19. Choose cloth diapers – there are some adorable and relatively convenient options out there.
20. Use old-fashioned cloth napkins.
21. Reuse gift wrappings, or get creative with eco friendly alternatives!
22. Purchase bamboo toothbrushes for the whole family.
23. Buy one really awesome water bottle and fill it up at home every day.
24. Use a travel mug and ask the barista to refill it when you buy coffee, instead of using a throwaway cup.
25. Buy second hand wherever possible.
26. Use rechargeable batteries.
27. Stock up on reusable grocery bags.
28. Use Tupperware containers instead of sandwich bags and plastic wrap.
29. Create natural play spaces for your kids outside instead of investing in an endless stream of plastic toys – outdoor play grows their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing too!
30. Don’t throw away… donate!
Going paperless cuts the clutter while benefitting the environment.
31. Cancel your junk mail.
32. Browse catalogs online.
33. If you’re hosting an event – even a kids’ party – use digital invitations and signage wherever possible.
34. Use e-tickets.
35. Pay bills online.
36. View bank statements online.
Simple strategies for using less fuel.
37. Use cruise control – it’s up to 15% more fuel efficient.
38. Buy local produce (it doesn’t have to be transported hundreds of miles).
39. Do your errands in batches, or with a friend!
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.