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The ongoing climate crisis has motivated many to look for eco-friendly swaps that will reduce their carbon footprint and help them cultivate a more sustainable home.
Before we start off, I want to be clear: the majority of responsibility for the climate crisis falls to corporations, not the consumer.
But there is something to be said for individual people doing what they can to make a difference.
Every little bit helps, and if caring for the environment is one of your personal values, then following these sustainable living tips can help you feel more confident that you’re making an impact.
And, as a bonus, a lot of these things will actually end up saving you money! Another word for eco-friendly is “sustainable”, and sustainability really can be sustainable for your budget, too!
Let’s take a look at 9 easy things you can do to be more environmentally conscious.
1. Turn Off Things You’re Not Using
Did you know that most appliances still consume electricity when they’re turned off?
Unplugging appliances and electronics when not in use, like toasters, phone/laptop chargers, and TVs, is an easy way to save electricity – and lower your bills!
Some more things to turn off:
- Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth to conserve water – it doesn’t need to be running the whole time! (I’m guilty of this.)
- Keep lights off in rooms that aren’t occupied.
- If the TV’s on but no one’s watching it, turn it off!
2. Try Meatless Monday!
Vegetarianism and veganism aren’t accessible for everyone, but the trend of Meatless Monday is manageable for many.
Consciously avoiding meat (or other animal products) one day a week has a positive impact on the environment, and will often save you money in your quest for a more sustainable home!
Make Monday nights your time to try out new veggie-focused recipes. My personal favorite is chana masala (I like to play around with different chana masala recipes each time)!
3. Don’t Drive If You Don’t Need To
If you are able to get where you need to go by walking, biking, or taking public transit, you can carve a lot off your carbon footprint!
Not to mention, walking and biking are free! And public transit in most places is far cheaper than the cost of gas and maintaining a heavily-used vehicle.
These options aren’t accessible to everyone, but they can be one of the most life-changing eco-friendly swaps for those who are able to walk or bike to their destination. Good for your health, your wallet, and the world at large!
4. BYOB – Bring Your Own Bottle
Speaking of walking places… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve left the house without a water bottle, walked the mile uphill to my local grocery store, and ended up buying water for the walk back.
Imagine how much plastic (and money!) I’d save if I just took my damn thermos! This is something I’m committing to doing from now on.
Take a reusable bottle with you the next time you go out, rather than opting for a plastic bottle of water.
If you’re going out to get coffee or some other beverage, some places allow (or even encourage!) you to use your own cup. Keep a reusable bottle or mug with you when you go out, in case you decide to stop off for a drink!
Pssst! Looking for a great place to find some eco-friendly swaps for your home? Try EarthHero! 🌍
As a proud EarthHero affiliate, I highly recommend EarthHero as a one-stop shop for earth-friendly products.
EarthHero makes it easy to support ethical, eco-friendly businesses.
I love the way they organize their website so that you can shop not only by category and brand, but by your values.
Check out their wide range of eco-friendly products for a sustainable home, and be part of the impact.
5. Use Reusable Straws and Cutlery When Dining Out
Reusable straws aren’t accessible for everyone. Plastic straws are still a necessity for disabled people, so it’s important not to ban them entirely.
But if you can make the switch, or just forgo a straw altogether, that’s one simple way to make a difference!
There are also travel cutlery sets you can bring with you when dining out at fast food or casual restaurants, so you can say “no” to plastic utensils!
6. Bring Your Own Bags!
Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. This means each trip to the store could have a potentially devastating impact on the environment.
This is another one of those easy eco-friendly swaps that I’m guilty of neglecting despite owning many reusable bags. If I could just remember to bring them…
If you forget to bring your reusable bags and don’t want to buy new ones, opt for paper bags if they’re available. Or, if you can, maybe skip bags altogether!
Did you know… there are also reusable produce bags, so you can skip the plastic ones at the grocery store!
7. Swap Out Bottled Soap for Bar Soap
As indicated by some of these sustainable home swaps, plastic really is one of the biggest baddies when it comes to its impact on the environment.
Most liquid soaps come in plastic bottles, which end up in landfills if they aren’t recycled.
The great thing about bar soap is that it usually comes in sustainable, limited packaging – or is free of packaging, entirely!
It can be a little more expensive. But I’ve personally found that it seems to last longer than the liquid alternative.
Many cities have local soap shops, which means you can support a small business and save the environment!
8. Go Paperless
Most (if not all) banks these days have the option to easily switch to paperless notifications.
If, like me, you find yourself shredding bank notices without even opening them because you know you got the same account statement in an email, don’t forget to opt out of those paper versions!
In fact, if any account or membership you have with an organization has the option of going paperless instead of receiving communications via postal mail, opt for that!
It’s a simple swap for a more sustainable home and it’s actually safer, since your online accounts are password protected, while important mailed documents could be lost or stolen in transit.
9. Period-Havers: Use Eco-Friendly Period Products
One of my biggest self-care tips for people with periods is to try new period products! This can be a great opportunity for a more sustainable home.
Thing is, of course, periods are personal. What works for me, or someone else, might not work for you.
Personally, I have always preferred pads. But I’ve recently decided to try something new, and am eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first pairs of period underwear! (Update March 2022: I’ve been using period undies for a while now, and I’m a fan!)
This one can be a bit of an investment up front. But if you find a reusable period product you like, it can really end up saving you money in the long run.
BONUS: Use Ecosia!
Have y’all heard of Ecosia? It’s a search engine that plants trees!
Swap your usual search engine for Ecosia and you can help a new tree get planted with every 45 searches. According to the average number of searches a person does in a day, that’s about one tree every two weeks!
Alright, that’s about all I’ve got for ya today.
But I’d love to see some more ideas for simple sustainable swaps!
Drop your tips for eco-friendly living in the comments below.
Thank you for caring about the beautiful Earth we call home. 🌎💚
If you clicked on this article, then caring about the environment is probably one of your values. But what else do you know about yourself? Check out these 5 easy tips for self discovery!
Have a heart for travel? Stuck at home? Learn how you can go virtually anywhere… from home!
If you’re looking for other ways to make an impact, check out this list of 11 types of volunteer work to help you honor your values!
Got any more ideas for some easy eco-friendly swaps? I’d love to see them in the comments!