Image credit: Kyle MacKenzie
As people across the world are slowly waking up to the fact that humanity’s activities are harming the planet to a terrible extent, the need to live green, off of renewable, environmentally friendly products, is at the forefront of the minds of many. There’s lots of ways you can go green, and many aren’t as painful or life-changing as one might initially think. Here are a variety of tips that will help you take the weight of the world off your shoulders, for good!
Saving energy is the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint; the amount of carbon that your activities release into the atmosphere; and will also likely save you a rather substantial amount of money due to lower energy bills. The most obvious one is not to use your central heating as much, donning a thick jumper when you’d otherwise dial up the thermostat. If you must have it on, don’t turn the heat up too high- you’d be surprised at how quickly a house heats, even when put to around 20 degrees Celsius. To keep all that precious heat inside your home, invest in double- or triple-glazed windows; breezes will no longer sail through your home, and as a result you won’t have to keep reheating your house every few hours!
Saving water is also a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Bathrooms and indeed most of the plumbing in our dwellings nowadays are based upon concepts of waste removal that have gone unchanged since the 1930s. Grey water, basically all of the water one uses that doesn’t end up flushed down the toilet, all needs to be treated and made safe (or, if you’re local authorities are lazy, drains into a waterway or the sea), using tonnes of CO2 through the energy needed to process the water, and millions of litres of chemicals which often pollute surrounding areas. We can’t all afford to redesign our houses, so merely taking short showers, installing low-flow showerheads, and popping faucet aerators on your taps can all drastically reduce the amount of water, heat and money that you go through!
Recycle everything you can in your area; cans, paper, cardboard, plastics; the more we recycle, the less resources we must dig up and use via manufacturing. Even big things such as mattresses and furniture can be recycled. For the former, services such as bedstar’s recycling service exist- no more trips to the dump!
Finally, you should really think about going vegetarian, or at least drastically cut down your meat intake. This doesn’t mean you have to go completely without meat, but the food carries with it some shocking effects. Animal rearing takes land away from crop production, not a huge issue in itself, but when one realises that these animals are fed by crops, a viscous cycle emerges; for every 5 pounds of beef, 20 pounds of feed has been used to create that protein matter, through feeding the animal crops (feed crops take up one third of all arable land, by the way). Animals also release huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas that is around 20 times more potent than CO2. Vegetables simply grow, take in CO2, and are eaten, contributing no nasty gases to the atmosphere!