December 08, 2020 3 min read

If you've committed to being less wasteful this year, you may feel that you have to make several overwhelming changes to your lifestyle. Starting a new habit can be scary and stressful if you're not sure where to begin. However, being more eco-friendly often involves making small adjustments to your lifestyle before you take on bigger changes. Here are five simple ways you can be more eco-friendly this year.

Eat Less Meat

You may not have thought about this, but consuming less meat makes a significant difference in the environment. Over 30% of the surface of the Earth is used for the raising and feeding of livestock. A United Nations study asserts that livestock makes up for 9% of the carbon dioxide that comes from "human-related activities" and produces much more greenhouse gases, which can be toxic. Tending to livestock generates 65% of the nitrous oxide that comes from and affects humans. Nitric oxide has 296 times the GWP or Global Warming Potential of carbon dioxide.

Reducing the amount of meat you eat is a crucial step in reducing the emission of harmful gases that can damage the environment. If less livestock are being bred to produce animals for meat, we'll be able to enjoy more land for recreation. You can fit this eco-friendly tip into your lifestyle by eating one meatless meal a week or eating more seafood than red meat.

Buy the Right Light Bulbs

The next time one of your lightbulbs go out, choose eco-friendly bulbs, such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL). CFL bulbs can last for up to five times longer than regular lightbulbs and use much less electricity. CFL lightbulbs are also brighter than traditional light bulbs so you may be able to use fewer lamps or light fixtures in your home, which can help you conserve energy.

Start a Compost Bin or Pile

Compost bins are becoming trendier in the U.S. because they allow you to reduce waste by reusing items you would normally throw away. Compost piles also save you money to allow you to enhance the growth of your garden plants. You don't have to buy expensive compost from the local plant nursery. If you want to maintain your garden, start a compost bin today so you can nourish your soil and grow healthier plants.

Use Reusable Shopping Bags

More stores are offering an alternative to plastic or paper bags. Canvas bags are a little more expensive initially but will save you money in the long run and are great for the environment. Canvas bags are stronger than paper or plastic and allow you to carry more groceries. These bags are also great for carrying important supplies to and from work or school. If you still have lots of plastic bags in your home from previous grocery store trips, you can reuse your plastic bags as trash bags or take them to your nearest recycling center.

Recycle More and Use Less Paper

Our society is driven by technology. You may go a whole day or even a week without writing something down with a pen or pencil since you can simply put the information on your phone or tablet. When you don't use as much paper, you'll be saving more trees from being cut down. This is beneficial for the forests since the trees often serve as homes and food sources for small animals. Trees also help improve our air quality, so we need as many of them as possible.

It's also beneficial to recycle the paper products you use. Use a recycling bin to hold paper plates, cups, bowls, and scrap paper you use daily and arrange to have the items taken to your nearest recycling center. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) asserts that recycling a short ton of paper saves about 17 fully grown trees. Over 40% of solid waste products from municipal areas are plastic and paper products. Recycled paper and plastic products take less energy to create, which is why recycling and using recycled products is a great way to be eco-friendly. Methods like rotational molding are often used to repurpose plastic materials and make them acceptable for public use again once you've recycled them.

Keep these simple tips in mind as you make small adjustments to your daily routine. You'll find that you'll feel better for doing your part to make the world's environment healthier for you, your family, and the generations to come.


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