If you have been following the news, the fires blazing across Australia and the images of wildlife fleeing from the flames may have made you think about global warming, the greenhouse effect, and your own carbon footprint longer and harder than ever before.
Those of us who live in big cities often feel more helpless about going eco-friendly than those who are lucky enough to be surrounded by greenery instead of concrete. However, there are certain things you can do in the city to make the world a less polluted and grey space. Here’s our list:
Trying to live greener? Here are 9 things you can do in the city to make the world a less polluted and grey space.
1. Buy yourself a reusable coffee cup
Some of the best things about living in a big city are the coffee and breakfast options. However, if you buy your coffee every day in a disposable cup, you’re doing nothing but paying however many dollars for it to end up in a landfill.
Why not buy a cute reusable mug you can take with you instead? You can get a personalized one you’ll love to flaunt, and you’ll be able to use it for anything from coffee and hot chocolate to tea and soups.
2. And buy a reusable water bottle as well
On the same note, if you get a reusable water bottle, you won’t have to buy another plastic bottle ever again, and you will be saving the planet along the way.
But do make sure you get one you actually like and will want to carry around – because having one you don’t use is nearly as bad as buying a new plastic one every day. Well, not nearly, but you get the idea.
3. Don’t use straws, or use metal ones
Straws are another item you come across at the coffee house that should have no room in your life. They only get used once, you don’t actually need them, and you can easily replace them with a metal alternative, if you absolutely need one.
4. Carry a tote bag with you
Another small investment you can easily make is buying a tote bag you will use to transport anything and everything from the shops and markets. With a trusted tote under your arm, you’ll be able to refuse to take any form of plastic or paper bag at all.
While paper bags are a bit better for the environment, producing them still consumes a lot of energy, so a simple tote can go a long way in helping the world.
5. Wear sustainable and eco-friendly brands
Another great thing about living in the big city is the option of shopping from brands that are 100% sustainable, that manufacture their items from recycled materials, and that are as eco-friendly as they can possibly be.
Instead of turning to fast fashion brands, invest a little bit more into a piece of clothing you can wear for longer, and that is classic and timeless enough to be worn for longer than a fad item.
6. Skip the cab and public transport
While taking public transportation is definitely better than driving your own car or taking a cab, the best thing you can do is either walk or ride a bike, as there is no greener way to travel.
If you need to cover longer distances and travel a little bit faster, you can also opt for an electric bike. The great thing about these bikes is that they’re eco-friendly and certainly less taxing on your body than pedaling yourself.
7. Turn off the lights
We’re all guilty of leaving the lights on every now and then – which can slowly add up to quite an expense, both to your wallet and to the environment.
Start by swapping out your regular lights for LEDs. Then, instill a habit of turning off any lights you don’t actually need. These efforts will help reduce the amount of energy necessary to power your home, which is a vital contribution to making your home more eco-friendly.
8. Turn the water off
Another thing many of us are guilty of is leaving the water running when showering, shaving, brushing our teeth, and so on. You wouldn’t believe how much of an impact turning the tap off will make on the planet. Remind yourself to turn the water off every time you don’t need it, and it will soon become a habit.
9. Check your fridge and pantry
Another thing you can do to become more green is to stop buying too much food on each grocery trip, and actually use what you have in your fridge.
When you buy fruit or veggies you may not be able to use before they go bad, freeze them and use them at a later date. When cooking, try to make a bit extra and freeze a meal, so you can reach for it when you don’t have time to cook. This especially goes for things like pasta and rice, which you can easily prep ahead using the same amount of energy you’d need for a smaller portion.
Don’t make the mistake of believing your little bit is not enough. Every little bit counts, and saving the planet is up to all of us – not just the big consumers.
Guest post by Hannah Thomas
What are your favorite green living tips?
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