A decade ago, the idea of living a “greener lifestyle” was usually saved for more of the hippie type, the environmentalists out there who were hyper-aware of what kind of footprint they were leaving behind. Well times have changed, and here in Birmingham, people have never been more conscious of how they live their lives in terms of waste. Cleaning up the planet and leaving it in better condition for the next generation has now become a priority for many, which means making a variety of small and large changes in your life.
So what exactly can the everyday person who isn’t up on the latest environmental news and trends do in order to leave less of a footprint and lead a greener lifestyle? Here we’ll take a look at a number of tips, advice, and ideas that will have you feeling much better about the way you treat the environment and planet as a whole.
Make the Switch to Green Cleaning Products
One of the easiest tips you can use is to stop buying cleaning products that are harmful to the environment. Today you can find a wide variety of green cleaning products that will look after all your needs yet are biodegradable. As an added bonus, they don’t have all the harsh smells and chemicals of the traditional cleaning products, which mean they are healthier for you to be breathing in.
Use Public Transportation Rather than Driving a Car
For most people, you are going to need to do at least a small amount of commuting around the city. Whether it be to and from work, out to shops and restaurants, and just visiting friends rather than buying a vehicle, a greener option is to use public transportation.
The city of Birmingham is very easy to get around by bus, metro, train, and even on a bicycle. Each of these options will leave less of a footprint and have you feeling better about how you get from point A to B.
If public transportation isn’t going to work with your needs due to scheduling or the routes, then maybe you could carpool with others.
Swap Out Old Appliances for Energy Efficient Ones
As your appliances age, they start to become out-of-date where technology is concerned, and part of that technology has to do with the amount of energy they use. If you’ve got items that are more than five years old, chances are they are using a lot more energy than is necessary. You may want to consider swapping them out for new appliances that aren’t energy wasters. As an added bonus they will save you money on your electrical bill.
Create an Outdoor Garden
If you have an outdoor space where you live, then you can do a big favour for the environment and plant some greenery. Creating a garden allows you to give back to the earth. An added tip is to plant items that pollinators are interested in. This can include things such as Lemon Balm and Butterfly Bushes.
Depending on the outdoor space you have, you can also take your garden one step further and plant fruits and vegetables. Growing your own organic food is an excellent way to create less waste, and also enjoy a healthier chemical-free lifestyle.
Make Airport Travel More Green and Less Stressful
For anyone who has dealt with traveling out of the Birmingham Airport, then you understand better than anyone just how crowded, rushed, and confusing the process can be. The last thing you want to do is drive to the airport only to find yourself circling around for a spot over and over until something opens up. This is a complete waste of fuel, which of course is no good for the environment. Add to that the fact that it may result in you being late and even missing your flight while you circle around outside in your vehicle.
That is exactly why the Birmingham Airport meet and greet service makes so much sense for travellers. You can see options at birminghamparking.com and discover just how easy the meet and greet option can make airport travel for you. Where meet and greet differs from the typical park and ride option is that you don’t need to park your car and then wait for a shuttle that will take you to the airport terminal. Instead, you just go straight to the valet car park when you arrive where a driver will be waiting for you. They will then take your car and deal with parking while you can go ahead and check in at the airport.
Familiarize Yourself with Local Recycling Programs
Unfortunately, when it comes to recycling rates, Birmingham posts some of the lowest numbers. A recent report showed that only 24.4% of materials were recycled per household. These are some rather dismal numbers, but it doesn’t mean you have to live by them. Make it your goal to familiarize yourself with the local recycling programs and then throw yourself into taking part.
Make It a Habit to Turn off Lights
How many times have you left a room only to leave the lights on, or maybe the TV going? While this may not seem like a big deal, when you think about all the people who are doing the exact same thing, it equates to a whole lot of wasted energy. Make it habit to turn off lights, the TV, and radio when you leave a room. There is no need to leave items going if you aren’t using them.
Be Conscious of Your Water Usage
One tip that not everyone thinks about is water usage. There are a number of things you can do in your home to cut back on the amount of water you use, such as installing low-flow toilets and showerheads. These will still get the job done but use much less water.
Speaking of water usage, it’s also a good idea to examine the water you drink. Do you buy bottled water? If so you are contributing to a massive amount of waste that just keeps growing in the landfill sites. A greener option is to buy a reusable stainless steel mug/container that you can just keep refilling with water. You can then buy a water filtration system to use in your home that can attach to your tap, fridge, or may even just be in a water container that you store in the fridge. It sounds like a small thing, but imagine if everyone at least cut back on the number of water bottles being used.
Get Out and Explore the Green Space
While this tip won’t help you lead a greener lifestyle, it can give you more appreciation for nature and why it’s important to protect it. Why not get out and enjoy the various green spaces in Birmingham and remind yourself what is important.
It All Adds Up
Obviously, no one tip on this list will make a massive impact on the environment, but once you start using a number of tips and others do the same, suddenly the impact becomes much stronger and real change will soon start to happen.
What are your favorite green living tips?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.