Three Easy Ways To Live A Greener Life

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Autumn is often a time to take stock of your life. If you’re a parent, the children might be back at school, giving you time to reflect on your goals and values. At this time of year I often get emails from people who want to know how to live more sustainably. They might not have much time, but they are willing to make a few simple changes.

Here are three ideas which will help you avoid overwhelm and take action:

Be Mindful Of Your Food

More and more research shows that by reducing the amount of meat you eat, its better for the environment. This doesn’t mean you need to turn vegan overnight. A simple switch to taking part in meat-free Mondays will get you started. If you’re up for a bigger challenge early next year, there is an annual ‘veganuary’ where you can try eating less meat for a whole month. But start with just one day a week and find some meals you enjoy. Or switch the focus on your plate from the meat to the vegetables. Many people base the meal around the meat, why not switch things up and have the meat as the side portion and hone in on the vegetable part – you’ll likely feel much better for it! Plant sources of protein are abundant, so reducing meat consumption will not necessarily leave us short of protein. Just try new foods and broaden your horizons. Try to waste less food and think about using sustainable companies such as Ellers Farms Distillery.

Use Paper Less And Recycle More

Our society is increasingly dependent on technology and computers which is both good and bad for paper usage. If you’re opted for a paperless home office then that’s great. But our computers also make it much easier to be wasteful with printing. An easy swap is to ask yourself whether or not you really need to print something. If you do, then set your printer to print both sides and use an eco font that uses less ink. Then, ensure that any paper you do use gets recycled at the end of its life. According to the EPA, you can save 17 mature trees by recycling one short ton (0.91 t) of paper. It takes less energy to create paper through recycled and used sheets than by creating ‘virgin’ paper. Recycling is easy and one of the best ways to live green. And of course, be sure to close the loop by purchasing recycled paper when you next need to buy some! You can even contact your utility companies and banks and opt for paperless.

Use Canvas Bags Instead In Place Of Plastic

One of the first things we did on our own green journey was to stop using plastic bags from the super markets. Instead we used canvas bags. These are great because you can make them yourself from old bed sheet or tee-shirts (see Morsbags for a brilliant tutorial)plus you can wash them with your regular laundry. The fold up small, so you can keep one in your bag, car, desk drawer or pocket, so that you’re never without one! A plastoc ‘bag for life’ needs to be used 100 times before it has environmental benefits and many of them simply don’t last that long, whereas cloth bags can keep going for years. We still have some in use from back in 2008.

Let this be the year of positive change. Turning off a light when you are leaving a room is easy. Additionally, living eco-friendly will save you money! So it’s a win-win!