Overcast Forest
An overcast road through a forest. Image obtained with thanks from Jakub Kocja on Flickr.

We’re all becoming more aware of the impact we’re having on the environment, and it’s not unusual for people to look for ways in which they can live a greener life. There’s so much information available it can be difficult to know where to start. For some, small steps are required in the beginning while others are happy to invest heavily in a more eco-friendly life.

The choices you make depend on a number of different factors, for example, where you live, your budget, what resources are available around you and many others. A one-size-fits-all solution isn’t available, so you have to weigh up the options. Here are five things you might want to consider.

Reuse and Recycle Household Products

When you’re doing your weekly grocery shopping, look for products and packaging that can be reused or recycled. Take a look around your home, and you’ll probably find a range of different items you could reuse rather than leave them cluttering up your living space.

When you next have a clear out try to recycle and reuse as much as possible. Old clothes, furniture, and appliances can be put to good use rather than ending up in landfill. A range of household items can also be recycled if you’re stuck for ways to reuse them. They include junk mail and cards, books, shredded paper, ink cartridges, disposable plates and cups, CD and DVD cases, cardboard and household batteries.

Use Renewable Energy in Your Home

Investing in renewable energy is an excellent thing to do. The initial investment can be quite high, but you’ll be able to get back much of the cost within a few years. If you haven’t got the cash available right now, there is the option of an equity loan. Companies such as Crediful are able to help you find the best deal. Wind or solar power are both valid options for the average homeowner. You can make further energy savings by turning down your thermostat in the winter and washing your clothes in cold water. LED light bulbs are also more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs.

Walk or Cycle Rather than Drive Your Car

Let’s be honest, we all use our cars too much and while they might be a necessity for some journeys there are many you could walk or cycle. Take that quick dash to the store because you’ve forgotten something, or when dropping your kids off at school. There’s also the option of a hybrid car, public transport, and car-pooling.

Starting a car-pooling scheme in your place of work is easier than you think. There are probably a number of other people who would love to get involved. There are enterprises that have made car-sharing their business, such as Uber and Lyft but it is possible to organize it yourself. If you needed any more reason to start one up other than the fact that you’re saving gas, money and the environment don’t forget about the freeway carpool lanes to help speed up your trip.

Stop Buying Bottled Water

Bottled water is bad for the environment for a number of reasons. The average American drinks more than 35 gallons of bottled water and numbers continue to go up. While it might be convenient when you’re parched and need a drink, the water you’re drinking is contained within a plastic bottle that has been manufactured from oil. An incredible amount of carbon dioxide is also given off during the production process. Next to plastic bags, plastic bottles are the most prevalent source of pollution in our oceans and on our shores. Disposable plastic bottles and cups also end up in our rivers, lakes, and countryside.

Another reason for ditching your bottled water habit is that it’s really no safer than drinking tap water. The healthiest option if you want to make sure you’ve always got water available is to use a reusable water bottle and fill it up from your own tap before you leave home.

Eat Less Meat

Did you realize the huge impact eating meat has on the environment? Scientists are now saying that the biggest way to help the planet is to eat less meat. This is due to methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, deforestation to make way for livestock, pollution of streams, rivers and the ocean. You don’t even have to give up meat completely, just cut down and eat it maybe once or twice a week rather than every day.

Adopt these five ideas, and you’ll be able to sleep soundly at night knowing you’re doing something to protect the environment.