Here at Earthlium, we are helping our users to live a green lifestyle by offering an incentive scheme that rewards users for their green transactions. You can sign up here to become a founding member and be part of our early stage beta test. You can also visit our home page here to learn more. Continue below to read our full blog post on “green lifestyles”.
“Be Clean, Go Green”, “Love Earth – Go green”, “Be earth friendly”, “Think Green – Live Green” and “Being green is staying clean” are just some of the popular slogans heard today.
But what does it all mean, and does making dramatic changes to our lifestyle actually help save the planet? And what does “going green” actually mean?
Going green essentially means being environmentally friendly. A very simple strategy that can make a world of difference is to reduce pollution. Moreover, one of the key components of reducing pollution is recycling, which is easier than you might think, especially when you understand the basics.
Materials such as plastic can be recycled and reused, rather than being thrown away and ending up in a landfill. Even food waste can be recycled through composting. This enables food scraps that would otherwise be thrown away, to be utilised as fertiliser!
Apart from understanding and using the different coloured bins, how do we know what is recyclable and what this means in terms of environmental impact?
What are the different types of recyclable materials?
- Plastic – Plastic recycling is the process of recovering scrap or waste plastic and reprocessing the material into other useful products. These products can sometimes even end up in completely different form from their original design. For example, this could mean melting down bottles originally used for soft drinks and then casting them as plastic tables and chairs!
- Glass – Glass is ideal for recycling as none of the material is degraded by normal use and time. There is no limit to how many times glass bottles and jars can be recycled. By using recycled glass in manufacturing, the industry can help conserve raw materials and ultimately reduce overall energy consumption.
- Paper – Paper is a 100% natural and recyclable resource made of wood fibres. Recycling paper has several great benefits as it saves wastepaper from piling up in people’s homes and producing methane as it breaks down over time. What’s more, because paper fibre contains carbon, recycling keeps the carbon locked up for longer, keeping it out of the atmosphere. Recycling paper waste is also one of the most important steps for creating new paper and any other products made from cardboard.
- Rubber – Rubber recycling refers to a process whereby used tires get processed for new use. This process of recycling rubber is not only great for the environment, but also helps produce useful products, such as rubber mulch for playgrounds.
- Food – Food recycling is a great option for dealing with food wastage. Any household can do it as there is almost always some degree of food waste, i.e., eggshells, banana skins and tea bags. All this can go towards making a compost heap, which is a great way to reduce landfill, and our gardens will flourish!
These are just a few examples of how we can contribute to a greener planet. The decisions we make can have an extremely positive impact on the future of our home.
Recycling not only keeps rubbish out of landfill, but it reduces our need for new raw materials, conserves energy, reduces pollution and promotes a healthier home for our children.
What is meant by Green Lifestyle?
A green lifestyle is defined as any action or activity that results in a positive impact, to any degree, on the environment, such that the planet can continue to function and support life for future generations to come.
By putting a green lifestyle into practice, we can substantially reduce or even eliminate toxins and poisons from our environment, as well as reducing and eliminating poor and destructive habits. So selecting a green lifestyle will not only have a positive impact on the environment but is also an excellent life choice.
As the global population and rates of consumption increase, a green lifestyle can no longer be a thing of the past but must become a new way of life. Luckily for us there are many ways we can go about adopting a green lifestyle.
How do you live a Green lifestyle?
Although our planet’s present state may seem to be a little on the bleak side, there are a lot of positive things to focus on. In recent years, more and more companies are creating products that make it easier for us live a green lifestyle. Everything in our daily routine from cars, clothing, light bulbs, utensils, bedding, cleaners, and even straws are now designed and created with environmental issues in mind. With the help of these simple products, we are not only able to address global pollution, but also conserve water, energy, and precious natural resources. The convenience these products provide make it easier than ever to live a green lifestyle.
So how can you live a green lifestyle?
Here are a few tips…
- Check out your local second-hand shops! Shopping for second-hand products works perfectly for clothes, furniture, other equipment and tools, so give it a try before buying something brand new.
- Lower your fuel consumption. This may seem an obvious one, but it is also indeed a vital one. Our cars need fossil fuels to work, and these fuels are not only a limited resource, but also contribute to some of the biggest greenhouse gas emissions. So why not think about other options of getting to work and back? Perhaps public transportation, walking or hopping on your bike!
- Try to reduce energy and water consumption. Sometimes it is the simplest of things that can help. Like, whenever you leave a room, be sure to turn the light off. You can also look into installing solar panels or maybe go for energy efficient light bulbs that are a lot more eco-friendly than your standard bulbs. To save water, make sure you only turn the tap on when water is needed. And for anyone wanting to go that extra mile, instead of depending on your water systems, you can try to collect rainwater and use it for gardening and agricultural purposes.
- Recycle and reuse. This practice has become easier to do over recent years and helps us adjust our mentality when it comes to waste. Whenever you have to throw something away, think twice about it and see if you can reuse it, or give it to someone else, or even leave it at your local second-hand shop. If it’s no longer useful or has outlived its time, you can always look for recycling centres that might be happy to have it.
By thinking outside the box, viewing your options, and picking up some positive habits, you’ll be helping to save our planet and will be living a green lifestyle before you know it!
What are some examples of green living?
What is green living in practical terms? Well, the idea is to consider how your actions have an impact on the environment and to think about it as often as possible. Often the biggest change can be made by altering just a few habits. Although we may not need to completely change how we live our lives, by making these small adjustments, we can make a big difference over the long term.
Here are some examples of green living:
1. Cut down on meat consumption and try to buy locally sourced produce. You might be surprising to hear, but the truth is that eating meat is generally considered unhealth for the environment. Why? Because its production involves high amounts of pesticides and fertilizer, fuel and water, and its distribution via transportation releases greenhouse gases into the air. Although you might want that Argentinian steak, it might be a good idea to enjoy what you find in your local butchers, or even better, opt for the locally sourced vegetarian or vegan options.
2. Save water! By taking shorter showers, ensuring your taps are working properly and using eco-friendly washing machines and dishwashers, you´ll be green living.
3. Turn down your heating! Conventional heating creates up to 50% of our utility costs. And although the thought of reducing our bills is most appealing, our heating also contributes to 441 million carbon emissions annually according to research. With a little time and research, we can significantly reduce adverse ecological effects by using electric heating appliances and popping a warm jumper on.
4. Save on plastic by using a water filter. This will cut down dramatically on plastic waste. To give an idea of how the common plastic bottle is impacting the environment, one should consider:
- Plastic wastage contributing to overflowing landfills,
- Production of plastic bottles requires high amounts of fossil fuel; and
- Plastic bottles are filling our seas and oceans
5. Use natural products when cleaning. The bottle of cleaner that magically gets rid of all bacteria, limescale, dirt, grease and whatever may be the answer to your cleaning prayers, is also full of toxins. Cleaning agents can be bioactive, with consequences ranging anywhere from mild to severe. Many cleaning products can contain harmful chemicals that have detrimental impacts on the environment. So, make your own! It is absolutely possible and safe. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon are among popular ingredients that can be used to clean anything from countertops and kitchen workspaces to toilet bowls and even your washing machine.
What are the benefits of living green?
Although changing our lifestyle isn´t always easy, the benefits are well worth the effort!
Living a green lifestyle really does benefit you and your family in many ways. The green lifestyle can also be really fun, and ultimately, will make you happier and healthier in the long run.
Some of the benefits may even surprise you.
Did you know that by making your house green, you could increase the value of your property by 3-5%? That’s a big deal! That´s because green implies better insulation and work, properly sealed windows and doors, tight ductwork, efficient cooling and heating, co-friendly lighting and other appliances. Over time, all of these things should also lead to a reduction in the cost of our gas and electric bills.
Purchasing green products is another choice we can all make to help with living green lifestyles. Their packaging is also designed to reduce their environmental impact and typically avoid the use of materials such as plastic and rubber, replacing it instead with recyclable materials that can be reused.
Living green can benefit us all on a monetary level, a personal health level and of course an environmental level. By making changes and acting on issues such as recycling, reducing pollution, nature conservation as well as plant and tree cultivation, we will create a much more sustainable world for us all, as well as for future generations to come. It is an undeniable fact that if we don’t start to think more about the environment and its preservation as a part of our daily lives, we will undoubtedly see the consequences all over the world – a world very different to what we know today.
We can see that living a green lifestyle has a huge and positive impact on our personal lives and for everyone around us. The more obvious environmental benefits of living green mean there is less of a need for costly services and repairs associated with pollution and climate change. For example, it is estimated that global warming impacts alone will cost taxpayers $1.9 trillion annually (in today’s dollars) by the year 2100. That’s not to mention the space it will save, allowing us to grow plants, trees and produce that will accelerate our transition to a sustainable way of living. There are also the less obvious benefits of living green, including helping to stimulate the wider economy. For example, a growing recycling industry creates opportunities for exciting new start-ups and businesses which in turn create employment opportunities. These businesses and employees pay taxes which can be spent by governments on social services, or even to promote newer, greener technologies. A great example of the latter is the new Rolls Royce mini nuclear reactors that recently received £450 million in funding from the UK government.
To summarise, many people pollute the environment without realising, however, if everyone adopted a green lifestyle, we would stand a better chance at combatting issues like global warming, a rapidly changing environment as well as deforestation. The affects go far beyond what we can see, for example aquatic animals are being suffocated by the vast quantities of plastic floating in our oceans (269,000 tonnes per square mile to be exact).
There are so many reasons to live a green lifestyle, both for the planet as well as yours and your family’s health. You might have to go a bit out of your way to achieve it, but the outcome will be well worth the effort. So take the plunge, think about the future and enjoy the green lifestyle!
By Melanie Deans
Published: 16 November 2021