Reducing your impact on the planet doesn’t need to be difficult or result in any huge changes to the way you live, so today I thought I’d share some of my favourite easy ways to go green! I’d love to hear your tips as well!
Stop Junk Mail Deliveries
Receiving junk mail, catalogues and other non-addressed mail is not just frustrating for those of us receiving it, but results in a whole lot of wasted resources in its creation and delivery. Thankfully it’s generally pretty easy to stop with a sign on your letterbox, which can be picked up at hardware stores, or often from your local Council.
Cancel the Yellow & White Pages
I’m not sure I know anyone who still uses the hardcopy of the yellow & white pages directories, yet every year they are delivered to our doors (and generally that’s where they stay!). Like junk mail it represents a huge waste of paper, but you can take yourself off the list through this website, and I highly recommend you do!
Switch to Paperless Billing
While we’re on the topic of reducing paper, another easy option is to switch to paperless billing. Most phone, electricity, gas and water providers, as well as banks, offer the option to have your bills emailed to you and it can usually be arranged through their websites. Given most of us are paying our bills online these days it seems to make a lot of sense to get our bills that way too!
Sign-up to Green Power
While you’re looking into paperless billing for your electricity, have a look into the options for green power through your provider. It often costs a little extra, but if you combine that with reducing your power usage at home (and I’ll have some specific tips on that in coming weeks) then you may end up paying not much more, if anything! If your current provider doesn’t offer green power then maybe have a look around into other providers in your area (FYI I use Red Energy at home, they’re an Australian company that is 100% green power).
Start Composting at Home
Australian’s are huge food wasters, with recent studies showing we throw away 20% of the food we purchase. This is a big problem as if the food ends up in our landfill (which it will if it goes in general bins) and as it rots it releases large amounts of methane which is highly problematic for our environment. The first way to avoid this is to reduce the amount of food being wasted at home by properly meal planning, using leftovers creatively and keeping an eye on use-by-dates. Then, start putting any food scraps into a home composting system, which are super simple to set up and produce great soil that in turn helps you grow better veggies and herbs at home. Wins all round! If you’re looking for composting ideas in small spaces check out this guide, and if you’re interested in getting a bokashi bucket then you can learn more about them here!
Shop Locally & Buy Locally Grown Foods
Shopping locally means you can often head to the shops on foot, or by bike, or at the very least drive shorter distances, all of which is very helpful in reducing your greenhouse gas emissions. It also means you can support local businesses, which is not necessarily a sustainability benefit but still a good change! When shopping locally it’s also important to check the origin of the food you’re buying to ensure it hasn’t travelled huge distances to get to you, which means not only will it not be as fresh but it will have racked up some pretty huge food miles. The best thing is to eat seasonally, that way your food should all have been grown here in Australia, but always check first!
Shop at Op-Shops
Visiting your local op-shops not only means you can pick up some great bargains but it also means you’re giving the clothes, shoes and kitchenware a second (or third!) lease on life. This means all these things are not being dumped into landfill and also reduces the amount of new ‘stuff’ that is being bought, both of which helps to reduce your impact on the planet. Some of my favourite clothes and household items come from op-shops, so it’s safe to say I’m a fan!
Reduce your Plastic & Recycle what you can
Reducing the amount of plastic you bring into your home is an important first step (and you can read all my tips on that here) but it’s also vital to properly recycle anything you can. The first thing to reiterate is that you can’t put plastic bags in your recycling bins, so make sure everything is loose, rather than all bagged up. Every Council area will have different regulations about what they do and don’t accept, so have a look on their website to see what works in your local area. You can also collect up all soft-plastic (packaging from biscuits and the like) and drop it in bins at your local supermarket and they will recycle it for you.
Buy a Reusable Water Bottle
Disposable plastic water bottles are a huge problem in our environment, plus they can result in BPA ending up in your water if they are used for too long, or are left in the sun. Thankfully there are lots of great glass and stainless steel options around these days that are not only better for the environment but better for your health as well! This online store^ has some great options if you’re looking for something!
DIY Green Cleaning
Making your own cleaning products is a great way to reduce your impact on the planet, whilst simultaneously reducing the chemicals in your life and saving you money. Basically, there’s no reason not too! Luckily they are super easy to make, and if you missed them you can check out my green cleaning guides for your bathroom & laundry and kitchen & floors here!