Looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact in 2021? Here are 6 simple but effective ways to make your lifestyle more green.
1. Go Solar
Want to make a big difference in your fossil fuel consumption? Switch to solar and rely on clean, free energy from the sun to power your home!
In sunny locations like Western Australia, solar power is a reliable source of electricity that can cut your carbon emissions significantly. Not to mention, energy from the sun is free and solar power installation will save you from the rising costs of non-renewable electricity.
Not sure if solar is right for your home? Get in touch with your local solar power installer – most of them will offer a free solar assessment to help you determine if solar power is a viable option for you.
2. Cut Out Single Use Plastics
At the end of 2020, the WA State Government announced its plan to ban a number of single-use plastics by 2023. These include cutlery, plastic plates, thick plastic bags and polystyrene food containers.
Why not get a headstart and cut these items out of your lifestyle now? There are many other single-use plastics that can be swapped out for more sustainable options. Here are a few ideas:
- Water bottles. Carry a reusable glass or stainless steel water bottle with you wherever you go.
- Bring cloth shopping bags and reusable cloth produce bags to do your grocery run.
- Invest in a reusable coffee cup or opt to dine in rather than take out.
- Cut out the plastic containers and switch to natural, bio-based bar soap.
- Get a set of cutlery and stainless steel straws that you can keep in your bag when you need them.
3. Buy Local
There are so many reasons to buy your food and other products locally. Not only are you supporting someone in your community, but you also reduce the distance the products have to travel. Cutting down the kilometres that products have to travel reduces their environmental impact.
Buy your groceries directly from the farmer at a farmers’ market – the produce will be lovely and fresh too. Consider buying gifts from local artisan stores and boutiques that sell locally made products. Opt for Australian made clothing brands and feel great about supporting the local workforce as well as reducing your environmental footprint.
4. Choose Natural Ingredients
Did you know that the ingredients found in many common household products are bad for the environment? Harmful chemicals and microplastics can be found in everything from sunscreen to shampoo, dishwashing liquid and toilet cleaners.
A simple way to make a positive change is to swap out these items for natural, eco-friendly options. Look for brands that use natural ingredients, avoid petrochemicals and choose non-toxic, biodegradable packaging where possible.
5. Source Secondhand Items
Before you head to the shops to purchase a new couch, television or laptop check online secondhand marketplaces like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace. You can also try second-hand stores, vintage stores and op shops.
Chances are you’ll be able to find something nearby that costs a fraction of the price you’d pay for a new product. But the price isn’t the only benefit – buying second hand is better for the environment. You reduce demand for new products and save existing items from ending up in the landfill.
6. Repurpose Before Tossing
Before you throw something away take a moment to consider if it could be used in a different way. There are many items which can be repurposed and given a new life instead of going to landfill. Here are a few ideas you can use at your home:
- Food scraps. Compost them! Composting is really easy and has amazing benefits for gardens.
- Glass jars. Organise your pantry or office with glass jars or use them to display flowers.
- Old clothing. If it’s not good enough to donate, cut your old clothing up into cleaning rags.
- Old toothbrushes. These make a great scrubbing brush for hard to reach places in the bathroom.
- Old furniture. Try repainting, fixing or reupholstering furniture to give it a new life.
There you have it – 6 great ways to be kinder to the environment in 2021. What changes will you be making this year?