Living an environmentally conscious lifestyle can make a huge difference to reducing global warming. There are many different ways that you can contribute to a more sustainable way of living, and below we will explore five of the best eco-friendly lifestyles.
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Eco-Friendly Lifestyle 1: Going Vegan
A green lifestyle that is becoming increasingly popular is veganism. Most people associate going vegan with eating a plant-based diet. In fact it is much more than that. It is a complete lifestyle approach. The central premise is ‘to do no harm’ to any other living animal:
“Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”Vegan Society
From the definition you can see that a plant-based diet excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs and honey. There are many reasons why people choose to go vegan, such as ethical concerns for animals, environmental sustainability and improved health. A vegan lifestyle has a number of health benefits, as well as reducing your impact and helping to save the planet. Check out the Vegan Society video below that provides a summary of the main aims of being vegan.
Eat less meat
Of course, you don’t have to live the complete vegan lifestyle, you can make smaller but significant changes like eating less meat. The meat industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, so by eating less meat (and dairy products), you can help to reduce your carbon footprint. There are plenty of delicious plant-based recipes out there, so it’s never been easier to make the switch to a more eco-conscious diet.
Related article: Being eco-healthy
Eco-Friendly Lifestyle 2: Zero waste
Another lifestyle change that you could adopt is zero waste living which is closely aligned to the circular economy. This involves making a conscious effort to avoid wasting any resources, whether that’s food, water, energy or manufacturing materials. There are many different ways to achieve zero waste living, such as:
- avoiding single-use plastics
- choosing eco-friendly products
- minimizing your food waste.
By adopting zero waste principles, we can a number of harmful activities such as reducing the amount of harmful chemicals leeching into the ground from waste. Check out the video below – amazing the Carter family make almost no waste!
Of course, not everyone is able to achieve a full zero waste lifestyle but there are small changes that could have a huge impact on reducing waste.
Ditch single-use plastics
One of the simplest and most effective ways to live a zero waste lifestyle is to ditch single-use plastics. From straws and coffee cups to shopping bags and water bottles, single-use plastics are a major source of pollution and waste. By avoiding these items and opting for sustainable alternatives, you can significantly reduce your impact on the planet.
There are other actions such as buying pre-loved clothes or avoiding clothes made from synthetic fibres. Choosing products that can be reused or are biodegradable such as bamboo toothbrushes can help reduce the plastics going into the ecosystem.
Related article: zero waste guide
Eco-Friendly Lifestyle 3: Homesteading/ self-sufficiency
Closely related to zero waste living is another environmentally friendly lifestyle known as ‘home steading’ or being ‘self-sufficient’. Both of these terms are just another way of referring to off-grid living. The great thing with homesteading is that you can do as much or as little as you want. You can just focus on growing your own food and sharing that food with others in your neighbourhood.
This is a perfect lifestyle for those that want to get away from towns and cities and be more self reliant. A self sufficient lifestyle can be one that involves completely removing yourself from the grid and generating your own energy, water or food. The type of considerations you need to think about for living off the grid, include:
・ installing solar panels to generate your own renewable energy
・ collecting and storing rainwater for your daily needs
・ growing your own fruits and vegetables or keeping chickens to provide fresh eggs.
This lifestyle certainly reduces energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions!
The numbers of people adopting this type of living is increasing daily because it is a more natural way of life and helps you save money. Your daily life would change completely as you would need to be more mindful about food and energy. For example, you would need effective waste management processes particularly if you decided to keep livestock.
Grow your own food:
Whilst living off the grid is an ideal for some, it certainly isn’t possible for all of us. That being said, small actions like growing some of your food at home can make a difference. There are various systems for growing food in small places. You’re unlikely to be able to feed yourself completely but even growing some tomatoes and lettuce on a window ledge can reduce your food costs. You never know, it might inspire you to start a small allotment to grow more food!
Eco-Friendly Lifestyle 4: Minimalism
Minimalism is another lifestyle that can help you to reduce your carbon footprint. This involves living with less stuff and only using items that have a purpose. By living with less, you will consume less energy, water and other resources.
Not only does this have a positive impact on the environment, but it can also simplify your life and help you to focus on what really matters. If you’re interested in minimalism, try starting with small changes like decluttering your home or opting for eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics like a reusable coffee cup. With a bit of effort and commitment, you can live a greener lifestyle that is good for the planet and good for you too. We picked Kay who discusses living a minimalist lifestyle:
Kay’s video highlights that changing to a minimalist lifestyle can be good for you emotionally but also financially too. Taking time out from consumerism can help you with working out what’s important in life and help the environment too.
Decluttering is key to being a minimalist. Like most of us, we collect ‘things’ over time. However, our circumstances change due to life events so living minimally could help with adapting to the changes in our lives.
Eco-friendly Lifestyle 5: Sustainable living
This involves making a conscious effort to protect the planet and all its resources for future generations. This option combines elements from other eco friendly lifestyles so the overall aim is to reduce your impact across a number of areas in your life. We picked Immi’s video because we like her chilled explanation of sustainable living:
Immi makes lots of good points about habits – they are key to building a sustainable lifestyle.
Living sustainably might be difficult to do for a number of reasons but as we have said before, even small changes can make a big difference. There are many different actions you can take to living more sustainably, including:
- using natural cleaning products
- conserving water by taking shorter showers
- reducing your energy consumption by using energy-efficient appliances
- composting your food waste
- recycling or reusing items instead of throwing them away.
As with all lifestyles, there are a range of changes you can make that contribute to the wider effort of reducing our impact on the planet.
Other eco-friendly lifestyle changes
Most of us will take something from each lifestyle to suit our own. For example, we keep our electronic devices for as long as possible.
You might want to concentrate on particular areas of the home. For example, you may want to reduce kitchen waste or want to use only green cleaning products.
If you want to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle, it’s important to try and drive less. Not only will you be saving money but you’ll be helping to improve air quality too. Cars are a major source of pollution, so by walking, biking or taking public transportation instead of driving, you can help to reduce greenhouse gases. Air quality is a major concern in the UK so driving less is great (if viable).
In an ideal world we would all be using electric cars but even electric cars impact the environment, so driving less is the only real viable option for reducing our impact on the planet.
Conserve energy and water
In addition to driving less and eating less meat, it’s also worth considering water and energy conservation around the home too. This can be done by taking shorter showers, turning off lights and appliances when not in use and using eco-friendly cleaning products.
related article: How to make your home eco-friendly
Minimising Your Use of Technology
Another lifestyle change that can make a difference is minimising your use of technology. Many of us are completely dependent on our devices, from smartphones and laptops to TVs. Using items one at a time and not using a laptop, watching the TV and playing with your mobile can reduce your consumption of electricity. So you save money and save the environment at the same time! Keeping your gadgets for longer, rather than updating them for the latest version can also reduce pollution.
Support eco-friendly businesses
One final way to live an eco-friendly lifestyle is to support eco-friendly businesses. By choosing to shop at Earth-friendly retailers and purchasing green products like eco-friendly skincare and clothing, you can help to push the eco-friendly movement forward and encourage more businesses to adopt eco-friendly practices.
Did you know personal care products contain toxic chemicals? Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) not only contribute to air pollution but there is evidence that repeated exposure disrupts systems within our body. By choosing natural, environmentally friendly products, you keep toxins out of the eco-system. Some green products may cost more but that is because cheap goods contain unnatural products that impact your health.
Another activity that has grown in popularity in recent years is eco-tourism.
This means making choices in your everyday life that are environmentally friendly and have a positive impact on the planet. For example, using avoiding air travel by using public transport as much as possible.
There are many eco-friendly choices you can make when it comes to travel, such as:
- choosing eco-friendly accommodation
- offsetting your carbon emissions
- taking part in eco-tourism activities
- supporting local businesses.
Eco-friendly travel is a great way to reduce your environmental impact while also supporting sustainable development.
Overall, we feel these are the best eco-friendly lifestyles but there are other green lifestyles that you can adopt in order to help save the planet. Whether you choose to go vegan, reduce your use of technology, or opt for zero waste living, there are plenty of ways that you can make a positive impact on the environment. By adopting one or more of these eco-friendly lifestyles, you can live a more sustainable lifestyle.
What lifestyle changes have you made already? Let us know in the comments below!