Living Greener in 2017

The end of any year is usually the time of summing up, thinking about our actions during the last twelve months and whether we’re satisfied with the results. It’s also the time of resolutions, wishes, and new plans that could make our lives better. This year, let’s look at the bigger picture and find ways to improve our planet’s health as well as our own. If you’ve decided to live greener in 2017 but don’t know where to start, here are some tips that will help you improve the quality of your life, and preserve the environment.

Ditch plastic

Despite the fact that it’s practical, plastic is extremely harmful for the environment. It takes approximately 1,000 years for a plastic bottle to decompose, and during this process it releases dangerous toxins straight into the ground. Those harmful chemicals later end up in our food and can cause serious health problems. To minimize the negative impact of plastic, consider switching to reusable water bottles, like the ones made of stainless steel or aluminum. These bottles may be slightly more expensive, but they are worth the investment as they last long and provide you with safer water. You can also opt for reusable shopping bags or handmade totes.

Think minimalistic

A minimalist lifestyle seems very hard to achieve in the midst of the shopping mania we’re constantly surrounded with. You need to stop and think about how much of the items you own you actually need. You can start living minimalistic by changing some aspect of your life, whether it’s your clothing, everyday objects in your home, or simply cleaning a cramped room. Don’t succumb to the shopping frenzy and think carefully before you buy something.

Save energy

Control the amount of energy you use by implementing energy efficiency upgrades into your home. Experts from Ygrene advise using LED lighting and plugging your appliances into power strips that immediately turn off when the appliance isn’t in use. Consider washing your clothes in cold water to reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the water. Additionally, drying your clothes on a line and not in a drying machine, or insulating your hot water tank to spend less energy on water heating will cut your energy bills.

Save water

Pollution has significantly reduced fresh water supplies, so we need to engage in all possible actions that will help save water. Reduce the amount of water you use by taking shorter showers. Also, consider installing low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. They don’t cost much, and will immediately lower your bills. If you have a garden, consider planting plants that can endure drought and don’t need excessive watering. You can also make use of rain by building rainwater catchment systems and use the collected water for different things like irrigation, indoor heating, or even drinking.

Healthy transportation

Cars use fossil fuels that poison our atmosphere. Help the environment by opting for greener ways of transport like cycling, or walking whenever possible. Physical activity will help our body stay healthy as well. Once the cold weather sets in, taking a bus or carpooling are cheaper ways of transport that help minimize pollution.

Get rid of chemicals

Most of the chemicals used for cleaning contain toxic materials that are harmful for your health. Get rid of hazardous cleaning products and start making your own. This way you’ll save money and make your home cleaner, and a safer place for your family.

The beginning of every new year represents a fresh start for all of us. Use this opportunity to make your life greener, and do your best to contribute to a healthier planet.