Hi, I’m Ryan Colson and looking after our environment is extremely important to me. Working in waste management, I see the impact of millions of tons of waste going to landfill each year, which is why, when I can, I make conscious lifestyle choices which are more friendly for our planet.
Here are some simple changes you can make in your life that will help to make the planet we all live on a healthier place, not just for us but for future generations too.
1. Eat less meat – Due to the meat industry, upwards of 30% of the Earth’s surface is dedicated to raising and supporting livestock. This industry is responsible for more harmful greenhouse gases than the whole world’s transportation systems put together. If the global demand for meat is cut down, less trees will be cut down to make land for grazing and less greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere.
2. Cut down on paper use – This again relates to the amount of trees that we are cutting down. The premise is simple, the less paper we use, the less trees will need cutting down. In cases where you absolutely have to use paper, you can make a difference still by recycling whatever paper you do use.
3. Reuse your shopping bags – One of the most wasteful things you can do when carrying out an everyday activity like going to the shops, is forgetting to bring your reusable bag and having to get a plastic one. If you get a new plastic bag everyday this can be extremely wasteful and unnecessary. Buy a strong reusable bag that will last a long time, they do not cost much but will do wonders for the environment.
4. Make a compost pile in the garden – Compost bins reduce waste as you can throw food waste on the compost that you would normally just put in the bin without thinking. Composts also help you to grow plants better in the garden. Some people buy compost but why do this when you can make your own out of your own trash?
5. Choose eco friendly light bulbs – By this I do not mean take out all your light bulbs and replace them immediately, but the next time you find yourself having to replace a light bulb – replace it with an eco friendly one. They last longer than normal light bulbs and use less electricity, saving the planet as well as saving you hard earned cash.
6. Use old cloth rather than paper towels – This one is for the same reasons as cutting down on paper use as mentioned above. If there is a spillage in your house or you are just having a spring clean, you could use an old t shirt or other form of clothing as a rag instead. This can then be washed and used again, rather than wasting paper towels.
7. Cut down on your home energy bill – There are a number of ways you can cut down on your energy use in your home, which has the added bonus of saving you money as well as the planet. For instance you could lower the thermostat a bit in the winter, unplug electrical appliances that you aren’t using, and wash clothes at a lower temperature. It can be as easy as turning the TV at the switch rather than leaving it on standy all day.
8. Borrow rather than buy – This one is again a trick that saves you money as well as the planets resources. We often waste money on things that we can easily borrow, such as renting books or movies from a friend. Also, look for second hand items in charity shops or on the internet. This is not only a much cheaper way of living but if we all did it, it would cut down the amount of items going to landfill.
9. Reduce water usage – You can do this in a number of ways. Firstly, purchase a water bottle that you can reuse so you aren’t buying new bottled water every time. This will also cut down on plastic waste. Secondly, take shorter showers. We can all be guilty sometimes of staying in a hot shower for much longer than we need to – this is very wasteful on water use. Try investing in a low-flow showerhead so the water doesn’t burst out as powerfully.
10. Drive less – This one is pretty self explanatory. Cars give off harmful greenhouse gases that are polluting our environment. As a society, the less we drive them, the healthier our atmosphere will be. One way you can do this which you might not have thought of is to get your weekly food shop delivered. Having one delivery van deliver to 15 houses is much more eco friendly than having 15 cars drive to the supermarket. On top of this, whenever you don’t need to use your car, don’t. Walk/cycle/jog more – it is healthier for you and the planet.