5 Unexpected Lessons that
Being Eco-Friendly Can Teach You

See also: Understanding the Circular Economy

Most people are now well aware of the need to save water, recycle, and reduce their carbon footprint.

For the majority, ignoring the devastating impact we can wreak on the earth if we continue to live without caring about the consequences simply can’t be tolerated any longer.

Choosing to be environmentally friendly isn’t a selfless thing however. By choosing to play your part in helping the planet you may learn some important lessons that can make life more enjoyable.

Here are just five of the unexpected lessons that being eco-friendly can teach you.

How to be Frugal

It’s undeniable that, for many people, the financial gains that can accompany being environmentally responsible make deciding to take the first step towards a greener lifestyle an attractive prospect.

Sure, the energy efficiency of LED bulbs probably won’t generate much excitement, but the significant savings made on electricity bills will.

Looking for ways to reduce your electricity usage (and therefore your electricity bills) can become strangely addictive.

If you’ve never been particularly good at saving money or budgeting, reducing the amount of energy you use is a great introduction to a more frugal lifestyle. There are so many simple things you can do that it doesn’t have to be daunting.

Whether it’s turning off the plug and taking it out of the socket when you’re done watching television for the night, or just remembering to turn off the lights when you leave a room, small changes can add up to real savings.

Once this becomes second nature, you’ll inevitably start to look at other ways to save money. From insulating your roof to shopping around when it’s time to renew your insurance, being green can help eliminate wasteful spending from your life.

Three Simple Things You Can Do To Save Energy (and Money)

  1. When replacing appliances, remember that an expensive model that is more energy efficient will be cheaper in the long run.
  2. Cover bare floors with carpet or rugs to help retain heat.
  3. Set your laundry to wash at a cool temperature – the detergent will work just as effectively.

There are More Important Things in Life than Money

Although taking a greater interest in environmental issues can help you cut costs in everyday life, one of the most significant things you’ll learn is that there are things that money alone can’t buy.

When you understand how human actions are putting species at risk you gain a greater appreciation of wildlife and how extinct really does mean forever.

When you accept that you cannot save the world by yourself but need to work with, encourage and inspire others to take the environment seriously and bring about change, you begin to appreciate the remarkable things we can do when we all put our efforts towards a common goal.

To See the Value in Everything

When you have eggs for breakfast, what do you do with the shells? It’s likely that you throw them away – but could you put them on a compost heap?

If you enjoy a bottle of wine (or two) over dinner, what do you do with the cork? While many people wouldn’t think twice about throwing corks into the garbage, why not send them to a company that will re-purpose them?

When you start to see opportunities when previously you only saw waste, your mindset can change and you begin to see the value in everything around you.

Your Health is Important

Being eco-friendly is ultimately about trying to keep the planet healthy, not just for your own benefit but for the sake of future generations to come.

When you start to think about what’s good for the planet and your grandchildren’s future, you’ll inevitably start to think more about what’s good for your own health. As you cut down on the energy you waste you might find yourself more inclined to eat a healthier diet, and as you make it your mission to recycle more you’ll discover that your body also still has its uses, prompting you to get more active.

To Open your Mind

Nobody’s suggesting that starting to take more of an interest in recycling and reducing your energy consumption will lead to you becoming a vegan and trading in your car for a bicycle.

There’s no doubt though that taking an interest in environmental concerns will open your mind and change your outlook.

Many people who have become more environmentally aware haven’t given up meat but they have decided that, despite how delicious Argentinian beef may be, the huge carbon footprint it carries with it can’t be justified when there is local produce that tastes just as good.

Meanwhile, the majority of people are not going to consider giving up their car, but their interest in preserving the planet might influence any decisions about future car purchases. Suddenly the idea of a hybrid or electric car doesn’t seem quite so stupid. At the very least you’ll start to think about how to make more fuel-efficient driving choices.

The Skills You Need Guide to Life: Looking After Yourself

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Life: Looking After Yourself

Based on some of our most popular content, this eBook will help you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

Learn how to look after your body and mind: the fundamental first steps to personal development.

This eBook, now in its third edition, with new and revised content, is designed to make life both easier and better.

Pass on the Lessons You Learn

If you decide to change your habits so that you consume less and recycle more, you’ll inevitably learn a lot.

Recycle what you learn: share it with your children or grandchildren, your friends and family. And, if they’re not receptive, you can always rely on lesson number one to get them interested.

About the Author

This article was written by Tom Young from UK’s energy supplier Octopus Energy.