8 Ways to Live a More Green Lifestyle
Everyone shares the earth — which means everybody has a duty to protect their home and help keep it clean. While the news on climate change can seem dire, there’s still time to make a difference if we all work together.
What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? After all, not everyone can convert to solar or afford an electric car.
However, large-scale efforts aren’t the only ways to practice sustainability. Small, daily choices often make an even bigger impact. What can you do? Here are eight ways to live a more green lifestyle.
1. Upgrade to Electric
“Wait a second,” you might scream upon hearing this tip. “You said not everyone can afford an electric car.” That’s true. However, a traditional vehicle isn’t your only option.
Electric bikes keep you cool while pedaling, as the motor makes it effortless to climb hills. You can ride to the office without arriving with nasty rings under your armpits, making you uncomfortable. Best of all, in the U.S. bargain models ring in at less than $1,000, equivalent to some traditional bicycles. They are a blast to ride, letting you kill two birds — getting your daily exercise while greening your commute.
Of course, it isn’t practical to cart home a full family’s worth of groceries on a bike. For that, you need a car. Fortunately, Tesla is no longer your only choice. Many major manufacturers like Ford produce high-quality models you’ll be proud to drive, going from zero to 60 in 3.5 seconds and traveling up to 300 miles on a single charge. Others, like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf, offer convenient price points for working families.
2. Take Advantage of Solar
There’s good news — the U.S. Congress recently extended the solar energy tax credits until 2034. However, you might still find it cost-prohibitive to convert until you need a full roof replacement.
Guess what? You can still take advantage of solar in other ways. Consider the following:
Connect to a solar grid: Private entities have begun to support the mass conversion to solar power. You can opt into such programs to show your support for green energy without impacting your monthly energy bill.
Small solar gadgets: Replace plug-in exterior lights lining your driveway with solar versions. Consider solar plugs that gather enough energy from the sun to run small electronic devices like your laptop.
Portable solar generators: These are a boon for those opting for a van or RV lifestyle. You can also use them to run your outdoor appliances or charge your electronics. Best of all, you can build onto many systems if you later decide to explore off-grid living.
3. Build a Compost Bin
It’s not hard to build a compost bin. You can pickup free pallets from a local hardware store for lumber if you have a backyard big enough for a large one.
What if you dwell in an apartment and only have houseplants? You can now find countertop versions that eliminate odor and provide rich loam for replanting time.
Why does it matter? While organic waste breaks down, landfill conditions result in excess methane production, a greenhouse gas far heavier than carbon.
4. Learn to Recycle Right
You should pat yourself on the back for recycling. However, you could also cause more harm than good if you don’t do it right.
For example, most U.S.-based recycling centers only take numbers one and two plastics. The other types gum up the machines, causing breakdowns and delays. Tossing that pizza box with the cardboard? Think twice if it has food bits — but you can compost it.
5. Make Your Garden Grow
Gardening makes you more self-sufficient. It also keeps chemical fertilizers out of soils and reduces emissions from transporting products to your grocery store.
Use an app to set watering reminders if you tend to forget. If your crops don’t proliferate, examine your soil quality and look for natural ways to repel pests.
This tip for living a more green lifestyle has nothing to do with alcohol. However, it’s next to free, and it can even save you money. B.Y.O.B. here stands for “bring your own bag.” As in, to the grocery store.
How can this hint save you cash? Thanks to inflation and Avian flu, you might have noticed the price of eggs. Cloth bags won’t tear like flimsy plastic or paper, keeping your hen fruit intact instead of spilling it on the sidewalk.
7. Shop a Little Smarter
Reducing waste starts at the store. While manufacturers opt for the cheapest choice — often non-recyclable plastic — for wrapping their wares, you can vote for greener packaging with your wallet.
Look for products that use compostable or recyclable packaging. What if your favorite products come packaged differently? Try writing and expressing your concerns. Few people take the time, but manufacturers listen to their loyal customers if they hope to turn a profit.
8. Pop Some Tags
Are you still paying $50 or more for a single T-shirt simply for the designer label? You could probably find similar duds for much less at a local thrift or consignment shop, and the planet will thank you. Buying secondhand saves raw materials and energy while preventing low-income worker exploitation.
Pro-tip: Hit up shops in affluent neighborhoods if you care about designer labels. One lucky YouTuber recently described finding a Prada bag that retails for well over $2,000 for just $46.
How to Live a More Green Lifestyle
Everyone plays a role in going green. We all share the planet and have to do our parts.
Fortunately, you can live a more green lifestyle without spending a ton of cash. Many of the tips above help you keep more green in your wallet while treading more lightly on the earth.
About the Author
Ava Roman (she/her) is the Managing Editor of Revivalist, a women’s lifestyle magazine that empowers women to live their most authentic life. When Ava is not writing you'll find her in a yoga class, advocating for body positivity, whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, or smashing the patriarchy.