lifestyle tips

What Are Eco-Friendly Practices? ( A Beginner Friendly Guide)
In recent times the majority of households have started to put the wellbeing of Earth first when making purchases and doing general duties around the home. More and more businesses and larger corporations are also playing their part with changing practices within the office space. This article will show you some of the eco-friendly practices you can begin doing now to ensure you play your part in preserving this beautiful world we live in.

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What exactly is an eco-friendly practice?

An eco-friendly practice is defined as an act of doing that is not harmful to the environment. This may include practices such as switching to different products that don’t contain nasty chemicals, or changing the way you dispose of waste.

But...I don’t have the time to research eco-friendly products?

Even if you don’t have the time straight away, that is OK. Developing eco-friendly practicestakes time.An easy way to start, especially if you are time poor, is to look for eco-friendly labels when yougo to your next grocery shop or you are buying a bigger purchase, like a television. Check outthe quick guide to ecolabels here. The products that show these labels have gone through a lotof testing and meet certain standards to be able to display, so the hard work has been done foryou.

But...I cannot afford to buy eco-friendly products at the moment?

It is not encouraged to go out and make a whole lot of new purchases straight away. This causes unnecessary waste – which is a practice we all need to do more of. Consider changing to eco-friendly products as an investment. This practice alone can be done gradually and with little to no effort. For example, next time you get your takeaway coffee ,consider purchasing a reusable cup from them. Larger chain stores like Strabucks have a large variety of styles to choose from and offer you a discount when you bring your reusable cup. Check out other gradual changes you can make, below.

Eco-friendly practices you can start doing NOW!

You may not realise that you can start with eco-friendly practices now without spending a cent.

Recycling your waste

While there is no mandate for recycling in the US, most states and counties have programs and facilities in place where you can recycle your waste. The eco-friendly practice of separating your items at home is free and doesn’t require much effort, just space to sort and store before taking it to the appropriate place for recycling. Check with your local county or state to what items can be recycled.

Some of those items are:

  • Glass
  • Paper and cardboard
  • Cans
  • Batteries
  • Mobile phones and chargers
  • Plastics (check the grade of plastic as they all have different numbers and ways of being recycled)
  • Materials

Donate good quality but unwanted items

Donate good quality but unwanted items Is there a stack of magazines collecting dust in the corner? Is your art supplies box overflowing? Especially with the movement of minimalism and the popularity of Marie Kondo , more and more people are tossing away unwanted items. But there is no need to put them in the trash and add them to the landfill. A great eco-friendly practice to have is to find great spots to donate items. Depending on the items, will depend on what you donate.

Check with some of these places to see if they could use your good quality items that you no longer want.

  • Kindergartens, nursery schools or daycare centres. Art supplies, even cereal boxes and washed cans, always come in handy at these places. Check with the manager before arriving with a box of goods as donations may have been coming in all week. Also check if they could use toys, books or board games that are in good condition that you no longer want.
  • Beauty salons and nursing homes may want your magazines
  • Check with shelters if they could use clothing, bedding or even books.
  • Even animal shelters can take donations of towels and some bedding.

Eco-friendly product swaps to make daily practices more eco-friendly

Reusable shopping bags.

Most supermarkets and some retailers have branded reusable bags available to purchase at the register for not much money at all. As a once off purchase, your biggest challenge will be to make sure you bring them with you each time you shop. Purchase enough so you can keep some in your car, near your keys, in a backpack if you walk to the store. No matter where you keep them, make sure you use them! Not only does it save money as some states and stores charge you for single-use plastic, you will be reducing landfill. If you DO have to use a single use bag and cannot choose paper at the store, ensure you use the plastic bag for other purposes, such as trash can liners.

Menstrual products

menstrual cup eco friendly tip

For some women this may be a weird idea to start implementing but with so many products on the market now; there are a lot of reviews out there to say that they WORK. Menstrual cups, washable liners and period underwear are a larger investment at first, but the ongoing cost to your pocket AND the environment is paid for only after a few uses. 

Refillable water bottles.

You have purchased your reusable coffee cup and actually use it. Well done. But staying hydrated is just as important (if not more) than your morning coffee. Keep a refillable bottle, pre-filled near your keys or bag so you don’t forget to bring it with you. Why not invest in a couple and have one in the fridge and one empty in your car or gym bag. Get this habit to stick and you not only stay plastic free but you will save money too.

Reduce your papers

Everything is online these days and a lot of businesses are choosing to go paperless. Consider changing your bank statements, credit card bills and other bills to email, to ensure you reduce the amount of paper that comes into your house. Take it one step further by investing in a “No Junk Mail” sticker for your mailbox and eliminate the temptation of overbuying AND you eliminate waste from your household. Do you have a newspaper or magazine subscription? Check with them if they offer an online option.

Makeover your bathroom

ecu -upgrade bathroom bamboo

This is often the room that contributes the biggest amount of waste and the room where your eco-friendly practices could really make a huge difference.

Some of the swaps you can do in your bathroom are:

  • Switch your toothbrush to a recyclable bamboo one or a chargeable one that has a changeable head.
  • Switch your shower gel, shampoo and conditioner to bars instead of bottles. Often the plastic bottles used for these products aren’t recyclable. By switching to bars, you also use less product and will save money in the long run too.
  • Disposable razors are a huge contributor to landfill; from both males and females. There are some great and affordable razors with replaceable blades on the market – and the blades can be recycled once blunt too. There are also some options to get razors with their own sharpening device so you don’t have to dispose of anything.

Eco-friendly practices to reduce food wastage

Food scraps are a HUGE contributor to landfill and one of the most significant. Rotting landfill produces methane; a greenhouse gas which is having a huge effect on the environment. What is worse is that often the food that goes into landfill isn’t scraps but food that has gone bad before even being consumed.

The issue is over buying; which is becoming like an addiction in harder times where we want more for our money.

There are some great ways to utilise food scraps without contributing to landfill, such as; 

  • Invest in a compost bin. They are a cheap purchase from the hardware store and there are some great free online tutorials with how to compost correctly.
  • If your city council allows, consider getting chickens. Not only do they make great pets but your food scraps will then be the perfect fuel for your new feathered friends and then they provide you tasty, fresh eggs every day. It is a win win!
  • Watch some online tutorials and learn how to use all the parts of your food. Food wastage often comes from ignorance of how to use the whole food. There are some great recipes out there so don’t be afraid.

It’s time to get started

Eco-friendly practices are not something to be scared about trying and incorporating into your
day to day life. With more and more eco-friendly products available and so much information on
the internet, you can start making changes no matter what your budget.

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