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Living an eco-friendly lifestyle is something we should all strive for in our lives. There are many ways to be sustainable and more eco-friendly, from the things we buy to the way we live and the choices we make. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. 

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We found a lot of easy and simple ways to reduce our impact on the planet and have put together a list of our favourite tips below. 

If you’re wondering how to be more eco friendly in your home, then here are our best eco-tips that will help you live a more environmentally healthy life. 

1. Switch to LED Lights

You may be surprised that something so simple as switching to LED lights can have a huge impact on your energy bill and your energy consumption. LED light bulbs are great eco-lifestyle products for two reasons; they last longer than conventional lights and they are more efficient in their energy consumption. You can also purchase them in a range of light intensities and colours so you can tailor them to suit your household needs. 

2. Invest in energy-efficient appliances

Most everyday appliances are now available in energy-efficient varieties. Depending on the brand, fridges, washing machines and air conditioners have a rating to determine their energy consumption. It’s worth investing in more efficient appliances so that you’ll use less power in the long term. It’s another great way to save money on energy bills while doing your part for the planet.

3. Adjust your thermostat

Adjusting your thermostat even just a couple of degrees can make a huge difference in your energy consumption. One of the best tips for living green is to change your thermostat when you’re heading out of the house. 

For example, in winter, you can turn your heater down while you’re out to a lower but still comfortable temperature and then simply turn it back up when you return home. It’s surprising how much energy these minor adjustments can save! 

In the summer, consider turning down AC by just a few degrees or turning it off completely on those cooler days. 

4. Install a dual flush toilet 

Dual flush toilets are not necessarily new on the eco-friendly scene but they are still one of the best tips for green living and reducing water waste. Dual flush toilets have two buttons, one which is a half flush and uses about 3 gallons of water per flush and one which is a regular flush, using 6-8 gallons. 

By installing a dual flush toilet, you can opt to use only half the water you normally would by flushing a regular single flush toilet. This small difference can save thousands of litres of water each year – a precious commodity, no matter where in the world you live!

5. Install low flow showerhead

One of the best ways to live greener is to reduce the amount of water you use. Regular showerheads have an average flow of 3-4 GPM (gallons per minute), while the low flow variety range from 1.5-2.5 GPM. Installing a low flow showerhead can decrease water consumption by 40%. This eco-friendlier shower also means that you not only use less water but also less energy because less water is being heated up – a win-win in two categories. 

6. Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth

This might seem like one of the most simple ways to be more eco friendly, but it can save more water than you think. Many of us run the tap while we’re brushing our teeth, which means litres of water are wasted every day. Try to remember next time to turn the tap off unless you’re using it.

7. Take shorter showers

Another of the eco-friendly lifestyle changes for the bathroom is to take shorter showers. A shower really shouldn’t take much longer than a few minutes with enough time to wash. In an effort to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle, try to cut down the amount of time that you stand under the running water. A great idea is to set a timer for three minutes or similar so that you know when you should turn the taps off. 

8. Wash your clothes at low temperatures

Heating water is a huge energy consumer in our homes that we often don’t think about. It might be a bit cruel to suggest cold showers, but you can definitely wash your clothes at lower temperatures instead. Most regular clothing is fine to be washed in cold water and in fact, it can even help your clothes last longer. Hot water can break down the fibres and colours over time meaning you can keep your favourite items for multiple seasons. 

9. Line dry laundry 

Dryers are one of the most energy-intensive appliances in the home so it’s best to line dry your clothes if you can. This not only saves on energy but also helps make your clothes last longer as tumble drying can cause wear and tear on some fabrics. It’s even better to try and live without a clothes dryer completely. If you plan your outfits ahead of time, you should be able to allow your clothes to dry naturally either outdoors or inside no matter the season. 

The eco-friendly way to dry your clothes

10. Insulate your home

If your home isn’t insulated well, it will be harder to keep warm in winter and cool in summer. This means that your heating/ cooling systems will be working harder and for longer periods of time. One of the best tips for going green and reducing your energy consumption is to simply insulate your home well so you can regulate the inside temperature more easily without overusing your heating and cooling systems. 

11. Consider installing solar

Solar is one of the greatest inventions for an eco-friendly lifestyle. The ability to use the sun for energy means that we can reduce our reliance on conventional energy sources like coal which produces large amounts of emissions. With advances in technology, there are full home solar installations down to smaller solar panels that you can take traveling. It’s by far one of the best ways to be eco-friendly. 

Solar panel outside the village home was meant to power up the house after dark
Solar panel outside a village home meant to power up a house after dark

12. Carpool or Take Public Transport

Cars produce a lot of air pollution all over the world. When you’re thinking about how to live greener, you should consider not driving from time to time. There are plenty of ways to be environmentally friendly while moving around and traveling. You can utilize carpools to get to work, jump on your bike to go down to the shops or use public transport to get where you need to be. All of these options also mean that you can save on fuel and don’t have to worry about parking either!

13. Invest in an electric or hybrid car

Hybrid cars use a combination of gasoline and energy stored in batteries, making it up to 40% more efficient than regular petrol engines. If you are thinking about upgrading your car, consider going green with an electric or hybrid car. It’s a great way to reduce the environmental impact of your daily commute. 

14. Make recycling a habit

One of the original living eco-friendly tips is to recycle. Making it a habit to have a designated recycling bin at home is one of the most effective sustainable living ideas. When determining what can be put into your recycling bin, it often depends on where you live. 

Be sure to check with your local regulations on what kind of materials are recycled in your area. 

Let’s recycle!

15. Don’t waste food

Food waste is one of the biggest household problems. Every year tonnes of food is thrown out by households. One of the ways to be more environmentally friendly is to reduce your food waste. 

If you are looking for environmental tips for reducing food waste consider only buying food that you intend to cook, go through your fridge regularly to check what needs to be used and eat leftover food rather than throw it away.

16. Compost everything

Composting your own food is one of the best living green tips to reduce the amount of food going into landfill. Not only does it produce less harmful methane, but it also means you create a natural fertilizer that can then be used in gardens. Even if you live in the inner city and have no use for your compost, there are often communal gardens that will be more than happy to take it off your hands.

17. Reduce Plastic Use

Plastic has made it into almost everything that we buy. However, it’s also one of the worst things for the environment and is one of the largest contributors to landfill and ocean pollution. Going green in the home means trying to cut out plastic, especially single-use and soft plastics that can’t be recycled. Switching from plastic to reusable items and trying to buy produce that is not wrapped in plastic are some of the best eco-friendly examples. 

18. Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle

Bottled water is one of the biggest contributors to plastic pollution in the world. It’s also possibly one of the easiest changes for eco-friendly living as it simply means carrying your own reusable bottle instead. 

A reusable water bottle is one of the best eco-friendly products you can own. This way you can refill at your own home or at designated drinking stations without having to purchase water. If you’re worried about water quality, consider investing in a water filter at home or a SteriPen that you can use on the go. 

Hydro Flask - One of our favourite travel accessories
Oksana using Hydro Flask

19. Repair or fix before throwing anything out

A simple way to be more sustainable at home is to repair or fix things rather than just throwing them away. So much of what we buy is made to be thrown out with far fewer repair shops or enthusiasm for fixing things compared to just 50 years ago. 

One of the best tips on sustainable living is to repair and fix as much as you can. Things that we throw out end up in landfills when in reality a simple needle and thread or repair job can prevent you from adding to the waste pile. 

20. Grow veggies at home or shop at a local farmers market

A great way to go green at home is to start growing your own veggies. It’s often easier than you think, with options even for those with limited space, like microgreens and herbs that can even be grown on your windowsill. 

Another eco-friendly lifestyle alternative is to shop at your local farmers market, which means you can support small scale farms and reduce the distance your food has traveled. Although it’s easier to just head to your local grocery store, large scale agriculture is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fruits and veggies for sale at Gaya Street Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu. Sabah. Malaysia
Fruits and veggies for sale at Gaya Street Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

21. Stop supporting fast fashion

Fashion is not commonly thought about when we wonder how to be more environmentally friendly, but it has a huge impact. Fast fashion produces a huge amount of waste, not only during the production phase but also in consumption as the low quality and seasonal changes mean clothes end up being thrown away. 

If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable in your fashion choices, you should opt for locally produced clothing, small boutique and high-quality brands and brands that are committed to sustainable production practices. 

22. Go meat-free (even for just 1 day per week)

Trying to eat less meat can sound scary for some people as food can play a huge part in our culture. However, meat consumption is one of the biggest drivers of agricultural emissions and avoiding meat is considered one of the best ways that we can live eco-friendly lifestyles.

If you think eating less meat or going vegan is too difficult, try to commit to being meat-free for just one day a week. It’s a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and you might be able to slowly introduce more plant-based food choices into your life as time goes on.

23. Shop second hand 

One of the greatest tips for sustainable living is to go with secondhand options. Whether it’s something small, like clothing or tools, or bigger items like a couch or dining table, you’ll be surprised with what you can find that other people have no use for anymore. 

Purchasing second hand encourages a more circular consumption process that avoids waste. There are online marketplaces and local thrift stores where you can find good secondhand options.

24. Opt for reusable cups and bags

Reusable coffee cups and shopping bags are some of the best eco-friendly lifestyle products. They can save thousands of coffee cups and plastic bags going into the ocean or landfill every day! 

There’s now a greater awareness about this eco tip which means there are now more and more reusable cups and bags available to buy from grocery stores, lifestyle brands and cafes. 

Handmade bamboo cups at the wedding. Lagartillo Costa Rica

25. Make your own cleaning supplies

Cleaning products can have nasty chemicals in them which are bad for our health as well as the environment. It’s surprisingly easy to make your own cleaning products and it’s one of the simple ways every household can try to be more environmentally friendly. There are a variety of recipes for cleaning supplies, with natural ingredients like baking soda, white vinegar and essential oils.

26. Buy or make your own toxic-free makeup

Makeup and self-care products are similar to cleaning supplies in that they can be laden with toxic chemicals that are bad for our skin as well as the environment. If you are looking for ways to be more eco-friendly in your personal care routine choose biodegradable and natural products that aren’t damaging or purchase brands that show a commitment to be greener. 

You can even try to make your own skincare and make up products at home from ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter.

27. Recycle or donate your clothes

One of the best tips on how to be eco friendly is to always recycle or donate your clothes. We often send our clothes into landfills, rather than repurposing them and extending their lifespan. 

If your clothes are in good condition, try dropping them into your local thrift store or passing them down to cousins or friends. Even when your clothes might not be in great condition, there are some fashion brands that are now accepting old clothes for recycling into new products – another win-win for everyone.

28. Consider a greener gift or make your own

One of the best ways to educate your friends on how to be more green is to buy them eco-friendly lifestyle products as a gift or even making your own present for them. Whether it be a reusable coffee cup or making something from recycled products, you can introduce new ways to be more sustainable to other people through a gift. 

29. Go paperless

A greener lifestyle can simply start with going paperless. Although paper is recyclable, the demand for it means a large increase in deforestation. Going paperless can be one of the most simple ways to be eco friendly and reduce your environmental impact. 

Request your bills or receipts to be emailed to you rather than printed and you’ll be surprised by how much paper you can reduce.

30. Reuse what you can

One of the best eco-friendly ideas for home is to simply reuse what you can. Whether it be reusing takeout containers and shopping bags or even using your vegetable offcuts to make broth, there are a bunch of creative and practical tips to go green and reuse things. Before you throw anything out, first think about how you could repurpose or use it in a new way.

At Lookout Beach, Plettenberg Bay

31. Travel sustainability 

There are many ways you can make your travels more environmentally responsible. From carbon offsetting your flights to staying at eco-friendly accommodation options and using a reusable water bottle, there are plenty of tips on going green while you travel. Many of the tips on living green at home can also be repurposed for your travels too. 

32. Buy less stuff

Perhaps one of the ultimate sustainable living tips is to just buy less stuff. One of the main components of how to be environmentally friendly is to simply consume less in general. The culture of mass consumption is what creates many of our negative environmental impacts. So, reusing everything that you can and being content with what you already have means that you will ultimately buy less stuff and have a far smaller overall carbon footprint. 

What other eco-friendly lifestyle tips can you offer to fellow readers? 

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