In recent times, the problems associated with global warming have become all too evident. While scientists have been warning for years that we were destroying our environment and proceeding down a path of no return, the past few years have seen changes in climate unmistakably linked to our damaging influence on the planet’s ecosystem.
Climate change is a real and present danger and is widely accepted by most countries around the world to be the greatest threat facing humanity in modern times.
However, while the clock is undoubtedly ticking, there are still some small changes we can all make as individuals; changes that, taken as a whole, could have a huge impact on the sustainability of our planet. Here are some straightforward hacks you could use to live a greener lifestyle.
Live by the five Rs – reduce, refuse, recycle, reuse and rot
We live in an increasingly consumer-oriented society – a culture where replacing things is often deemed more acceptable than renewing them. By following the five basic R principles, you could not only save money – you’ll also help save the planet.
Reduce: In a recent report, it was estimated around 1.6 billion tons of food valued at $1.2 trillion goes to waste each year. Furthermore, food waste is also responsible for approximately 8% of greenhouse emissions worldwide. Make a rule to buy only what you need – and use everything you buy.
Refuse: Many products are explicitly designed for single-use (e.g. bags, packaging and plastics). Where possible, refuse to accept these high-waste, low-use products.
Recycle: One of the most obvious ways we can reduce global consumption (and therefore also reduce harmful production) is to recycle as much as possible. Whether in the workplace or at home, look at recycling plastics, paper, glass or metals. A huge range of recycling machines is now available from sites like recyclingbalers.com – ideal for both domestic and industrial use.
Reuse: As a rule, the better you look after something, the longer it lasts. Rather than letting items fall into disrepair, try looking after them better. Instead of just replacing older goods, look to repairing them when something breaks. You can also repurpose items through upcycling to find alternative uses.
Rot: As stated, food waste is one of the greatest scourges of our time but, even if food has been allowed to go off, it can still serve a useful purpose. By setting up a composting system at home, you can reuse waste food to provide nutrients for plants in your garden. Alternatively, look for local food drop-off centers (very often at supermarkets, farmers’ markets or community gardens) to dispose of your waste food.
Living greener doesn’t need to be a chore and, in many cases, can even save you money. Other ideas include cycling instead of driving, using less water (by taking shorter showers, not leaving the tap running while cleaning teeth, etc), eating from local producers (to avoid pollution caused by transportation) and switching to cleaner sources of energy.