Climate change and global warming are leading problems of the 21st century. And to overcome these, more people are investing their resources to become sustainable and eco-friendly. But what exactly does this mean?
The term “eco-friendly” isn’t just a fad but substituting conventional products and materials with substances that don’t harm the environment. It refers to substituting conventional products and materials with substances that don’t harm the environment.
Decades of waste pollution and chemical usage have left the earth vulnerable. To ensure the planet remains habitable and to keep from depleting its reserves, adopting eco-friendly habits is more crucial now than ever.
While everyone worldwide should invest their time and energy in becoming eco-friendly, countries like New Zealand have more to lose than others.
This is because most of NZ’s economy depends on its natural resources. Without a sustainability plan and steps to preserve these assets, it won’t be long before future generations are left empty-handed.
Anyone, including you, can embrace an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you’re interested, here are seven ways to make your house more eco-friendly.
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1. Install solar panels
When industries burn fossil fuels to produce energy, several harmful pollutants get released into the atmosphere. These destroy the environment and accelerate the process of global warming.
However, solar power is a sustainable and environmentally friendly renewable energy source, unlike conventional electricity. It emits no greenhouse gases and is naturally infinite, so you don’t have to worry about sunlight ever running out. Therefore, installing solar panels is an excellent way to become energy-efficient.
But investing in a solar panel setup is a big decision. And so, to ensure you get your money’s worth, look up ‘Solarworx solar panels NZ’ and start producing your electricity today!
2. Switch to energy-efficient lights
Energy-efficient lights like LEDs or light emitting diodes last longer than a traditional incandescent bulb and use up to 90% less energy. Due to lower consumption, they demand less energy from power plants, contributing to decreased greenhouse emissions.
They also have better light distribution because fewer bulbs can achieve the same effect as a larger number of fluorescent lights. And with fewer lights getting the job done, energy consumption will once again get reduced.
Most importantly, LEDs have a better lifespan and require replacements less frequently than traditional bulbs. Therefore, fewer resources go into its manufacturing processes, shipment, and packaging.
3. Make your compost
There is a high level of toxic contamination in landfill waste and its subsequent treatment or incineration. The released gases and chemicals can destroy ecosystems and open the floodgates for several natural disasters. But eco-friendly activities like composting can significantly help take care of this problem.
When biodegradable materials come in contact with microorganisms and oxygen, they ferment into a soil-like substance called compost.
You can distribute this on your lawn or feed it to your potted plants as organic fertilizer—an excellent nutrient source. Composting allows you to manage your waste and repurpose it for the benefit of the environment.
Some common everyday waste you can add to your compost include:
- Fruits and vegetable waste
- Coffee grounds
- Tea bags
- Shredded paper
4. Buy recycled products
On your next grocery trip, look for products with a “recycled” tag. Whether it’s kitchen rolls, papers, clothes, or even shoes—you can get everything made from recycled materials.
Some electronic companies also make batteries, gaming consoles, and cellphone equipment using recycled material to reduce their carbon footprint. Buying such products encourages more businesses to become eco-friendly and contribute to saving the environment on a larger scale.
Besides making a conscious effort to buy recycled products, you can also recycle your house waste. Label your garbage bins to separate plastic, paper, glass, and metal, then send them to a recovery facility that manufactures them into new products.
5. Use natural cleaning products
Industrial cleaners, detergents, soaps, and washing powders are disastrous for the environment because of several chemicals and toxicants that make up their ingredients. Manufacturers often add these compounds so you can get a shinier wash and get convinced to make another purchase.
However, when these substances get washed away, they enter waterways, releasing toxins and blocking oxygen. Aquatic life cannot survive, and additional byproducts release into the environment once these species die and rise to the water surface.
Natural cleaning products can reduce the harmful toxins released into the atmosphere. Besides keeping the surrounding air safe and clean, these products will also keep your water channels clear and pollutant-free.
6. Don’t waste water
From the 70% surface of the earth that’s water, only 3% of it is freshwater. Most of this is in the form of glaciers or permafrost and therefore unavailable to living organisms. Since water is a renewable resource, its unnecessary waste and misuse can eventually cost us.
Without appropriate conservation steps, it won’t be long before the water becomes a scarce reserve in most of the earth’s regions. Every household should be mindful of their water consumption and ensure they don’t get involved in its wastage.
Some ways to reduce water consumption in your house are:
- Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
- Avoid long showers
- Fix any leaks
- Invest in eco-friendly dishwashers and washing machines
7. Eliminate plastic use
Although plastic offers several benefits in everyday use, it’s quickly becoming a globally recognized problem. Imagine the weight of 55 million jumbo jets.
That’s equal to the mass of all the plastic in the world—around 8.3 billion tons! Since it can take thousands of years to break down, it occupies land space and pollutes oceans. Much of the marine life is affected by the sheer amount of single-use plastics disrupting the ecosystem and destroying the environment.
One of the easiest ways to become eco-friendly is to eliminate plastic use in your home or reduce it as much as possible. Here are a few ways to do this:
- Don’t wrap your food in a cellophane
- Avoid purchasing plastic bottles
- Use tote bags for groceries
- Switch to a wooden toothbrush
- Buy boxed detergents
Caring for the environment has to be a conscious and constant effort. The best way to do this is by adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle that makes your everyday habits sustainable, energy-efficient, and resource-efficient.
If you want to play your part in conserving this planet’s resources, habitability, and beauty, rethink your everyday decisions and see how they impact the environment. You don’t need to make all the big changes at once. Instead, focus on what you can do most conveniently, and start from there.