How to Live a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Sometimes I worry that I post too frequently about going plastic-free or working toward zero-waste. I hope it’s not too much for you. At the end of the day, I feel like it’s my duty to share posts like this because it helps to make our world a better place. I prefer to have a holistic approach to most things in my life and being green is another example. Today’s post is all about tips on how to embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle — these few changes aren’t that hard, I promise!

7 Tips to Inspire You To Live a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

1. Bring your own shopping tote, water bottle, straw, and to go container.

The amount of waste that I used to generate really bothered me. That is until I started carrying around my own metal straw, water bottle, and food containers for leftovers. I also always have a shopping tote squirreled away in my car, my bag, or wherever. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to throw away a single-use plastic item.

2. Check thrift stores first.

So much pollution comes from the garment industry, especially in water. While your clothing is being made, it’s being dyed and washed. All that water has to go somewhere and often it’s just dumped wherever. Whenever possible, I check local thrift stores first before trying a traditional store. Not only do I save on wasteful shipping materials and carbon from the delivery service, but I am supporting a small business by shopping locally.

You can also set up swaps with friends for anything: clothing, books, tools, and baby stuff! Or find a local Buy Nothing group. I’m always amazed at what we can get for free!

3. Eat what is in season.

Eating seasonally is definitely a challenge during the winter months. But with a little bit of preparation, it’s possible! This summer I plan to pickle, can, and freeze as much as I can from our garden to save it for winter. I’ve also done a ton of research about what will “over winter” well in my climate. If you have a veggie garden, I suggest doing the same. It’s really surprising what you can grow, even in the winter.

4. Embrace Meatless Mondays.

I grew up in a house where we ate meat every single night. Now that I’m grown, I realize how much of an impact on the environment that has. Meat is also just plain expensive! We don’t usually stick to Monday being our only meatless day. Typically, it’s whenever we have lots of veggies that need to be eaten. Just make sure to get your protein other ways, like with nuts and beans for example.

5. Assess ways your home can be greener.

My friend Ashley wrote an amazing post about zeroing in on her home’s energy usage. Once our renovation is finished, I want to do the same. Determining how much energy your home uses and ways to improve it’s performance not only means a more eco-friendly lifestyle, but you could also save a lot of money on utilities!

I’ve also noticed a big difference in our bill since we installed a Nest thermostat, too. Basically, it helps to ensure that we’re not heating an empty house when we’re traveling or at work. Also, I made a schedule for us so that it’s cooler at night which helps us sleep better!

6. Go paperless.

Honestly, the amount of junk mail we receive drives me crazy. Who actually uses the Valpak??? No one!!! Any time I switch to a new bill or service, I always opt for paperless billing. You can also refer to this list for tips on how to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive.

7. Vote accordingly.

And here is where I get up on my soapbox… if you’re truly concerned about living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, a huge part of this is how you vote. During the next election (yes, even a local election counts), research the candidates and find out what their stance on climate change is. While it’s great to make small changes to our everyday behavior, the best way to bring about impactful ecological change is by implementing public policy to battle climate change.

Looking for even more zero waste tips? Check out these posts:

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest-based social media strategist, content creator, and former textile designer. Joanna is the founder and editor-in-chief of Jojotastic, a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress cabin, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style. Her work has been featured in Domino, CNBC, and Eating Well.

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