How To Be More Eco Friendly In 2020 by #NewToHR

How To Be More Eco Friendly In 2020

The Meaning of Being Environmentally Friendly

Being eco friendly can be defined as a way of life that is not harmful to the environment. It is becoming more and more important to protect our planet from man-made damages. There are different ways to make sustainable changes in order to achieve this goal.

Sustainable changes can go from a very small change to a bigger investment. These changes can vary from using a recyclable and portable water bottle to switching to renewable energy for your home by installing solar panels.

There are five main areas of our lives that could help us in making contributions to climate change effects and being more eco friendly: at home, in our everyday life, in our work-life, while travelling, and in our school life.

Being eco friendly in our work-life is becoming increasingly important. A lot of customers prefer to support green businesses because it feels like a moral responsibility.

How to Make Your Home Eco Friendly

Invest in Renewable Energy

Households can be more eco friendly by investing in a renewable energy source for electricity. One way to do this is through solar panels. Solar panels are a photovoltaic system that uses the sun as an energy source and transforms it into electricity.

Change Heating Source

It’s best to opt for renewable methods for heating your home. There are various eco-friendly alternatives of heating sources like boilers, heat pumps, and solar thermal. Boilers are a great green option for heating your home. They can be fuelled with gas, oil, electricity, or biomass.

Heat pumps have a low energy consumption, making them a more eco friendly option. Also, they eliminate the need for gas pipes and oil tanks. Finally, solar thermal uses the heat from the sun to boil water. This provides energy without any combustion.

Choose Eco-Cleaning Products While Cleaning the House

There are a lot of cleaning products containing chemicals that are harmful to the environment. These chemicals are not only used to clean, but also to wash our clothes and do the dishes. They eventually end up harming our planet and its biodiversity. One way to go green and still stay clean is to switch to products that don’t contain synthetic ingredients but sustainably grown or raised ingredients.

Try to Go for Eco Friendly Toilet Paper

Using regular toilet paper is not a sustainable option, as there are a lot of trees needed to make these toilet paper rolls. At least 17 trees and 90,921 litres of water is required in order to produce a tonne of paper rolls. A more sustainable option could be toilet paper made out of bamboo.

How to Be Eco-Conscious in Your Everyday Life

While we all have an everyday routine, a lot of activities we do are done subconsciously, and a lot of these activities aren’t always the most environmentally-friendly options. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to change your habits to greener options. There are only a few adjustments needed to achieve sustainable changes.

Opt for a Recyclable Water Bottle

Water is a must in our life and we can only survive a few days without it. This means that we purchase water bottles on a regular basis. However, a lot of people fail to recycle these bottles properly, causing these bottles to end up in the ocean.

One plastic bottle will break down into 10,000 microplastic pieces over time, resulting in a high rate of microplastic pollution in our oceans. That’s why it’s better to invest in a reusable water bottle. It’s not only a greener alternative, but also a cost-effective solution. You will be able to save money in the long run.

Try Environmentally Friendly Shampoo

Just like the cleaning products, regular shampoos, and conditioners also contain harmful chemicals. These might end up in the ocean which will hurt biodiversity. Again, the best solution is to go for shampoo containing non-synthetic ingredients. Another great alternative are soap bars that are also suitable for hair. These soap bars are often made from natural, biodegradable ingredients.

Use Recyclable Paper for Wrapping Gifts

A lot of trees are cut down in order to produce paper. Whether it’s toilet paper, regular paper to write on, or wrapping paper, it’s crucial to be mindful. One way of doing this is to invest in recyclable paper.

Go for Environmentally Friendly Cars Instead of Diesel or Petrol

Cars are in general a major cause of global warming. Diesel and petrol cars are a significant source of CO2 emissions. A great green alternative is an electric or hybrid car. These are already rising in popularity as they reduce overall emissions. You could reduce CO2 emissions by replacing diesel and petrol cars with environmentally friendly cars like hybrid or electric ones.

Buy Recyclable Clothes from Respectable Brands

Producing clothes also has a damaging effect on the environment. Fast Fashion is the main reason for this harmful damage. Clothes falling into this category are mainly produced in massive quantities. This high number of clothes are produced only to be disposed of in billions. This could then take up to 200 years to decompose for certain synthetic fibres.

Put an End to Single-Use Plastic Straws

As a part of the 25 Year Environment Plan, there has been a ban on single-use plastic straws in the UK. Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges in the UK and basically in the whole world. Therefore, banning single-use straws will have a positive effect. Investing in a reusable metal or bamboo straw could be a great solution. It’s also a cost-effective way of contributing to a healthier environment.

Purchase Biodegradable Products

You can buy products that are made of non-synthetic ingredients and are biodegradable. Due to contact with bacteria and fungi, these products will dissolve. This means they won’t cause any environmental damage, as they disappear due to natural processes.

Reduce Meat Consumption

Meat and dairy are the main causes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agriculture industry. There are two powerful greenhouse gases released through farming: Methane and Nitrous Oxide. A sustainable change could be consuming less meat. The majority of emissions are a result of the production and preparation of meat and dairy, meaning that reducing your meat intake could already have a big impact.

How to Be More Environmentally Friendly in Your Work-Life

It’s not only important to be eco-conscious at home, but also at work. Employees can contribute to a greener business by minimising environmental damage and by making activities more sustainable.

Make Green Choices to Commute to Work

There are always different ways to commute to work. Depending on the distance to the workplace, employees can choose between different options. Usually people tend to choose a car to go to work, because it may seem like the easiest and fastest option. But taking the train, bus, or bicycle to work would pollute less.

Think About the Environment When Printing Paper

It’s unavoidable that in every office, paper will be printed. The first thing you should do when considering printing paper, is to think if it is absolutely required to have the document in hard copy. If not, it’s better to send it digitally. This way, you will minimise the carbon footprint.

Be Mindful of Electricity Usage

Offices have a lot of machinery, equipment, and amenities. These, of course, require a lot of electricity. It’s important to be aware of the energy consumption at the office and only use what’s required. One way to do that is to ensure that electronic devices are unplugged when not in use. The use of green energy by large tech corporations is constantly increasing. It’s important for those companies to meet their electricity needs.

‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

These three words are the well-known principles of waste management. Keeping these in mind will make your office more eco friendly. One way of implementing these principles is by setting up different containers for different products.

Use Recyclable Food Containers

It could be a good idea to offer employees recyclable food containers. This way they could take any leftover food home and it will minimise waste, which is a big problem in the UK.

How to Travel Sustainably

As a result of the cheaper airline tickets, an increasing number of people decide to travel more often. Also, it’s becoming easier to travel to foreign countries as a backpacker. Of course, these frequent travels have negative impacts on the environment. These impacts are pollution and damage to local cultures. Consequently, sustainable travel and more eco friendly holidays are increasingly being promoted.

Unplug Electronic Devices

To avoid unnecessarily wasting even the slightest amount of energy, it is best to unplug all electronic devices from wall sockets before going on vacation. This way you can save electricity and contribute to a greener planet at the same time.

Don’t Waste Perishable Food Items

When you go on a holiday, always check if there are any food items in the fridge about to expire. The best solution is to either consume it before the expiry date or donate it to people in need. This way, again, food wastage will be avoided.

Postpone Housekeeping

Cleaning products contain a lot of bad chemicals. So when you are on a holiday, avoid requesting housekeeping unless it’s really needed. You could easily re-use the towels offered at the beginning of the stay.

Be Mindful of the Method of Transportation

The way you travel has a massive effect on the environment. There’s a big difference in the amount of emission from a car and from a plane. A single flight from Los Angeles to New York City produces 20% of the CO2 emissions that a car emits a year. One way to contribute to a greener and cleaner environment is to travel by car instead of flying.

Try to Pack Light

Flying to different destinations will emit emissions no matter what. If you don’t have any other option available, then you could still contribute to a cleaner environment by packing light. If you pack lighter, the airplane will need less fuel to fly. This way you could still minimise the amount of pollution.

Green Key Certified Accommodation

One way of choosing accommodations that are sustainable in their activities, is by selecting Green Key Certified accommodations. This eco-label contains 13 criteria that need to be fulfilled: environmental management, staff involvement, green activities, indoor environment, guest information, green areas, corporate social responsibility, energy, food & beverages, water, cleaning & washing, waste and administration.

Opt for Eco Friendly Travel Products

You could easily re-use travel products for your next trip. Instead of throwing away travel-sized bottles such as shampoo, conditioner, and creams, you could simply reuse them.

Be Eco-Conscious about Polluting Activities While Abroad

When we are travelling, we tend to participate in different social activities. But participating in these activities may cause a risk of inflicting damage to the environment. These damages can include littering at the beach or hiking in areas where there’s a possibility that the local area might get damaged. It’s important to be mindful about your own actions. This could already make a big difference for the local communities.

Buy from Local Shops

A lot of local communities are struggling to get by. This is mainly caused by the big businesses that are expanding to popular travel destinations. If you are in a foreign country, try to spend your money in local shops or restaurants. This way you could help communities to overcome financial difficulties.

How to Be Eco Friendly in Your School-Life

Parents can play a major role in ensuring that school activities happen in an eco-friendly way. Simply by walking your kids to school or ensuring that they use environmentally friendly school supplies, you could already minimise the damage done to nature. 

Use Containers Instead of Paper Bags

Parents should invest in lunch boxes that are reusable, instead of giving their children lunch in paper bags that are to be thrown out. If there’s no other way than wrapping your food items, then opt for more eco friendly wrapping materials like beeswax.

Donate Clothes

When your children outgrow their school uniforms, it could be a good idea to donate their clothes rather than just throwing it away. You could donate the clothes back to the school or to other parents who are in need.

Go for Electronic Devices Instead of Paper

With advanced technology, it’s possible to take notes in various ways. Although a laptop or tablet is an expensive investment, it could be an eco-friendly option. This way children will not only reduce paper waste at school, but it will also save them time in taking notes.

Choose Environmentally-Friendly Transportation to Go to School

Parents should consider alternative ways of getting their children to school. This could be either walking them to school or making them use public transportation. Another great eco friendly option instead of using a car could be a cargo bike.

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