Is being eco-friendly hard?
You might think it's a grueling lifestyle, but that's a far cry from the reality.
There are so many ways to reduce your carbon footprint, even if you have too much on your plate to put in any effort. And rest assured, these tips will help you do exactly that, with minimal hassle. So without further ado, here is Karunaki's very own guide to being environmentally-friendly with zero effort!
Use a Dishwasher
What’s that? Convenient innovation that’s actually better for the environment?
If you can believe it, modern technology has advanced to the point where dishwashers are now a lot more efficient at doing their job than humans are. You’ll save yourself nearly 230 hours of time and 5,000 gallons of water each year by using a dishwasher. And while it’s true that you can save more energy washing your dishes manually, that’s only if you wash them precisely with the right technique. And that sounds like a lot of work.
So let your dishwasher do its job! Most modern dishwashers have soil sensors as well, meaning you don’t even have to pre-wash; the machine will clean as much as it needs to. Bonus points if you run an eco-friendly setting and/or only use the dishwasher once it’s fully loaded!
Cool It With The Laundry
Yes. We’re begging you not to do your laundry.
Or more accurately, to lower the amount of times you do it. Doing your laundry every two days creates almost 440kg of CO2 emissions annually. While stains and soil should not be ignored, you don't have to wash all your clothes immediately after wearing them. Most clothes can be worn multiple times, especially if you’re not sweating as much when you wear them. Even cutting down on detergent use for regular laundry helps a ton, keeping dangerous chemicals out of rivers and lakes. Using less detergent also means not having to leave home to get more.
As with your dishes, we recommend waiting until you’ve got a full load of laundry before pressing the “start” button. And if you can, hang your clothes to dry normally rather than using an electric dryer. You’ll cut down on another average of 1079 kWh of electricity each year if you do!
While we’re still on the subject of technology, being eco-friendly does not mean completely reverting back to the stone age. Take advantage of the gifts of the 21st century! There's almost no need for paper now. Most banks now offer e-statements, online records and transactions, and with the advent of e-transfers, credit and debit cards and digital services like PayPal, why bother using cash? You’ll be saving a lot of the many trees and energy resources used during the production of bank notes.
And let’s not forget books, either. E-books are becoming increasingly popular, and for the sake of the environment, you should get on that bandwagon! They’re a great way to reduce your paper waste and carbon footprint, according to this article from The New York Times. You can even download your e-books without having to move away from the couch, so there really is no excuse.
If there’s any takeaway from this at all, it’s that when in doubt, avoid the paper option and go digital instead.
Don’t Go to Work
If you can, and the nature of your work allows it, see if you can work from home!
The daily commute doesn’t just take up your valuable time. It also costs gasoline and produces a lot of CO2 emissions, especially if you drive to work. In fact, motor vehicles contribute to more than 50 percent of air pollution in the United States alone.
Bicycling to work is what most people do instead, but why travel at all when you can do your job in your pajamas? Thanks to modern computer applications like cloud software, video call platforms and email, you can access most of your office needs from home! In fact, studies have shown that telecommuters use less energy at home than at work; generate less plastic and paper waste; and are generally more productive due to having more flexibility with their schedule.
Even if it’s only part-time remote work, the benefits, both to the environment, the company and your personal life are clear as day, and it'd be a shame not to at least try.
Repackage, Regive, Recycle
Remember the times you felt obligated to get someone you know a birthday present but had no idea what to get them? Or forgot to? Or just didn't feel like it?
Before you throw away that old sweater or that nostalgic collectible you have no space for, think about repackaging them as a gift for a friend! It’s the ultimate lazy lifehack. If you also have some spare cardboard boxes (or really, anything you can put the gift in) lying around, go full artist and make your own reused giftbox for a double win!
And if you’re already a part of the Box Club, this is also a great way to get rid of any excess box products without creating any waste. Spread the eco-love!
Even the laziest people can’t go without their regular shopping needs. So why not do yourself and the environment a favor and source from eco-friendly brands?
Many of your daily cleaning and beauty products contain harmful chemicals. By buying from environmentally-conscious brands and stores, or by making them yourself at home, you can keep them from damaging the environment!
And don't stop there. Companies and brands are changing with the times and are producing more sustainable products, including just about anything from clothes to phone cases. Even your groceries can be bought instead at a farmer’s market, which produces far less waste and pollution than your traditional supermarket. By just switching up who you buy from, you can make a huge difference.
There. That wasn’t so bad, now was it? In fact, there’s a pretty likely chance that you’re doing most of these things already, and that’s worth a pat on the back! So keep trying to incorporate the rest of them into your day-to-day, and watch the magic happen. You, and the planet, will thank you that much more for it.
With love and compassion,