Going Green [6]: greener living ideas

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It’s a constant struggle for me. I think we need a whole lot of policy change to meet our climate goals and save our planet from climate change, deforestation, and pollution. But then again, while we – by ourselves – have very little impact on the global outcome, eventually we’ll all be making changes. These may not be painful, as some people claim. And for some, you may not have to wait until governments spring into action and force changes upon you. In this blog, I will explore some ideas that you can implement to have a greener lifestyle.

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Plant some life around you

Starting a garden is a fantastic way to reduce your carbon footprint. By growing your fruits and vegetables, you will decrease your reliance on fossil fuels for transportation and reduce the amount of food waste generated in your household. Gardening also helps to improve air quality, as plants absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere.

Now of course, many people won’t be able to have a garden. Right now, I live in a house with a garden. But I have no clue if I will in one year’s time. Still, when I lived in a small apartment complex I grew herbs on the French balcony. Every plant helps insects, biodiversity and makes cities better places to live: cooler, greener, nicer. And outside the cities, it helps if there are the different kinds of flowers, plants and produce that our planet used to have before we started monoculture farming.

So don’t start a garden, if you don’t have a garden. But do plant some life around you. Of course, it would help if local governments would subsidise removing garden tiles in favour of plants. But as long as this is the case: make your own place a little greener if you can!

Use reusable containers

Single-use plastic containers are a significant contributor to environmental pollution. By switching to reusable containers, you can help reduce plastic waste. A colleague of mine has cute food containers of different sizes with cats on them. There’s plenty of options.

And instead of using disposable water bottles, invest in a reusable water bottle that you can refill throughout the day. Besides one bottle for water, I also have a big bottle for hot drinks. And if you know, you’re going out for lunch or go buy something at a store: just have an empty mug, container and/or bag with you. Less waste, more life!

Go vegan

Meat production is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions. By reducing your meat consumption, you can help reduce the environmental impact of the meat industry. By incorporating more plant-based meals into your diet, you can make a significant impact. There are many delicious vegetarian and vegan recipes available online, so you’re sure to find something that suits your taste buds.

Going vegan makes a big difference, although some of the products that are created today for vegan consumers have an expensive price tag… But don’t just look at vegan burgers, go deep into vegan cuisine. There’s a lot of recipes online… I like reading RainbowPlantLife.com and Pick Up Limes as well as watching the videos from FromMyBowl.com.

Choose eco-friendly products

When shopping for products, look for eco-friendly options. There are many products available that are made from sustainable materials or are designed to be biodegradable. For example, you can buy eco-friendly cleaning products that are made from natural ingredients and packaged in recyclable containers.

Of course, there is a lot of dodgy stuff in the eco-friendly category as well. Many big cooperations like to pretend they’re eco-friendly. But searching online for other people’s experiences helps a lot here. This way, I found a lot of vegan sneaker brands and slightly more sustainable clothing brands. Of course, another way to go here is if the things you buy last a long time. You don’t need to use as much laundry detergent as the package says. And not every clothing item needs to be washed every week (in fact, they’ll last a whole lot longer if you don’t).

In conclusion, there are many simple yet effective ways to have a greener lifestyle. By implementing these original ideas, you can make a positive impact on the environment and help to create a better future for our planet.

In [Going Green], Stefan Meeuws writes about his struggles on, well, going green. Since becoming a vegetarian in 2019, he has switched to a greener bank and has been trying to reduce his impact on the environment. This blog is a personal account of the struggles and benefits he experiences on his quest to go green. 

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash. Logo by Lotte Boots.

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