It seems that everybody’s going green these days. Indeed, we’re bombarded on a daily basis with messages in the media, from our Government and even band-wagon riding celebrities about the importance of sustainable living and eco-friendly practices. Although there’s a temptation to dismiss all the hot-air (pun intended) surrounding green issues as bombastic nonsense, the fact is that we’re causing profound harm to our fragile little planet with our selfish, consumerist lifestyles.
But fear not! In addition to the countless green initiatives being driven by our local authorities (particularly in the area of rubbish removal in London) there are also adjustments we can make in our everyday lives. Household products are a good place to start.
Beauty products can also prove harmful to the environment. If you insist on using them, be sure to check how many ingredients are listed on the label – the fewer the better is usually a good rule-of-thumb. If you’re that dead-set on saving humanity, try using baking soda and water to brush your teeth. They can also be used as a mouthwash and for treating mosquito bites. Alternatively, you could just invest in beauty products that are eco-friendly.
Toxic fumes emitted from cleaning solvents and solution is harmful to the environment both in and outside your home – the chemical ingredients listed on the sides of most cans and aerosols will probably not make for pleasant reading. To avoid the inhalation of these nasties, try mixing water and baking soda to create a cleaning paste. Not only is this an effective cleaner, it’s much kinder on the environment.
Light bulbs aren’t terribly energy-efficient. In fact, most standard bulbs convert only 5 percent of the energy they receive into light. If this is something that causes you to break out into a cold sweat then consider using compact fluorescent lamps. CFLs work in the same way as traditional light bulbs but last longer and use considerably less energy. In fact some of the best ones use up to 75 percent less energy.
Most households feature paper towel rolls. As a result the waste generated by their use is rather significant and can make rubbish clearance in London rather challenging. In order to cut down, try using reusable towels like those made from bamboo. They’re known as bambooee rolls and are equivalent to 60 paper tower rolls. Once used, they can be thrown in the washing machine to be used again later.
Plastic bags are the bugbears of most muesli-eating, eco-conscious lefties and with good reason. The impact they can have on the environment is pretty devastating. To begin with, they’re not bio-degradable which means they can take hundreds of years to break down. A good proportion of them also end up in the sea, which can be pretty disruptive to marine-life. So instead of using plastic bags, try biodegradable poly bags. These are designed to break down in the environment so they pose less of a threat to local ecosystems.
Image by Bill Branson (Photographer) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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