Having a small family is the most important thing you can do to conserve resources and protect the environment, but reducing your consumption and changing to more sustainable kinds of consumption is also essential if we’re to address our environmental challenges.
You can reduce your energy use by insulating your home, turning down the thermostat, washing your clothes in cooler water and reducing the amount of lighting you use. You may be able to install wind- or solar-power generating equipment on your premises or purchase electricity generated in an eco-friendly manner from your power company. Consider using rechargeable batteries.
You may be able to reduce your food consumption by buying only what you need and consuming all perishables before they become inedible. Reduce or even end your consumption of food that is derived from animals — this includes all meat, egg and dairy products.
Purchase durables made in an eco-friendly manner. Often the packaging of such products will feature a seal indicating they are eco-friendly. Avoid products that are heavily packaged or especially damaging to the environment, such as non-recyclable plastics.
It is more environmentally friendly to walk, cycle or use public transportation. If these options are unsuitable, you might buy a motorbike or environmentally friendly car, and share your vehicles with others. Environmentally friendly vacations might involve travelling by train rather than air, or staying at an eco-friendly resort.
Bags and envelopes can often be reused. Many waste products can be used around your home for another purpose. Products can also often be reused by donating them to charity or selling them via online consumer to consumer exchanges. You can also help by considering these options before buying something new.
Many things can be recycled today. Food waste, for example, can be turned into garden compost. Computers, mobile phones and other electronics also can be recycled — often at local recycling facilities. You can also help by buying products made from recycled materials.
You can make your garden welcoming to wildlife through design. You can also volunteer with an environmental organization to help improve local habitats.
Buy less stuff
Most of us in the developed world buy and consume more than we need to. There are no rules about what we should and shouldn’t own, but being more mindful about what we buy can be good for us, as well as the planet.