With just that hint of summer peeking through, it’s usually the time we start thinking about getting our bodies, homes and health into shape. Aside from the usual fitness routines and faddy diets though, how else can we ensure we’re getting that health kick we so desperately need?
How about through green living? With many of us more conscious than ever about what food we put inside our bodies, it’s more than just a case of free range eggs that can determine how green we are… and how we can be that little bit kinder to the planet, in the meantime.
Green lifestyles don’t need to be expensive, either. Commonly, there’s a misconception that going green is going to cost the bank but with these super easy green living ideas, you could find yourself actually saving those pennies!
Replace Your Shower Curtain
Got a vinyl shower curtain? Uh oh. That’s a big eco-no-no! The vinyl of our household shower curtains actually contains many volatile organic compounds that have been known to release chemicals in the air that are harmful to health. Not only can they make symptoms worse for those suffering with asthma but they can cause eye, nose, throat irritations, headaches, vomiting and even cancer.
Commonly found in household items such as nail polishes, fabric cleaners, air fresheners, shower curtains and upholstered furniture, ensure you check the labels of any products carefully and opt for PVC-free plastic, cloth or even bamboo options for the bathroom.
Swap Out Your Lightbulbs
LEDs have been around for quite a while yet it’s safe to say that nobody really understood what it meant or how they worked. By far the most efficient, cleanest and most eco-friendly lighting source is LED and that’s because LEDs emit light in a certain direction reducing the needs for reflectors and diffusers that act to trap light.
In fact, they’re so energy efficient that they can have a lifetime expectation of up to 11 years! Whilst incandescent lighting only operates at around 20% efficiency, LED lights operate at around 80-90% meaning they’ll be brighter for much longer and, as they don’t have any toxic chemicals within them and are 100% recyclable, you can ensure you’re doing your bit for the environment too!
In the kitchen, make sure you run a full dishwasher when you can. Firstly, a dishwasher can use much less water than washing dishes by hand – they use half the energy and a sixth of the water you’d use in the sink.
Turn the notch down on the washing machine. Unless you’ve got heavily stained clothes, do your laundry on a cooler wash. Not only does it help to prevent shrinking but it can also prevent your clothes from wearing out as quickly so it’s win, win!
Shower not bath. A bath can use so much more water than a 10-minute shower so ensure you jump in the shower, wash and then jump out. Don’t leave the water running! Also, why not try a low-flow showerhead? Many of them have brilliant water pressure meaning you’re not sacrificing on your creature comforts.
With regulations in place in the UK to recycle already, it’s a great way to ensure we’re doing our bit for the environment. The amount of paper and cardboard that end up in UK landfills amasses to innumerable amounts and all of this could have been recycled and reused.
Many household items and packaging can now be recycled so get into the habit of separating and checking your packaging and if you’re not sure, check with the local recycling program or on your council given pamphlets to check what you can recycle.