hands holding a new plant over the soil

How To Be More Eco-Friendly — Over 100 Ideas

Are you ready to take a small step that might have a global impact? Do you want to live better and help the environment? Do you need more nature in your life? 

If you answered “Yes” to any or all of these questions, you’re in the right place. Let’s learn how to be more eco-friendly and do our part for the planet!

I’ve divided my suggestions into categories, so feel free to start wherever you like:

Let’s get started!

At Home

Invite nature into your house and make your space more green and relaxing with these ideas:

 1. Save Energy With LED Light Bulbs

While there are many ways to save energy at home, the easiest is switching to LED light bulbs. Did you know that they use 85% less electricity than traditional light bulbs?

2. Consider Switching to Renewable Energy

That’s easier said than done if you’re still paying rent or living in a tiny apartment. But if you have a house, you have no excuse. Renewable energy is getting cheaper by the day, making it accessible to all environmentally conscious individuals.

3. Learn How to Compost and Do It

It’s not as scary or as smelly as you might think. This natural process has numerous benefits, and even a beginner can start a compost pile at home.

4. Work on Your Home Insulation

While it sounds complicated, you can do the insulation yourself. It’ll save you money, keep your place warm during winter, and reduce emissions. 

5. Clean Green

The chemicals in traditional cleaning products affect the water, air, and waste. Replacing them with products that have natural ingredients is among the easiest eco-friendly practices you can adopt.

6. Try Apartment-Friendly Gardening

You can make a small garden even if you don’t have much space. Why buy herbs and veggies when you can grow them yourself? 

7. Donate Instead of Throwing Away

Think twice before you throw out anything. Maybe your family, friends, or neighbors could use it?

8. Air-Dry Your Clothes and Hair

Air-drying will save you money and help the environment. Plus, you won’t have to worry about shrinking your clothes. 

9. Switch to Biodegradable and Plastic-Free Products

This might sound broad, but there are endless ways to be more eco-friendly at home. Start small and replace only the products you can find a good alternative for. That could include any plastic containers, sponges, and cleaning items.

 10. Buy House Plants

Many house plants are easy to look after and will make your home stylish. While they won’t clean the air, they’ll invite nature into your everyday life. That, in turn, will make you think more about the impact of your habits and purchases.

11. Layer Clothing 

Instead of turning the heat up, put more clothes on. You’ll save money and energy. 

 12. Don’t Accept Junk Mail 

You can put a sign on your letterbox to stop receiving junk mail. While you can recycle it, it’s best to put an end to this harmful practice.

 13. Repurpose Old Clothes 

If your old clothes are in bad condition and you can’t sell or donate them, don’t throw them out just yet. One of my favorite eco-friendly tips is making rags out of old shirts and socks. You can never have enough rags!

14. Repurpose Glass Jars

Did you know that it’s a crime to throw away a glass jar? I’m only half-joking. They’re the best containers. Glass jars can even make fruits and veggies last longer. 

eco-friendly bamboo brushes

Bathroom

There’s a lot you can do to make your bathroom greener, and it won’t take much time or money. In fact, this is where I started my sustainable journey. 

 15. Save Water

While I love taking a hot, long shower, that’s not the best for the human body. A short, cold shower has numerous benefits and will help you save water. If you want to take this one step further, you can switch to an eco-friendly shower head.

 16. Use Soap Bars

This is among the easiest eco-friendly ideas you can implement right away. You can find soap bars in plastic-free packaging even at your local supermarket. Plus, there are many artisans that make unique and natural scents. 

 17. Ditch Your Disposable Razor

You can’t recycle most disposable razors, and you only use them a few times before throwing them away. After that, the plastic stays in landfills for hundreds of years, contributing to the global problem.

18. Switch to Shampoo and Body Wash Bars

Unless your skin and hair have special needs, give shampoo and body wash bars a try. They’re made with natural ingredients and come in recyclable packaging.

 19. Get the Most out of Tubes & Cosmetics 

If you have any products that come in a tube, cut them open once you’ve used them up. You’ll be surprised how much product sticks to the packaging. That’s how I’ve continued to use a product for up to a week more. 

This is one of my favorite ways to be sustainable at home, especially if I’m investing in more expensive products.

20. Switch to a Bamboo Toothbrush

My partner was really skeptical about this suggestion, but he soon found out that a bamboo brush feels just like a plastic one. And it’s so much better for the environment! 

 21. Get a Bidet

A bidet helps you be cleaner, save water, and it produces less waste. You can get an attachment that’s easy to install and enjoy a much more sustainable life! 

22. Choose Recycled Toilet Paper

If you’re not convinced about washing your private parts, the next best thing you can do is buy recycled toilet paper. It uses less energy and water, and it’s affordable.

23. Switch to Eco-Friendly Ear Swabs

Plastic cotton swabs are among the most common litter in water bodies worldwide. But you can find many climate-friendly alternatives on the market, and it’s worth trying them out. Switch to a biodegradable option to help the planet!

24. Get Reusable Dryer Balls

If you have a dryer but don’t yet have reusable dryer balls, you’re making a mistake. They can last you for up to 5 years. Plus, they make less noise than plastic ones and drastically reduce your drying time. 

25. Consider Menstrual Alternatives

Traditional menstrual products are full of plastic that takes hundreds of years to decompose. Meanwhile, diva cups and reusable menstrual pads are taking the world by storm, and there’s a good reason for that. They’re safer and among the easy ways to be more eco-friendly every month.

26. Wash Your Clothes Less

If you wear your clothes just once and throw them into the washing machine, know that this isn’t good for your, your washing machine, or the environment. Overwashing affects the quality of your clothes and contributes to the microplastic levels dumped into the ocean. So, try to wash them less often and avoid washing them at high temperatures. 

27. Reconsider Your Skincare Routine

I know it’s trendy to have a 10-step morning routine involving all sorts of serums and creams, but you don’t need that much. Stick to the products that work for your skin and be a minimalist in the bathroom.

fridge with reusable glass containers and veggies

Kitchen

If you’re wondering how to be more eco-friendly, the kitchen is a great way to start. Here are our top tips that will help your kitchen be greener:

28. Preserve Vegetables

If you often have old vegetables lying around in your fridge, it’s time to change that bad habit. You can preserve them in oil or vinegar, make ketchup, or chutneys, or just freeze them to last for months. Plus, that’s an excellent way to work on your cooking skills.

29. Store Your Food Correctly

Knowing how to store your food can make it last a lot longer. And it’s usually much simpler than you’d think.

30. Don’t Throw Away Veggie Stems and Peels

Gather them in a bag and put them in the freezer. When the bag is full, and you have enough variety, you can make a delicious vegetable stock with it.

 31. Make Smoothies

If you have mushy veggies or fruits you know you won’t eat, add them to a smoothie. It’s a fantastic way to eat your healthy dose of daily plants and avoid food waste!

32. Try Beeswax Wraps

They’re among the innovative eco-friendly solutions that I’ve grown to love. And unlike plastic wraps, they’re compostable and can fit more than one container.

33. Store Leftovers in Glass Containers 

Glass containers are the most sustainable option for storing food. They can be a bit heavy if you’re meal prepping for the office, but they’re worth it. Glass is much more climate-friendly and will last you a lot longer than plastic.

34. Replace Paper Napkins

Cloth napkins are better for the environment and for your wallet. Even if we count in the water and energy for washing and drying them, they still produce fewer emissions

35. Use a French Press 

A French press will give you a much richer coffee taste and is cost-effective. While it adds a bit more time to your morning routine, it’s a much greener alternative to single-use capsule coffee.

36. Forget the Tea Bags

I’ve been guilty of using tea bags in the past. They’re just so simple. But that’s the trap of single-use products. Don’t fall for it. Make a big batch of looseleaf tea and enjoy. 

37. Try a Bamboo Dish Scrub

Eco-friendly living means reducing plastic at home as much as possible. Regular kitchen sponges aren’t biodegradable and pollute the water. So why not replace them with a bamboo dish scrub that can last you up to a year?

38. Switch to Biodegradable Trash Bags 

If you can’t bring yourself to start composting just yet, switching to biodegradable trash bags can be the next best thing. They’re a bit more expensive, but they’re worth it.

39. Avoid Food Waste 

Almost a third of all food is lost or wasted every year. It’s a massive problem with many factors, and solving it will require a global effort. You can do your part by reducing food waste at home as much as you can.

house with solar panels

Technology

If you’re wondering how to be more sustainable, you can start by examining your relationship with technology. Here are some basic ideas that we all know but might not follow:

40. Turn Off the Lights 

Every day can be Earth Day if you set your mind to it. You can start by turning off the lights when you don’t need them. 

 41. Unplug Electronic Devices 

Is your charger plugged in all the time? Well, know that it’s been sucking power 24/7. The more devices you have on, the more your bill grows. 

42. Turn Off Your Laptop at Night

I used to leave my laptop on all night until my partner explained to me how bad that was. It’ll ruin your computer and add up to your energy bill.

43. Manage the Air Conditioning

Do your best to keep the temperature as low as you can handle in winter and avoid turning it on in summer if you can manage. Also, you can install a smart thermostat for better regulation and bring your eco-friendly lifestyle to the next level.

44. Switch to Energy Efficient Appliances

I’m not saying go and buy a bunch of energy-efficient appliances. But next time one of them breaks, consider replacing it with a greener alternative.

45. Do Regular Device Maintenance

You’d be surprised how long your household appliances can last with a bit of regular cleaning. And after all, the less we buy, the better for the environment.

46. Use Rechargeable Batteries

A rechargeable battery can save you thousands of single-use ones. It produces less waste and is very cost-efficient.

47. Donate Your Old Devices

It’s tempting to buy a new laptop and throw away the old one, but it’s better to donate it, especially if it has some life in it yet. Many families are struggling and can’t afford a computer for their children. Why not do some good?

At Work

If you’re environmentally concerned, you’ve surely wondered how to make your workplace better for the planet. I know I have. Here are a few simple ideas:

48. Bring Your Own Lunch

Not going to restaurants during your lunch break will save you a lot of cash. And if your colleagues love ordering food, don’t follow their example. Takeout comes with so much extra packaging and is less healthy than a home-cooked meal. So, grab your reusable container and meal prep your way to a greener workplace. 

49. Start a Green Initiative 

If your colleagues aren’t making much effort in the sustainability department and you want to change that, consider organizing a clean-up around your office building. You can also negotiate a recycling initiative with your boss or screen a thoughtful documentary on the effects of carbon emissions.

50. Print Less 

Every time before printing a document, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?”. If it’s not, consider what’s good for the environment and replace that paper with an e-version.

 51. All Hail Remote Work

I love working remotely, but it’s not for everyone. Still, skipping the office a few times a week will produce fewer emissions, less trash, and leave you with more savings. 

52. Take Notes on Your Laptop

If you’re still taking notes on paper for some reason, it’s time to stop. We have enough destroyed forests.

mother touching nose to nose with her baby

With a Baby

We all want what’s best for our babies, but that often comes at a terrible cost — literally and figuratively. Here are a few ways to fight that:

53. Choose Cloth Diapers

Thanks to more and more eco-friendly people, cloth diapers are having a comeback. After all, they cost less and are way more sustainable than disposable diapers. That said, I’d only recommend them if you already have or plan to have a dryer. 

54. Master Borrowing 

While we want our children to have the best of the best, sometimes it’s just not worth it. For instance, when they’re still babies, they outgrow their clothes in a day. But instead of dedicating a monthly budget for baby clothes, why not borrow them from friends and family?

55. Get Creative With the Toys 

Try to buy wooden or second-hand toys, and ask the grandparents to ease off on plastic gifts. You can also organize an exchange group or even look for your old doll and pass it on to the next generation.

56. Make Baby Food

Even if you’re not a pro in the kitchen, you can still adopt sustainable habits like making your own baby food. While it might take more time, it’ll save you money and ensure your child is getting no processed food.

57. Use Sustainable Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are a lifesaver, but did you know that 80% of them aren’t biodegradable? If you truly want to help the planet, opt for the ones made from cotton, bamboo, or viscose rayon.

58. Choose a Plastic-Free Baby Bottle

Everyone should have a sustainable, reusable bottle, and that includes babies. There are many glass options on the market that are durable and natural alternatives. So, you have no excuse to use a plastic one.

Eco-Friendly Habits

If you want to learn how to be more eco-friendly, you must realize that everything starts with establishing good habits. Here’s how I started:

59. Reduce Your Meat and Dairy Consumption 

Note that I didn’t say “go vegan,” although I’ve been there, too. Meat and dairy contribute significantly to climate change, but you don’t need them in every meal. There are perfectly good plant-based protein sources, and they can be just as delicious if you give them a chance. 

60. Eat Locally and Seasonally 

Importing fruits and veggies that aren’t in season takes its toll on the planet. Plus, local food is usually fresh and offers way more nutrients. Make a habit of going to the local farmer’s market for more sustainable food.

 61. Reduce Plastic

If you’re looking for ways to be more eco-friendly, reducing your plastic use is on the top of the list. In most cases, you can easily do away with disposable plastic boxes, utensils, and bags. But this is a whole topic in itself, so read on to find more specific tips.

62. Recycle

Contrary to what some people say, recycling matters. It reduces the waste in landfills, protects our resources, and can have a lasting impact if more people start doing it. While recycling is already an established habit in some countries, many more are yet to establish it in their culture. 

63. Learn to DIY

Even if you’re a hopeless case in the arts and crafts department, you can still learn how to mend your clothes or create a beautiful birthday card instead of buying. Think of creative ways to continue using an object before you throw it away. 

64. Get a Sustainable Water Bottle 

Here’s one of the easiest eco-friendly changes you can make today — buy a reusable water bottle from your local store and try to always carry it with you. And if you want only the best, you can order online. I’ve been using one from 24 Bottles for over a year, and I love it. It’s stylish and durable.

65. Wear Your Clothes Longer

Unless fashion is your passion, you don’t need to buy new clothes every season. Trends come and go. If you follow them, you’re only falling into the trap of fast fashion. Instead, learn how to invest in high-quality pieces that will last longer and make you look great.

66. Build a Capsule Wardrobe 

A capsule wardrobe contains only clothes that are versatile and combine well with each other. It focuses on timeless, high-quality pieces. It’s all the rage right now, and with good reason — it’s among the best ways to fight fast fashion. 

67. Fight Food Waste With Technology

Apps can help you find some great deals on delicious food that would otherwise go to waste. For instance, Too Good To Go lets restaurants sell you leftover food at a discount. In contrast, Olio connects you with neighbors so you can share any surplus food. If you look for ways to be more green, you’ll find them everywhere.

68. Eat Less Rice 

Rice is the worst crop for the environment. It needs a lot of land and water, and it emits tons of methane every year. So, unless it’s your favorite food, try to replace it with beans or other crops.

69. Choose Online Banking

It’s the 21st century, and you don’t need paper bills. Trees have been cut down to make the paper your bills are printed on, and you’ll only pile them up to throw them away during the next spring cleaning.

70. Spend More Time in Nature 

The more you connect with nature, the more you’ll want to live sustainably. While we tend to ignore it, humanity still depends on the planet’s resources — the same ones we’re destroying daily through greed and consumerism.

 71. Plant a Tree

We must all learn to give back to the planet and help it recover from our exploits. Plus, it’s fun and makes for a good date or weekend activity.

two people hiking in the mountains

Eco-Friendly Traveling

Traveling and an environmentalist lifestyle don’t go well together. And with more and more people rushing to explore the world, we must adopt habits that make this sustainable. Here are the best actions you can take:

72. Use Eco-Friendly Transport

I have a rule that seems crazy to some people, but it works for me. If it takes no more than 30 minutes to get from place A to place B, I go on foot. Daily walks are good for mental health and all that. But if you hate walking, public transport is still better than driving a car. Also, you can go biking.

73. Invest in a Fuel-Efficient Car

If you must drive, invest in a sustainable car. I know it’s easier said than done, but you can save up by using public transport. Plus, those gas prices are off the charts.

74. Avoid Flying 

Many of us fell in love with flying, but unfortunately, it’s not great for the environment. It produces tons of carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change. It’s almost as bad as driving daily, especially if you take frequent flights.

75. Avoid Cruise Holidays

So, what can I do to help the environment? Well, we can start by forgetting all about cruise holidays. It turns out that these fun ships are a massive contributor to carbon emissions. Also, they kill marine life and release toxic waste into the ocean. 

76. Pick an Unpopular Destination

All countries have something to offer. While most tourists flock to trendy destinations, you can be more environmentally responsible by picking a less common location. Otherwise, you’ll just contribute to the rising numbers of carbon emissions.

77. Use Eco-Friendly Travel Products

We already mentioned the reusable water bottle, but why stop there? You can also get a solar charger for your phone and a reusable utensil set, especially if you want to go camping.

78. Pack Light

The heavier the plane, the more fuel it needs to fly. Pack only the essentials, and you’ll also expend less energy while exploring the world. 

79. Join Carpools

Commuting with other people means reducing carbon emissions. So, if you’re traveling locally, join carpools. Maybe you’ll even make some new friends.

Eco-Friendly Shopping

If you’re wondering how to be more green, you can start by reconsidering your shopping habits and decisions.

80. Think Before You Buy

I fall for promotions as much as the next person, but before I hit that “Complete Purchase” button, I always ask myself: “Why am I buying this now?” “Do I really need it?” and “Will I really use it?”. 

 81. Shop Local 

Support your local stores. So many small businesses struggle to survive, and they offer much better food. Also, they often grow their own fruits and veggies, and you can rest assured that those taste better than the ones at the supermarket.

82. Bring Your Own Bag

Here’s one of the easy eco-tips anyone can do. It’s always good to carry a spare cloth bag with you, plus it won’t take much space. I’d even argue that it doesn’t matter much whether it’s made from cloth or plastic, as long as you keep reusing it. 

83. Buy Products With Less Packaging

Since everything comes with extra packaging these days, even those who are living in the green struggle with this task. But if you buy less packaged snacks and bring your own containers to the supermarket, you can truly reduce your carbon footprint.

84. Stop Buying Disposable Products

You know what I’m talking about — straws, paper and plastic utensils, diapers, paper towels, face wipes…the list goes on and on. Most of these have fantastic alternatives, so we have no excuses to ignore them.

85. Go Grocery Shopping With a List

Planning ahead will ensure you only buy what you need and prevent you from purchasing unhealthy snacks (almost). Dedicate a day of the week for planning your groceries and another one for buying them. It’s easier, efficient, and helps you stay healthy and sustainable.

86. Unsubscribe From Shopping Newsletters

Even if you don’t read newsletters, unfollow any brands on social media that encourage you to shop more. It’s easy to fall for a discount, but that won’t teach you how to live eco-friendly and be happy.

87. Don’t Buy Books

That’s coming from someone who loves books, so hear me out. It’s the 21st century. We have audio and e-books. There’s no need to destroy forests for the sake of a Beauty and the Beast library. Invest in a Kindle. Alternatively, you can borrow books from friends or organize a book exchange.

88. Avoid Ordering Takeout

If you can’t stop doing it altogether, at least restrict yourself to a few times a month. Takeout comes with so much unnecessary packaging. Not to mention that the food isn’t of the highest quality.

89. Wait 10 Days Before Buying

If you fall in love with a piece of clothing, jewelry, shoes, or anything else that’s not essential for your daily life, ignore your instant gratification monkey brain. Wait 10 days before purchasing and see how much you want it then.

90. Buy in Bulk

If you want to learn how to be more eco-friendly at home, buy in bulk. It’s usually cheaper, and you can forget about frequent supermarket visits because you suddenly ran out of dish soap.

sustainable natural wardobe

Sustainable Fashion & Skincare

Fast fashion is detrimental to the planet, and the billion-dollar skincare industry isn’t far behind. Fortunately, there are many ways to make more sustainable choices.

 91. Go Thrift Shopping

Macklemore was up to something back in 2012. His song surely helped the thrifting community to grow and feel more confident. If you’re not too squeamish about buying used items, you might find a whole world of precious troves.

92. Learn to Tell Good Ingredients/Materials from Bad

Once you learn to recognize high-quality clothes and makeup, you’ll naturally stop purchasing fast fashion. It’s just sad to see how bad these clothes are sewn. No discount is worth it if you’ll only wear a dress two times before you have to throw it away.

93. Shop Alone 

Sometimes, being around friends can encourage us to buy more and spend more. If that sounds like you, and you’re looking for ways to live greener, try shopping alone. It might not sound as fun, but you’ll make much better decisions

94. Don’t Buy Makeup/Skincare Before You Run Out

It’s so tempting to buy and try different beauty products, but that packaging adds up, and let’s face it — you won’t use most of them. You’re just throwing a bunch of expensive items down the drain.

95. Choose Ethical Brands 

Imagine what millions of customers can achieve if we switch to ethical brands with an environmental focus. We just might change the world a bit. If you haven’t already, you can try the Good on You app that gives you advice and helps you discover sustainable brands.

96. Don’t Fall for the Latest Trend

Trends come and go and are essentially a way to trick you into buying a new wardrobe every season. They have no place in an environmentalist lifestyle. Find out what clothes look best on you and follow your own style.

Gifts

The holidays can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t want to spend much or you’re just annoyed by the far-reaching hand of consumerism. But I have a few tricks that can still help you: 

97. Save Gift Bags and Boxes for Future Use

Most are perfectly reusable and too pretty to throw away. Just make sure not to use them on a gift to the same person who gave them to you.

98. Gift Experiences

Unlike material objects, experiences last a lifetime. They can be anything from concert and escape room tickets to scuba diving lessons or bungee jumping. Plus, experiences come without packaging, and they can be shared with a special someone. 

99. Handcraft a Gift

Pinterest is full of handmade gift ideas that aren’t difficult to pull off. If you’re looking for a new hobby and learning how to be environmentally conscious, you can use what you already have at home to craft the perfect gift made with love.

100. Cooking a Gift

For a few years now, I’ve been baking cookies and pies for family and friends instead of doing the dreaded Christmas shopping. It’s the perfect gift for the holidays, full of kindness, warmth, and delicious flavors. Is there a better way to get into the Christmas spirit?

dog and cat cuddling

Pets

Whether you’re thinking of getting a pet or you already have one, consider the following tips:

101. Adopt, Don’t Shop

Think twice before buying a pet. Most dogs sold at pet shops come from puppy mills with horrible conditions that threaten the animals’ health. Meanwhile, there are numerous mixed dogs and even purebred ones waiting for a new home at your local rescue center.

102. Choose Sustainable Products

Pick toys made from natural materials that are safe and non-toxic.

If you have a cat, replace silicone cat litter with a natural option, like wheat or walnut-based litter on Amazon.

103. Use Compostable/Biodegradable Poop Bags

Don’t contribute to the plastic bag problem. There are many environmentally conscious alternatives that are leak-proof and cheap.

Other Ways to Help the Environment

Aside from building an eco-friendly house, here are a few other ways to help the planet and motivate more people to participate:

Educate Others

There’s power in numbers. If you convince just one person to switch to an eco-friendly alternative, that small change can have a massive impact. That’s how we can slowly build a better society.

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Terrapass funds projects that reduce carbon emissions and work on sustainable solutions for a greener future. You can use them to buy products and subscriptions that will offset your carbon footprint and contribute to a better world.

Organize a Clean-Up

You can do that around the block, at the office, or even at school. It can be a bonding experience and a chance to meet more neighbors, colleagues, and friends.

Volunteer at Eco-Friendly Organizations

If you’re wondering how to be more eco-friendly, why not join a non-profit organization that already has a plan and needs help? Here are the best ones:

  • GRID Alternatives — Focused on renewable energy. The organization offers free training and doesn’t require any experience in the field.
  • Arbor Day Foundation — Focused on planting trees. It sends you free trees to plant, along with a guide on how to do it. Also, there’s a shop full of wonderful sustainable gifts. 
  • American Rivers — Focused on cleaning up rivers. You can join the community all over the US and help preserve the country’s natural heritage.
  • International Bird Rescue — Focused on saving birds. The global conservation organization will teach you how to care for animals, and you’ll observe the whole process of returning the birds back into the wild. 
  • DoSomething — Focused on social issues and activism. You can choose to participate in various campaigns where you’ll learn more about each topic and meet like-minded individuals. 

If you’re truly motivated to take action, it’s best to look for a non-profit organization in your area where you’ll have the most impact and join a community.

Final Thoughts on How to Be More Eco-Friendly

We’ll need almost two Earths to keep up with our current level of consumption. Our actions have dire consequences for the planet, and we can’t ignore them any longer. 

The good news is we can change. It might take a million baby steps, but we can learn from each other, choose sustainable solutions, and work together for a greener tomorrow!

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