You take your own travel mug to the coffee shop, you regularly use public transport and turn off the lights when you leave the room. You recycle what you can, take your reusable bags to the supermarket and do your best be environmentally friendly. So what else can you do? Here are five unique ways you might not have considered to be more eco-friendly.
1. Put a stop to unsolicited junk mail
Do you have “No junk Mail” sign on your mailbox but you still keep getting advertising material or unsolicited mail? Inevitably these end up straight in the bin.
Take the following steps to reduce both paper and water waste and be more eco-friendly:
- Request a free ‘No Advertising Material’ sticker from the Distribution Standards Board. Click here if you would like to request a sticker for your letterbox.
- Report any irresponsible distribution of junk mail to the Distribution Standards Board (you must have your sticker on your mailbox to report an incident).
- Put your name on the ‘Do Not Mail Register’.
If you still get junk mail, contact the business concerned directly and ask them to follow up with their distributors.
2. Switch your search engine landing page
Over a billion people use Google to search the internet, but did you know that you can save energy whilst searching the web? The idea is simple. Switch to use Blackle a google search engine where the screen is predominately black. This saves energy because monitors generally require more power to display a white or light screen than a black one. The energy savings are small but add up.
3. Don’t own it. Borrow / Share / Rent
Do you really need to buy that new book or bike? Why buy something new that only you can use when you could rent, share or just borrow the item you need? This concept is not new, but with the amazing array of technology available today there are many places set up to help you use items you need without the need to own them. Here are just a few examples of how you could become more of a collaborative consumer.
Bike Share Scheme
In many places in Europe and Asia, community bicycles are just part of regular life. Whilst not so common place in Australia there are a number of schemes available.
- Melbourne Melbourne Bike Share and the recently launched oBike
- Brisbane CityCycle
- WA Urbi Bike
- Sydney Reddy Go (due to start in July 2017)
Cycling is not always an option and with the vast size of Australia driving is often a necessity. A cheaper and greener alternative to owning your own car is to car share. There are a number of car sharing options:
4. Freecycle – Give away or find second-hand goods
Perhaps you’ve decided to upgrade your old table, bed or couch or perhaps you need a spare bed for a visitor? Perhaps you’ve got a new computer and no longer need your old one. Don’t let your old but good stuff end up in landfill. List your goods for someone else who might need the item or search for an item you’re in need of on Freecycle, Craigslist or Zilch. Not only does this help you get rid of your unwanted items it reduces waste and saves resources and helps your community.
5. Make your own Eco-friendly household cleaners.
Making your own natural cleaning products helps to reduce the amount of toxins that end up in our waterways, makes your home more family-friendly and can save you quite a lot of money. You might already use vinegar and baking soda to get off stubborn stains off your pots and pans but did you know you can make eco-friendly household cleaners to clean almost everything? These a few of the ones you might not have thought of:
- Window cleaner: 2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp dishwashing detergent and 3 tbs vinegar
- Weed spray: 1 tbs dishwashing detergent,4 litres white vinegar and 1 cup salt
- Toilet Cleaner: 2 cups borax, 1 cup lemon juice
- Furniture Polish: 1 cup vegetable oil and 1/2 cup lemon juice
Inspired to try one of these unique ideas? Why not share it with a friend and get started together? E-mail them or share it on Facebook.
Do you have any unique ways you strive to be more environmentally friendly? Let us know in the comments.