6 Practical Tips For an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

A guide exploring ways to make your day-to-day life more sustainable with eco-friendly tips.

Last updated: Apr 10, 2024 5 min read

Summary

An eco-friendly lifestyle is good for you and the planet. You could save money on energy bills and live a healthier lifestyle while helping to combat climate change.

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Benefits of an eco-friendly lifestyle

Adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle allows you to play a part in our planet’s future, reducing the negative impacts of climate change and preserving precious habitats for animals and humans.

While all of this can seem too abstract to some, there are clear benefits to an eco-friendly lifestyle that’ll improve your day-to-day life:

  • Save money on energy bills.

  • Future-proof your home and purchases.

  • Encourage healthier habits.

  • Be a role model.

In a recent survey, 65% of households said they were willing to take action against climate change. However, many were not willing to pay more or fully give up habits or consumer products to make eco-friendly lifestyle changes.

It’s important we consider consumer attitudes when thinking of practical ways to implement green practices to live a more sustainable life.

6 eco-friendly lifestyle changes you can make

1. Switch to renewable energy

Making the switch to a renewable energy tariff could be one of the easiest and most effective eco-friendly lifestyle changes you can make. Renewables are energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind and biomass that generate electricity. Check if your current provider offers a green energy tariff or switch to a new supplier. Don’t forget to compare rates for standing charges and unit prices to get the best renewable deal.

2. Travel greener

If you have the option, try using public transport to travel for work and leisure. Bus operators are starting to switch their fleets to electric vehicles, making bus travel even greener. You could also save some money on petrol or any congestion or clean air zone charges when using public transport.

Switching from a petrol or diesel to an electric car could be another great way to reduce your emissions and adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you’re interested to find out more, we’ve compared battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles in our guide.


3. Reduce food waste

In the UK, more than 10 million tonnes of food is wasted every year. While some of this waste happens before food hits the supermarket shelf, around 70% of food waste comes from households.

There are a few ways in which you can reduce your food waste and save money such as:

  • Planning your meals ahead of time.

  • Writing shopping lists for the items you need.

  • Freezing food that might otherwise go bad.

  • Using leftovers for other meals.

4. Eat less meat

About a third of human-made greenhouse gas emissions are linked to food. Most emissions are associated with the production of meat, so processes such as fertilisation, deforestation, resource usage and methane emitted by cattle.

You don’t have to cut meat out entirely. Swapping a few meals to use plant-based protein sources such as lentils, beans or tofu instead of meat, is a good step in the right direction toward an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Surprisingly, there’s a big difference between the types of meat you can eat. Beef causes seven times more greenhouse gas emissions than poultry. So if it has to be meat, going for chicken or turkey can have a smaller environmental impact than beef.

Still, a plant-based option like tofu is better than any meat when it comes to emissions. Beef causes 23 times more emissions than tofu and 35 times more than beans or lentils.

5. Use less plastics

Plastics are made from fossil fuel-derived chemicals like oil and gas. Reducing your use of plastic materials lessens the demand for these polluting resources.

We know that sometimes, it’s difficult or almost impossible to avoid the use of plastic – think life-saving medical equipment and medication packaging.

You can still make a difference with some small, eco-friendly changes to your daily habits. Avoid any kind of single use plastic like bags, straws, bottles and instead:

  • Carry a refillable water bottle.

  • Buy loose fruit and vegetables or avoid excessive food packaging.

  • Reuse shopping bags.

  • Choose recyclable alternatives where possible.

6. Check your appliances’ energy efficiency

If you need to replace or want to upgrade an appliance like a washing machine or TV, you’ll find that every appliance comes with an energy rating on a scale of A to G.

You can reduce your energy usage by over 50% if you choose an A-rated, energy efficient appliance. This will save you money and do good for the environment, as you’ll use less energy overall.

Why is sustainability important?

Sustainable living helps to reduce pollution of the planet to preserve resources, such as water and air, and avoid the harmful effects of global warming caused by climate change.

To achieve sustainability, consumers, companies and governments must act and adopt practices that are eco-friendly and cause no harm to the environment.

Being environmentally conscious with your EV charging

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is better for the environment than travelling in a petrol or diesel car. If you’re an electric car driver, we’ve a few simple tips for you to make EV charging even more environmentally friendly:

A simple strategy for sustainable living

  • Recycle – find new uses for items instead of throwing them away, whether that’s plastics, glass or paper. More complex items like smartphones and lithium-ion batteries can be recycled, too.

  • Reuse – get as much use out of your items as possible. They already exist, so you might as well make the most of them.

  • Reduce – minimise waste by planning ahead and reusing where possible.

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Charge at times of low demand

This is typically overnight. When demand is high, the use of fossil fuel generated electricity can be higher, so you want to avoid that.

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Switch to a renewable energy tariff

If you haven’t already, this is an easy way for you to cut your reliance on polluting fossil fuels when charging at home.

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Find green public chargers

When charging on-the-go, opt for charge stations using 100% renewable energy, including the Pod Point Network.

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Use solar energy

If you have a domestic solar system, you may be able to connect it to an existing home charger or purchase and install a compatible home charger like the Solo charger to charge your EV using solar.