Sustainability is a trending topic nowadays. There’s a ton of buzz about the environment, eco-tourism, reducing energy consumption and keeping climate change at bay as long as possible.

However, the personal benefits of going green are often neglected — of being spiritually fulfilled by living in sync with the natural cycles and rhythms of the world.

Let’s discuss three approaches to improving your sense of happiness and spiritual well-being by being more eco-friendly:

1. Choose Eco-Responsible Brands and Products

Products that are engineered with sustainability in mind produce less waste, emit fewer greenhouse gases during production and won’t harm the environment as they break down. Truly sustainable products aren’t green only during the production stage and during the first use, but throughout the life of the product.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cars that run on a hybrid of gas and electricity, which reduce fuel emissions.
  • Reusable coffee cups made of food-grade materials, which eliminate the need for single-use cups.
  • Home items, like floor mats, garbage bags, and linens made from recycled and/or biodegradable materials.
  • LED light bulbs that conserve energy and lower your utility bill.
  • Biodegradable garden pots, which keep the earth safe from rubber and plastic. Usually, they’ll completely decompose within one year.

Try to find eco-friendly brands with brick-and-mortar stores you can visit. Buying online requires a lot of packaging and shipping, which isn’t great for the environment. When you do shop in a store, be sure to bring your own bags.

Discovering sustainable brands will take a bit of leg work, but if you want to reduce your carbon footprint, it’s well worth the effort.

Look into the brand story to find out how they source materials and who makes their products. Find out about their community and environmental efforts. Read testimonials from customers, as well as comments from employees. Also see if they have any news coverage, either positive or negative.

2. Surround Yourself With Plants

The most natural and least expensive way to purify the air in your home and improve your connection to nature is by decorating with live plants. Houseplants remove harmful toxins from the air, and they can even keep asthma at bay. Bonus: They’ll look absolutely gorgeous in your home!

Here are three of the healthiest plants to surround yourself with:

  • Dendrobium and phalaenopsis orchids produce most of their oxygen at night, making them a great addition to your bedroom.
  • Live in a chilly part of the world? Peace lilies can survive (and even thrive) in temps below 55 degrees, and they also do just fine in the shade. If you have a drafty house without a lot of natural light, opt for this pollutant-remover.
  • Ferns have been around since prehistoric times, and there’s almost no in-home pollution they can’t stand up to.

Create a zen-like atmosphere in your bathroom with plants, or use tall greenery to take up empty wall space. Shop around for cool, quirky pots that fit with your decor, or go completely neutral and chic, if that’s your style.

If you have limited space or aren’t home much, opt for cacti and succulents — they’re small and a cinch to care for and they also help purify the air.

3. Hack Your Home

Going green doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money to re-insulate your home or install solar panels. There are all sorts of ways to create a more eco-friendly home that are either inexpensive or completely free. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • The less there is in your freezer, the harder it has to work to stay chilled. By putting one or two gallons of water in your freezer, you’ll add a freezing cold mass that will give the fridge’s compressor a break.
  • Sign up for paper-free bills from the companies you pay regularly. Sometimes they’ll even offer you a money-off incentive for switching to e-bills.
  • The next time you wash lightweight clothing, hang it up to dry and then toss it in the dryer to finish it off. You’ll cut down on energy.
  • Do you have a particular room that gets a ton of sunlight and heats up quickly? Instead of kicking the AC up, consider planting a tree outside the window for natural shade.
  • Your plugged-in devices continue to suck power even when they’re not on. Instead of plugging them into a wall, use a power strip, which you can easily turn off when not in use.

Get into the habit of looking at the different areas of your life and deciding how to improve them. Don’t wait until you have a big budget to make major eco-friendly overhauls; just start small to start creating a greener lifestyle. A simple 10% improvement will make you more eco-friendly today than you were yesterday.

These measures will have a dramatic improvement in your spiritual well-being and contribute to a cleaner world for future generations. Once you’ve made changes at home, consider getting involved with community efforts to save the planet.

Noah Rue

Noah Rue

Noah Rue is always wondering where his next trip will take him. When he’s not traveling the world, he writes about sustainability, technology, workplace management, career development, and other interests. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can contact him at nyarrue@gmail.com.

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