In the throw-away consumer culture that tends to rule in the 21st century western world, it's no surprise that many people today have decided that there just has to a better, more responsible way to live. Enter the Eco-DIY movement, which not only promotes a healthier and more respectful approach to the planet and environment, but which also emphasises an ethos of self-reliance and personal accountability.
If you'd like to save money and do some good for the environment at the same time, consider implementing these straightforward ideas.
Install A Rainwater Tank
There are many benefits to setting up your own rainwater tank, ranging from the fact that you will save money on bills, avoid any problems with "hard water", and help to reduce the risk of localised flooding in your area. Not only this, but you'll help to reclaim some of the water which inevitably gets wasted in your home through running the shower too long or being overzealous when washing the dishes.
Rainwater tanks come in many different varieties – some designed specifically to feed into your indoor appliances (i.e. leading directly to toilet cisterns or washing machines via simple pipe networks, regulated by a shut off valve), while others act simply as large outdoor "reservoirs" which you can dip into as and when you need. For more information, contact a rainwater tank manufacturer, such as Betta Tanks.
Grow Your Own Vegetables & Set Up A Composter
If you aren't already engaged in growing your own vegetables, then you'd best get started. The benefits are too many to count, but include reducing your grocery bills and contributing to the reduction of plastic waste and pesticides in circulation (unfortunate by-products of the food industry). That's not to mention the well publicised links between hobby gardening and improved health & well-being, which include everything from alleviating depression to lowering blood pressure, improving overall immune function, and burning excess calories.
If you live in a flat or simply don't have any garden space free, the world of "square foot gardening"—a method of squeezing plants and crops into the tightest space possible (sometimes in individual boxes, sometimes in a set of vertical hanging trays or fixtures)—might be just the approach you need in order to adapt your garden goals to your living space without compromising on what can be grown.
Going hand-in-hand with growing your own vegetables, is the composter, one of the most reliable items you can own. Simply put, a composter allows you to eliminate your household's organic waste while at the same time producing your own rich fertiliser for whatever you happen to be growing at that moment. Once again, this not only reduces your general household costs, but is also one of the most effective and direct forms of recycling out there.
Many people are open-minded about things like growing their own vegetables, but draw the line at keeping animals. The reasoning usually goes that it would be too much work and would make life too difficult. This might be true if you were planning on keeping a herd of cattle in your backyard, but it's certainly not the case when it comes to beekeeping.
Beekeeping is virtually an effortless job, with the majority of beekeepers wishing that they could justify spending more time tending to their hives, not less. It's a sad (but also convenient) matter of fact, however, that bees need to be left alone most of the time in order to thrive. You would likely need to check up on them for no more than 30 minutes a week.
The rewards are simple and clear: You get honey, the environment gets bees and the pollination which they offer, in a time when their numbers are dwindling around the world.