Is it just me or does it seem to you like a lot of people are suddenly becoming eco-friendly because they’re seeking social recognition?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that so many people are changing their behavior and looking out for our planet, no matter their motivation. And while they may be doing it for the “likes” on social media, at least they’re advocating for change.
But, not everyone is so vocal about how much they care about the environment. Some people live eco-friendly lives without bragging about how eco-friendly they are.
In fact, you may not think of yourself as an activist, but you could be making a bigger impact than you realize.
Let’s take a look at 12 hidden signs that you’re eco-friendly and care deeply about the environment.
1) You recycle
You don’t even think about it, recycling has become second nature to you. It’s something you’ve been doing for as long as you remember.
You have a whole system worked out – a yellow bin for organic waste that normally ends up on your compost heap, a blue bin for glass, a gray bin for plastic, a white bin for paper, and a red bin for things like batteries.
There’s absolutely no way that you’d just throw something away without sorting it first. And if you forget to take your reusable water bottle with you and end up buying water, once you’re done drinking it, you won’t just chuck it into any old bin, you’ll wait to get home so you can make sure it gets recycled.
What’s more, when you travel to a country where they don’t recycle, you literally feel sick when you have to throw everything into the same bin.
Why do you think that is?
I’ll tell you why: It’s because you care about the environment, and whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re eco-friendly!
Recycling is important for so many reasons: it conserves natural resources and reduces waste – and that, in turn, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, saves energy, and overall helps to protect the environment.
2) You always take reusable bags with you when you go shopping
Well, no, no they don’t.
If you’re so used to carrying your reusable cotton bags with you wherever you go and if you don’t remember the last time you had to buy a paper bag (let alone a plastic bag) it’s another hidden sign that you’re eco-friendly.
It only makes sense that you’d carry your own bags with you when you go shopping, I mean, just think of all the waste that would pile up in landfills and even end up in the ocean if everyone in the world got new bags each time they went shopping!
Do you know how long it takes a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill? Up to 1000 years! Yup, it might as well be forever.
And even biodegradable bags take several months to degrade. So why is it that we use so much plastic? Why is it that some countries don’t even bother to switch to biodegradable bags – the lesser of two evils?
If you find yourself wondering about such things, it’s because you really care about our planet.
3) You cycle, walk, and use public transport whenever possible
Another hidden sign that you’re eco-friendly and care deeply about the environment is if you only use a car when you have to.
You generally get around on foot and on your bicycle. And when it comes to extreme weather conditions, you take public transport.
So when do you use a car?
Well, when you really need to. Like, when you have to carry a lot of groceries or when you want to get away somewhere for the weekend and take your dogs with you.
It seems ridiculous to you that anyone would go to and from work every day in a car.
Think of the carbon footprint!
Cycling to work is so much better, you don’t get stuck in traffic and you even get some exercise in.
And the great thing about public transport is that it gives you a chance to catch up on your reading or listen to your favorite podcast!
4) You buy clothes made from sustainable materials
Forget about polyester, nylon, and acrylic materials! Not only are they bad for the environment, but they’re toxic and harmful to your health.
It’s true. Acrylic has been linked to cancer, polyester releases synthetic microfibers into the environment every time it’s washed, and nylon often has a chemical finish that could be harmful.
So if you favor natural and sustainable materials – I’m talking about organic cotton, organic hemp, organic linen, and recycled fabrics of course – then you’re definitely eco-friendly.
5) You buy produce from the farmer’s market
At first glance it’s pretty amazing that we can get bananas that are grown in Ecuador, avocados from Israel, and Alaskan salmon whenever we want.
But think about the long distances that such foods have to cover. Think about greenhouse gas emissions and waste associated with transportation and packaging.
That’s why you like to buy local produce that’s in season. And not only are you looking out for the environment, but you’re also supporting local farmers and the local economy.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you never buy bananas or avocados, but you do try to buy local products, even if they’re sometimes more expensive.
6) You never buy single-use plastic items
If it drives you crazy that every time you go for a picnic or attend a birthday party or some kind of event outdoors everyone buys plastic plates, cups, and cutlery, I totally get you!
I mean, I feel like I’m being punched in the gut whenever I order a drink and it comes with a plastic straw.
Maybe you never stopped to analyze why you feel that way but it’s definitely a hidden sign that you’re eco-friendly and care about the environment. I wish more people would!
7) You switch off the lights when you’re not in the room
Yup, it’s another hidden sign.
If you go around switching off the lights in rooms that are empty, you might be driving people crazy. It’s one thing to do it in your own home, but it’s something else when you do it at other people’s houses.
But you can’t help it! It’s like, “Who are the lights on for? There’s no one in that room!”
And it’s not just the lights, it’s also the TV, the radio, and any other electronics that aren’t being used.
I mean, it’s just so wasteful. Trust me, I know how you feel.
8) You use reusable bottles and cups
If you’re anything like me, you probably never leave your home without your reusable water bottle.
And what about coffee to go? No problem, you have your own reusable cup!
It’s ridiculous that in this day and age, people are still using so much plastic.
Don’t they care about our planet?
Probably not as much as you do!
9) You’re energy-efficient
Other than switching off the lights, you like to use energy-efficient appliances. These include energy-star certified refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, etc., LED bulbs, and programmable thermostats.
You even have solar panels on your roof.
Not only are you lowering your carbon footprint, but you’re also saving money on your electricity bills.
You’re pretty bad-a**.
10) You take showers instead of baths
Your friends may laugh at you but taking showers instead of baths really makes a lot of difference when it comes to water consumption.
“According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a full bathtub requires about 70 gallons of water, while taking a five-minute shower uses 10 to 25 gallons.” – Stanford Magazine
But that’s not all!
You also collect rainwater to water your flowers and use in your toilet!
If you had any doubts, let me put them to rest by assuring you that you’re very much eco-friendly.
11) You buy second-hand
Look, if something’s in good condition, it doesn’t need to be new.
Whether it’s clothes, furniture, electronics, or whatever, you prefer to buy second-hand rather than new.
You love to go to flea markets and thrift stores, and you always make sure to check out online marketplaces when you need something. Whether you need jeans or a toaster, you’re sure to find what you need second-hand.
I mean, it’s crazy just how much stuff gets made and thrown out today – it’s out with the old and in with the new. Well, not for you! And on that note…
12) You repair items whenever you can
You hate to throw away stuff.
It seems like everything they make nowadays is meant to be used for a few years and then chucked out and replaced – from furniture to electronics.
Turns out it’s made that way intentionally…
Manufacturers realized that making quality stuff that could last decades wasn’t profitable, so now they make sure that the product will stop working or fall apart after a few years – that way you have to spend money replacing them every few years.
It wasn’t always like that. Back in the day, they used to make things durable. My grandmother actually has a fully functioning stove that she uses every day. And guess how old it is, 38! Her stove is older than me!
Anyway, you hate consumerism and you try to repair and fix things whenever possible. You only throw stuff away when you have no other choice, and it breaks your heart.
The bottom line is that even though you don’t give it much thought and you don’t make a big show of it, you’re eco-friendly and you really care deeply about the environment.