5 Ways to Live More “Green” This Year
Many of us are in full resolution mode, working on finance, fitness, and all kinds of other self-care in the new year. It’s easier than ever for our resolutions to extend a little further beyond ourselves and think more globally about how we can live a more “green” earth-friendly lifestyle. It can sometimes be intimidating to think about tossing traditionally toxic products or making lifestyle changes to adapt to these habits, but tiny changes add up. Here are a few of our favorite ways to live green this year.
1. Recycle Your Electronics
If you recently got a new cell phone, laptop, or other electronic device, go the extra mile to think about how to responsibly dispose of your older tech tools. E-waste is becoming a greater issue as toxins from our outdated technology can seep into the earth if disposed of improperly. Check with your original service providers or local retailers for recycling programs, or consider donating your device to a worthy cause.
2. Clean Green
Green home cleaning products have gone mainstream in recent years and these alternatives can be found almost anywhere you buy your normal grocery hauls! This aspect of green living is really important because you’re not only keeping toxins out of the earth, but you’re also keeping them out of your home! So many chemicals in traditional cleaning products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which means they contain acids or formaldehyde.
3. Cut Down on Food Waste
Next, think about all the food scraps you throw away. Peels, stems, and other odds and ends have a life after the kitchen or even repurposed in cooking in new ways. If home composting is a possibility for you, it’s a way to sustainably re-use all food waste, even some grains, and other surprise ingredients like coffee grounds!
4. Actively Manage Your Utilities and Transport
It’s important to refocus on the small things you are in control of that can make change. Take inventory at home of your utility usage. Do you leave the air or heating on during the day without thinking much about it? If there’s no one home, invest in a timer for your heat and AC, or make it a habit to check and adjust before heading out the door at work. Water consumption is another easy place to make changes.
5. Use LESS PLASTIC
Did you know that of the 30 million tons of plastic waste generated in the US in 2009, only 7 percent was recovered for recycling? Here are some ways to reduce your plastic waste:
- Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw.
- Use a reusable produce bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce bag and be sure to wash them often!
- Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.
- Don’t use plasticware at home and be sure to request restaurants do not pack them in your take-out box.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.