If you’re committed to an eco-friendly lifestyle, there are lots of easy tweaks to make your daily routine more green. Whether you want to save energy, create less waste, reduce financial costs or minimize greenhouse gases, we have fifteen perfect sustainable living tips for you to follow:
- Conserve water: take 5-10 minute showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Cut back on bottled water and carry a reusable bottle where possible.
- Reduce waste: use reusable cotton pads for makeup removal instead of disposable wipes. Buy clothes made from sustainable materials, like organic cotton, linen and modal. (These can replace, or at least supplement single-use paper towels).
- Take the stairs: If your apartment building or office has an elevator, opt for the stairs, you can save energy and get a leg workout at the same time.
- Monitor chemical use: read labels on hair and beauty products and avoid chemicals like phthalates, formaldehyde, and parabens that pollute our water systems.
- Borrow, don’t buy: borrow books from the library rather than purchasing them to reduce manufacturing and production.
Cooking and Eating
- Become a barista: make your own coffee, using a coffee maker with filters, a french press or biodegradable K cups.
- Reuse and recycle: invest in reusable grocery bags and use these instead of plastic bags. Check with your local grocery store for their reusable bags policy.
- Meat-free Monday: livestock significantly contributes to greenhouse gases such as human-related nitrous oxide and methane. Choose one day a week to eat vegetarian meals or replace meat with seafood.
- Reduce single-use plastic: don’t accept disposable cutlery with carryout meals that you’ll eat at home. Additionally, opt for reusable containers and bags for food storage. Invest in metal straws to use at home and when you’re out and about.
- Buy in bulk: Not only does this create a full pantry, but you likely use less gas and plastic in the process.
Around the Home
- Unplug electronics: appliances, chargers and electronics drain a small amount of energy when plugged in, even if they are not in use. Disconnect appliances and electronics to save money on your final bill.
- Choose LED: LED bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting.
- DIY supplies: use old washcloths or cut worn towels into cleaning cloths. Clean and dust with these instead of paper towels or disposable cloths. Launder after use for a soft, absorbent cloth for next time.
- Go paperless: transfer bills and statements to digital-only transactions. Use Evites rather for parties instead of paper invitations. Avoid printing documents to file when they can be filed electronically.
- Compost: start a compost bin. Food scraps and yard waste make up more than 30 percent of what we throw away. Instead, put them in a bin and make a natural fertilizer.
Even if you implement only a few of these sustainable living tips, you will reduce your carbon footprint. Start with the easiest tasks and phase in other initiatives as you’re able. Over time, you might find that it’s actually quite easy to be green.