For my absolute favorite day of the year, Earth Day, I decided to hop on the list bandwagon and write my top easy tips for going green. These are things that I feel are pretty easy to implement into your daily life and can make a lot of impact.
1. Stop using K-cups
Seriously stop using these even the guy who invented K-cups regrets inventing them. They are unrecyclable and are rapidly filling up landfills everywhere. And they’re excessively expensive. Buy one of these reusable ones: http://www.amazon.com/Keurig-Reusable-Coffee-Filter-Single/dp/B000DLB2FI
2. Bring a reusable mug/cup with you all the time.
You never know when you’ll want coffee or tea or a smoothie or anything that comes in a paper or plastic cup. Doing this makes such a huge difference. Most people buy a couple cups a day, so if you drink 2 cups of coffee you save around 700 cups a year from the landfill (because no one can tell me they actually recycle their coffee cups)
3. Bring a reusable straw and silverware with you all the time.
So many straws and plastic utensils are thrown around everyday just to be thrown out, never recycled. Bringing a little case of a foldable spork and a stainless steel straw takes up no space and saves so much plastic. Or if you’re at a restaurant where you can drink out of the cups without the straw reject straw offers. I have these straws: http://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel-Drinking-Straws-Strongest/dp/B00O92HN3C/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1429653540&sr=8-7&keywords=Stainless+steel+straw and this utensil set: https://store-jfohpy.mybigcommerce.com/repeat-utensil-set-avocado/ and the straw fits right in there and I just throw it in my purse or backpack.
4. Turn off your lights, water and car.
This is the oldest rule in the book but it’s always worth reiterating. Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, turn off the lights when you leave the room and in your kitchen when you’re not in there, never sit in your idling car. These things add up and always help.
5. Bring reusable shopping bags
Plastic shopping bags are the worst! They blow around and get stuck in trees and blow into the ocean to get eaten by sea turtles. Just think about the turtles next time you buy groceries. Bags are given out all the time and cost very little, there’s really no excuse to not use them anymore. And you can get cute ones like these!
6. When you go grocery shopping, try to pick out the food that has the least amount of packaging.
Instead of buying carrots in plastic, buy loose carrots and put them right in your cart. Buy the reusable produce bags that are on sale everywhere and put your veggies in those instead of those horrible thin green bags. Buy bunches of leafy greens instead of buying the bags or boxes and wrap it in a dish towel to keep in your fridge. If you never used any of those green produce bags it would keep a lot of plastic out of the landfill! Store your veggies in the reusable produce bags right in your fridge, or keep certain veggies like carrots in a cup of water to keep them crisp.
7. Bring your own Tupperware when you go out to dinner for leftovers and bring them if you’re picking up food to go.
Styrofoam or those hard plastic to go containers are just going to end up in the landfill, and who doesn’t have a billion pieces of Tupperware lying around? Buying stainless steel is even better because they will last forever, especially these ones from life without plastic: https://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/stainless-steel-airtight-watertight-food-storage-container-12-cm-4-75.html
8. Use bar soap instead of bottled
Use bars for hand soap instead of the (proven to be bad) antibacterial soap that comes in plastic bottles. Use bar body soaps in the shower instead of body wash and if your hair can handle it, shampoo bars. Soap bottles are usually always thrown out and end up in a landfill, and they’re used up so quickly. You’ll save a lot of money by switching! Try to buy soap bars that are unpackaged or only packaged in paper. Or save an old shampoo bottle and refill it with bulk shampoo and conditioner!
9. Never buy drinks in plastic bottles.
Chemicals leak into your drinks, and these bottles are bought and then thrown in the trash 20 minutes later. If you want to buy a drink at a store stick with drinks in glass or cans and then recycle it or take it to a return station at a grocery store. I can’t begin to tell you how stupid water bottles are! Water is free right out of your sink! And water in America is very safe, and can be even more delicious if you invest in a water filter like brita or preferably this sweet company: https://www.drinksoma.com/?ref_id=adwords_brand_product_soma_filter_bm&gclid=Cj0KEQjw6tepBRDLqLnxouaY_pkBEiQAPIOiBkknQNvWw08VebaXesxOev7EukYLt-CLJ8OLPFjfRdEaAnhN8P8HAQ
10. Plan your meals and food shopping trips
This is important to reduce your food waste, keeping food out of landfills reduces a lot of weight and reduces the amount of methane (greenhouse gas) that gets released when it rots in the landfill. If you plan out your meals you’ll let less food go bad because you forgot to eat it and youll be able to send less trash out! And your kitchen will smell better and you won’t have to do nasty fridge clean outs.
11. Compost food scraps with a backyard compost bin or vermicompost if you live in an apartment. Or if you live in a city with compost curbside pick up, get a bin! Or find compost drop off sites near you and keep your compost in the freezer.
See above for why it’s important to never throw away food scraps!
12. Walk or bike as many places as you can.
Walking or biking to the post office or store will keep the air clean and you happier and in better shape than driving! The costs of this will really add up over time.
13. Always keep the environment in mind.
Our throwaway culture has trained people to use what they want and not think about the environmental consequences. If you had to breathe the air that comes right out of your car or keep all of your garbage in your home forever you’d think twice about buying so much single use packaging or driving your car so much. Next time you buy a coffee or use a plastic bag, think about where that cup is going to end up, or where that bag could fly off to. The oceans are completely filled with plastic, our landfills are quickly reaching capacity, and our weather is getting more out of control because of climate change. Just don’t go through life not thinking about the environmental consequences of your actions. Individuals can change more than you think!
Enjoy earth day, appreciate the earth! It’s our only home! And it’s really beautiful!