People are going green and saving the planet through daily preservation practices. However, there are still many people that think going green is costly and time consuming or more of a “tree-hugger” activity. It’s easier than you think and we’re going to show you exactly how easy living a greener lifestyle really is!
“We owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to conserve the environment so that we can bequeath our children a sustainable world that benefits all.” – Wangari Maathai
Recycling: More than just a buzzword
Recycling in today’s world is becoming a pretty easy thing to do. In the US, it’s not hard to locate a trash collection service that offers glass, plastic, and/or aluminum recycling deposit station. However, there are a large number of people who still continue to discard glass and aluminum items into the normal garbage can.
In reality, it only takes a few seconds to rinse cans and bottles before dropping them into the recycle bin and allowing that precious material to be re-used in an eco-friendly way.
Newspapers, notebooks, mail, and most other paper products are another series of items that place a serious burden on our landfills. The majority of people, although they may not realize it, toss out hundreds of trees per year along with the daily trash.
Search for community groups in your area and you might find a group of earth-friendly folks may even run paper drives. To participate, gather your old newspapers, stack them, and contact them to pick them up at your location. There are also quite a few other uses for your paper products rather than tossing it out with “yesterday’s news”.
Let’s took together at some incredible ways you can become an advocate for a greener planet.
1 – Clean your windows with old newspaper
If you’re tired of seeing small white pieces of dust and streaks on your windows after using paper towels, try old newspapers instead – you’ll be more than happy to see the results of your re-use!
2 – Leave the auto out of your mobile
One more thing that could help you to start going green is walking a bit more. Have you ever taken a drive right up the street just to pick up bread? Try walking or jogging next time, you’ll be surprised at the places you wouldn’t normally see driving; as well as the people you may meet! Most importantly, you’ll be saving the Earth by saving oil rather than burning it.
To save even more on gas, cut your lawn mowing in half. If you do it weekly, do it bi-weekly and so on. A luxe-looking lawn is great to have but skipping an additional week before you mow again shouldn’t have an effect on the health or appearance of it. You can even use a manual push mower; your local hardware store probably still carries this type of lawnmower – you can even find them online here.
3 – Compost your food and paper waste
Composting has become increasingly popular. It’s a good thing, too, because composting puts nutrients back into the soil. Plus, composting is a simple way to help the environment. When you compost you throw your recycled organic waste such as carrot peels, lettuce leaves, and grass clippings into a compost bin.
Over time, this waste decomposes making what some gardeners call “black gold”, a nutrient-rich soil. Set your compost bin outside your back door or in your garage so it’s convenient for you to throw out the leftover waste. You can purchase a compost bin or make your own. They’re easy to make and inexpensive.
Here’s what you need:
- Bin with a lid
- Take a bin with a lid
- Drill 6 to 8 holes into the bottom of the bin
- Add several layers of leaves
- Add several layers of dirt until the bin is half full
- Throw in your waste like eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.
- Stir your compost with a shovel or a pick
- Spray with a little warm water, not too much
- Drill 6 to 8 holes in the lid
- Place the bin in a shady area of your yard
- It should be ready to throw into your garden in a month.
4 – Plant a garden
It’s an incredibly fulfilling experience to grow healthy fruits and vegetables for your family. Gardening is a simple way to greener living since you’re replenishing the soil with good nutrients and cutting back on the processing and shipping of store-bought produce. There’s nothing like fresh and delicious garden-to-table veggies. In many areas of the country, you can grow almost year-round. If you decide to grow your own produce, be sure to do your homework. Read gardening books or follow local gardening blogs for tips. Here is a list of easy to grow veggies for beginning gardeners.
- Lettuce: Lettuce is a cold-weather vegetable so you can grow it in the early spring and fall of cooler climates. Some lettuce does tolerate the heat. Read the back of the seed packet for this information.
- Tomatoes: Buy disease-resistant tomato seeds or plants to guarantee successful plants. This limits the need for insect repellants.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers like to climb. Upcycle an old metal gate or chair to give them room to spread out.
- Jalapenos: These hardy, bug-free plants are easy to grow. Great for homemade salsa.
- Herbs: Fresh herbs right outside your backdoor is heaven on earth.
5 – Buy glass storage containers instead of zip plastic bags
Do away with plastic storage bags. Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable or degradable. They photodegrade, which means they break down into very small pieces. These tiny pieces end up in oceans, lakes, and the stomach of wildlife. Researchers say it takes one plastic bag approximately 400 to 900 years to decompose. Instead, buy glass storage containers in all sizes to store your leftovers or anything you want to save. Buy the cute metal lunch boxes for your kids. Most of them have removable trays for easy cleaning.
6 – Use reusable bags at the grocery store
Help the environment by saying no to grocery store plastic bags. Plastic grocery bags are overwhelming the landfills. They degrade into tiny pieces that end up on beaches, in lakes, and contaminate the food of wild animals. Purchase a wide variety of reusable grocery bags to carry your grocery home from the store. They’re sturdier than plastic bags, and you’ll be able to use them for years.
7 – Use cloth napkins
Even though cloth napkins must be washed, all in all, they are better for the environment than paper napkins, especially at home. Here are several suggestions making the switch from paper to cloth napkins.
- Use linen napkins rather than cotton-Cotton production is not environmentally friendly. Cotton also requires ironing, which uses electricity.
- You can make your napkins-Buy different colors and patterns of fabric remnants to create fun every day or holiday napkins.
- Use cold water to wash them-Use a biodegradable laundry soap
- Dry them on the line-Set up a drying rack in your laundry room or line dry outside
8 – Use reusable kitchen towels instead of paper towels
Studies show that getting involved in environment-friendly activities makes you feel positive about your life and your contributions to the world. Simple choices toward a greener lifestyle make a big impact. Another choice of greener living is to avoid using paper towels. Like paper napkins, paper towels aren’t environmentally friendly. Factories that make paper towels pollute the area with chemicals during their processing. Paper towels get shipped on trucks that give off carbon emissions. Without realizing it, when you buy paper towels you bring potentially harmful materials into your home. Cloth kitchen towels and dish towels can be used over and over. You can wash them and hang them outside to dry to save on electricity.
9 – Buy reusable plates instead of paper plates
Even though they are convenient to use, avoid buying paper plates. Like paper towels and paper napkins, the production of paper plates is bad for the environment and could expose you and your family to unwanted chemicals from the processing. Instead, choose sustainable ceramic dishes for your everyday use. A sustainable product is one that when it’s made there is a small impact on the environment. Research ceramic plates and dishes before you purchase them. There is a wide assortment of sizes and colors to choose from that you can use for your family’s outdoor and indoor meals.
10 – Walk to do your errands
Depending upon where you live, one simple way to live a greener lifestyle could be to walk to do your errands. Walking reduces car emissions and gas use, plus it’s great for your health. Like many environmentally friendly choices, a green lifestyle may be more work. Walking to the grocery will take more time and physical effort on your part. But once you do it a couple of times, you’ll get used to it. Of course, you can’t walk in inclement weather, but even if you walk to do your errands a few days a week, it will help the environment.
11 – Buy local
When you buy your fruits, vegetables, and other products from local merchants and farmers you’re helping them stay in business. Plus, because locally grown foods aren’t transported across the country, they’ll be fresh and taste better. You can find local groups on different social media sites that share information about your town’s merchants.
12 – Plant plants that are native to your area
Greener living is as easy as planting the native plants of your area. Local plants cross-pollinate wild plants and help them spread their seeds. Your area wildlife receives shade and food from these plants. You also help native birds to nest and find food in these plants. Native bees, butterflies, and insects will be attracted to these native plants to create the perfect ecological balance in nature.
13 – Energy-efficient appliance
Energy-efficient appliances are great investments for a greener lifestyle. They’re made with the environment in mind using less natural resources and may save you up to 10% to 20% in electricity costs.
14 – Use energy-saving bulbs
Energy-saving LED bulbs utilize less electricity and last longer. They also throw off less heat so your AC doesn’t run as much when you have energy-efficient bulbs.
15 – Make your own household cleaners
There are many environments-friendly homemade cleaners. Here is a list of a few natural cleaners you can safely use in your home
Baking soda guts grease and grime from surfaces. It’s slightly abrasive, so you can gently scrub your stainless steel kitchen sink with it. It’s also a natural deodorizer. Open a box of baking soda and set it at the back of your fridge to deodorize your fridge for several weeks.
You may not have heard bout his Castille soap, but it’s completely plant-based. Great for cleaning greasy area.
Vinegar is acid so you can use it to clean grease, grime and soap scum.
Cut a lemon in half. Squeeze the juice from both halves into a medium-sized bowl. Fill the rest of the bowl with water. Put the lemon into the bowl of lemon water. Set inside your microwave and cook for four to five minutes. Don’t open your microwave door when it beeps, but let it cool down for five to six minutes. Take out the dish of lemon water. The combination of lemon juice and steam loosens the grease and any bits of food on the side so you can easily wipe them off.
16 – Hang your clothes outside to dry
Who doesn’t love the smell of clothes that have dried outside? Instead of drying your clothes in the dryer, why not hang them outside where the fresh and sunshine can dry them naturally? Of course, some materials get too wrinkled line drying, but tee shirts, shorts, jeans, towels, dish towels, and some shirts will dry fine outside. Get a greener lifestyle simply using nature’s dryer.
17 – Choose reusable water bottles
By now you know that plastic water bottles are of no benefit to the environment. Landfills are full of water bottles with no hope of getting rid of them for decades. Buy everyone in your family a couple of reusable water bottles. Keep them filled with water so they’re readily available for sports practice or going for a hike. You can keep a large glass water bottle in the fridge for refilling the reusable bottles. Wash them once a week, either in the dishwasher or by hand.
Final Thoughts on Adopting New Habits and Getting on Track to a Greener Lifestyle
There are so many simple ways to live a greener lifestyle. Don’t try all these suggestions at once, just pick one or two, then move on to the next one when you’re ready. Whatever you do to help the environment is worth it. Your small actions will have a big impact. And isn’t that what it’s all about?
Whether you’re growing trees or houseplants or walking to work, we want to hear.
It’s easy to make a few lifestyle modifications to going green and benefiting our environment. Are YOU currently taking part in eco-friendly practices? Share your tips in the conversation below!