It’s that time of year again! Gyms and parks will be overflowing with newly-inspired fitness enthusiasts, and good luck buying cream cheese these days! It’s going to be sold out for weeks as the ketogenic diet is taken up by the poor souls (like me) who had a little too much “stuffing” this holiday season!
In the spirit of all these resolutions, we decided to give you one additional challenge. We want to challenge you to take 10 steps to live eco-friendly this year!
But… why? I mean, there are still plenty of squirrels around and weeds are a constant struggle, surely our earth isn’t too toxic for life to be sustained…. right?
Right! Well, sort of. Life on earth is precious. It’s easy to take for granted the beautiful earth that we are able to enjoy each day. Fresh air, green trees, blue sky, these are luxuries that are not guaranteed to us. The more trash we throw away, the more the air, water sources, and beautiful land is desecrated with waste.
It’s simple and cost-effective to take small steps to reduce waste in our everyday lives… and here’s the thing: Even if you do ONE thing to reduce waste in your home or your workplace, it’s a victory!
Even if you do ONE thing to reduce waste in your home or your workplace, it’s a victory!
That being said, here are 10 easy ways to live more eco-friendly!
1. Start recycling
Ohhh recycling. I don’t know if I can stay on top of that. You stay on top of taking out the trash, right? All you have to do is place your paper, metal, cardboard and plastic items into a separate container. These items usually are not smelly so you can hold on to them a little longer than your regular trash. If your city doesn’t offer curbside recycling, just create a reminder and drop it off every so often. I treasure small trips like these to listen to an audiobook and have some “me time” in the car.
2. Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic
Reusable shopping bags are super cute. That’s the #1 reason to use them, right? ? Plus, they never rip when you need them most, unlike those plastic grocery bags! You will want to store your reusable bags in your car or in a place where you will always remember to take them with you. If you forget about them until you reach the check-out, you can just tell the associate you don’t need plastic and you’ll bag it when you get to the car.
3. Start a compost bin
Compostable waste is huge and it’s easy to start composting. If you have a garden, it will save you money and help your plants in the process. If you don’t have a green thumb, you can compost inside your home, EPA has some tips on that here!
4. Get the right lights
What? The lights we buy are better for the eco system? Yes! Don’t go out and buy them all at once, but the next time a bulb goes out in your house, you can replace it with an energy efficient source.
5. Carry your reusable water bottle and coffee mug with you
This seems too easy, but it goes so far to reduce waste. Just thing how many millions of Starbucks cups end up in the trash each year! In fact, Starbucks is very passionate about reducing waste and provide reusable cups and recycling bins for you to utilize! Learn more here. If you forget your reusable cup, just use a water fountain instead of buying a plastic bottle, or ask for your coffee in a glass mug at your next coffee shop visit.
6. Use less paper
This one sounds intimidating, but it’s actually pretty simple. All you have to do is replace your paper towels and napkins with reusable cloth towels and use your porcelain plates instead of buying the paper or plastic options. Plus… this step saves you a whole lot of money!
7. Eco-friendly cleaning products
Get rid of the toxins and chemicals that are bad for your health and the environment by replacing them with natural and organic cleaning solutions. You can purchase a healthier alternative at most supermarkets these days, or create your own essential oil cleaning solution, and store it in a glass bottle!
8. Use less water
You can switch out your faucet heads for low-flow options, and take quick showers! You can also treat yourself to a hot bath, and enjoy some nice, relaxation time while saving money and water.
9. Slowly work on your kitchen
Did you know that the kitchen produces the most waste in the home? You can cut back on food waste by composting (see above) and replacing plastic wrap and ziplocks for reusable options. Another good option is to use glass storage containers for your food. These are better for your health and they last much longer than plastic options.
10. Tackle the bathroom next
The bathroom is the second most wasteful room in the home after your kitchen. You can reduce waste in your bathroom by using your Pixie Cup (or switch if you haven’t yet… goodbye pads and tampons!!!) and you can even install a bidet on your toilet to reduce toilet paper waste! See this article from Wild Minimalist for tips on how to make your bathroom extra waste-free this year.
Hopefully this list is helpful for you as you embark on your New Years Resolutions list! Let us know how YOU are making a difference in your home this year.
Best wishes to you in the coming year. May your joys be many and your trash bags be few!