As plants and trees start turning green this spring, perhaps you are thinking of ways that you, too, can “green” up your life. If you’re not too into eco-friendly living yet, start slowly- there are a number of simple things that you can start doing today that will make a difference to the environment and even benefit your health.
1. Instead of using plastic bags at the store, purchase reusable shopping bags online or in stores (some have them right next to the checkout) and keep them in your car after use so they are ready to go anytime, whether it’s at the grocery store or farmers market. Reusable shopping bags are much sturdier and don’t contribute to landfills like plastic bags which can take many years to break down.
2. Start eating local and organic foods whenever possible to reduce transportation used for the transit of produce and to help avoid the use of pesticides. Not only will you avoid having unnecessary chemicals in your food, but this also ensures that you are eating foods that are the fresh and contain the most nutrients.
3. Make an effort to stop using plastic water bottles and treat yourself to a good quality, long lasting stainless steel water bottle such as a Klean Kanteen. Not only will you be assured that the bottle is BPA free, but these bottles are made to last a life time if cared for properly. Once recycled, they can also be made into new stainless steel bottles.
4. Get involved with household recycling by dropping off items such as paper and plastic at your local facility. If you need help locating a facility or drop-off center for a particular item, check out Earth 911 for help.
5. Switch over to using natural cleaning products in your home. We offer a number of solutions here and will also have a natural cleaning E-Book available this spring to help you get started. You will find that everyday products likely already in your home (such as lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar) can work great and limit exposure to harsh chemicals while keeping clean.
6. When possible, use public transportation, carpool, or walk or ride a bike. Trains and buses are often very economical ways to get around and you can do something else while you’re riding. Of course, if you walk or bike, you are doing your body even more favors with the exercise.
7. Pack a reusable lunch bag with washable cloth snack bags that can also be used again and again. You’ll save loads of paper bags and plastic sandwich bags over time, as well as money spent to keep buying them. You’ll also be helping by avoiding large disposable takeout containers and silverware.
8. Wash and reuse jars and food containers at home. They work great for storing leftovers or for housing natural or homemade cleaning products if you decide to start making the switch.
9. Find creative ways to minimize or eliminate the use of paper towel, such as by purchasing biodegradable sponges that can be sterilized or making your own homemade cleaning wipes for spills and messes.
10. Purchase natural hygiene products which are healthier for your body as well as the environment. Anything from deodorants and toothpaste to hairspray and nail polish can be purchased in eco-friendly ways. A quick look at the ingredients list and packaging on a product can often tell you if it’s something healthy or not and if it was produced in a green manner. Sometimes you can even find soaps, scrubs, and lotions locally made with natural ingredients at farmers or artisans markets and craft shows.