Happy (belated) Earth Day! Though I’m no expert, and by NO means perfect, I try to do what I can to lessen my carbon footprint and keep our planet alive and kickin’ for future generations. Making sustainable choices is important to me, and I strive to do the best I can every day. While I’m not quite ready to give up toilet paper, I do carry a reusable water bottle with me, recycle and even belong to the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” camp (TMI?).
I may be a day late, but I’ve decided to dedicate this post to giving you some easy tips you can use to start living in a greener, more ecofriendly way. Check out the six tips below, and think about what suggestions you can adopt today!
1. Eat locally grown food. Support a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or farmers’ market. Not only will you reap the benefits of delicious fresh produce, you’ll help to cut back on the pollution generated when food is transported thousands of miles! Check out www.localharvest.org to find a CSA or farmers’ market near you.
2. Use ecofriendly personal care products. Look for toiletries that use natural ingredients, minimal and/or recycled packing and sustainable manufacturing practices. Tom’s of Maine is a great brand available in many grocery stores. Plus, the better it is for the planet, the better it is for you!
3. Make your own cleaning products. Conventional cleaning products are made with harsh chemicals that are far from ecofriendly and, often times, dangerous to you! Instead of inhaling toxic fumes the next time you want your kitchen to sparkle, try to make some of your own cleaning supplies–you’ll be surprised at just how easy it is. It might take a little more elbow grease, but a little physical activity never killed anyone!
Vinegar, baking soda and lemon can all be used to clean everything from ovens to the kitchen sink! (Source)
4. Buy less prepackaged food. The more packaging a food has, the more energy it took to get on the shelf! Besides, food wrapped in plastic is less likely to be food and more likely to be a bunch of chemicals, food dyes and artificial flavors disguised as food. Do the planet (and yourself!) a favor and stick to whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and lean proteins.
5. Turn off unused lights. Remember when your parents yelled at you as a child about leaving the lights on after you left a room? Turns out, they weren’t crazy! Lighting is responsible for about 11 percent of home energy costs, so save the planet and some money by turning off lights you aren’t using.
6. Reduce your meat consumption. According to the United Nations, meat production and factory farming are responsible for 70 percent of water consumption, 38 percent of land use and 19 percent of the world greenhouse gas emissions. One of the most sustainable decisions you can make is to eat a more plant-based diet—whether that means going vegan or just trying Meatless Monday every once in a while, it’s up to you!
As you can see, going green doesn’t have to be difficult! Best of all, helping the planet can help you improve your health, save money and make a positive impact. I encourage you to apply one or two of these tips to your life and green up your routine!
What are some of your earth-friendly tips?