A pat on the back to the people who live waste-free lives in this world. I am not one of them. Not yet, anyway, because everyday green living doesn’t have to be a hassle!
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As a young professional, I’m involved with daily stresses, laptop-at-coffee-shop life, and consumerism. Being immersed in nature and having my nose in a book are my favorite places to be, but I’m not alone in saying sometimes it can be challenging to incorporate environmental-friendly habits into my everyday.
The good news? Habits can grow! Just like nurturing talent or ideas, the more you practice the better it becomes. Even if you do one of these items on the list for 15 tips for everyday green living, you’ve impacted the earth in a positive way. Good job!
Everyday Green Living
Living sustainably means making changes to better ourselves and our earth. By becoming eco-friendly bit by bit, we can make huge impacts! Here are 15 VERY simple ways to contribute to everyday green living.
And if you’re wondering what the zero waste movement is or what eco-friendly products you should have in your home, check this out: The Zero Waste Series.
Invest in a Reusable Water Bottle
Stainless steel is the most durable and sustainable because it can be recycled easier than most materials. Imagine all the places you stop in a day, or a week, where you have to get rid of a cup after use. Now place your reusable bottle in those positions. You’ve just made mastered an everyday green living choice.
Take a Shopping Bag With You
“Reusable” is the keyword to sustainability and shopping bags are no exception. Keep some in your car or by the back door when you make a grocery run or even a retail therapy run. It’ll improve your everyday green living habits.
If you’re in line and forgot the bags, either buy a new one and stick it in your purse or run to your car and grab them (it’s worth the trip I promise!) Plus you save 5 cents…
Try Ignition-Free Transportation
The CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen (I’m always amazed at the jobs out there) summarizes why the Danes are happier people. One of them is because they get their daily exercise by biking or walking to work. If you live too far to bike to work, try something a little closer like the corner store for those late-night snack trips.
Use LED Lighting
Lighting is everywhere – we like to illuminate the world to see it better. So one of the best 15 tips for everyday green living is to see our beautiful world with LED lighting. These bulbs last longer, are brighter, more energy-efficient, and they give way to lower electricity bills. Plus they look cool.
Shorten Your Shower Time
Seriously. Try a 10-minute shower once and see if it’s doable because showerheads can spray over 5 gallons per minute… Shorter showers save energy, water, and reduce your carbon footprint. My dad would tell my brothers and me every shower to take shorter ones until I felt as if my personal hygiene routine was done in 2 minutes. But hey, only 10 gallons then!
Buy Sustainable Fashion
It’s hard to know which fashion companies are there to sell or there to make a difference with their sales. Here is a list of sustainable fashion brands for everyday green living!
Digitize your papers and reduce waste! When I shop, the cashiers will ask me how I want my receipt and I always go for the email option. Even if they don’t have it I decide whether my purchase was important enough to keep a piece of paper around the house I’ll forget about and have to recycle anyway.
Also, try using hemp paper – it’s the strongest fiber in the world and it’s easier on the environment.
For any age, really. Switching to cloth diapers is not only more natural but better material against your baby’s (or whoever’s) skin. There is a diaper debate about whether cloth diapers are the best way to go, but they are reusable, eco-friendly, and cost-effective so it’s a start.
Limit Hot Water Use
I’m sure you’ve heard of the 20-second hand wash rule that erupted during the pandemic of 2020. Well, that doesn’t mean let the water run for those 20 seconds! Make a habit of turning the water off whenever you’re not fully using it.
Use Multipurpose Products
When I think I need a massage, I grab a tennis ball from my house and let the ball roll on the stress points on my back against the wall. I also have a brow pen that doubles as a brow brush on the other side. It’s the small things that count and what makes living green easy (and affordable). Bamboo products can make great multipurpose features, as well, such as the shoe rack that doubles as a plant stand!
Reuse Gift Bags and Boxes
We have a storage room halfway full of boxes and old gift bags because they come in handy! When it’s time to move or a friend needs a present, we don’t have to search for empty boxes or spend a dime on the wrapping. Recycle and reuse are two of the most sustainable words you’ll ever hear.
I replaced Google Chrome with Ecosia a while back and WOW! It’s a search engine that uses its profits to plant trees that benefit everyone by helping to reduce CO2 (want to know what’s happening with climate change and what greenhouse gases are?). Ecosia keeps your privacy and search history, so it feels similar to Google Chrome or even Microsoft Edge but we get to help the planet while we search the web.
At the end of 2020, they released an inspiring video on what Ecosia users have accomplished: Ecosia Year in Trees.
Spend More Time Outside
Leave some footprints in the mud or go for a stroll, scientists say. Be literal in green living because the benefits are enormous to our health and the health of the environment. Being mindful of our planet is a step in making a positive impact on it.
For more ideas on healthy activities such as being outside, try this one out: 5 Healthy Things to Do Today.
Check the Weatherproofing on Windows
Sounds like a Mr. Fix-it job for dad but at least you can spread the word! There is a loss of energy through gaps in windows and doors and this environmental cost (70% of greenhouse gases) can contribute to the energy uses of buildings. Sometimes things aren’t as random or unimportant as they seem.
This can also be important for your health because if it’s winter and say, you’re constantly turning the heat up and throwing on blankets, it could be because heat is escaping under your doorway or through the thin gap around the window. Keep yourself warm and save money with this green living tip!
Everyday green living in your community could mean buying from the farmer’s market and Food Co-op because they know a thing or two about fresh, organic ingredients. Purchasing from superstores can be useful when buying in bulk, but who knows what pesticides or artificial plumpers have been injected there. I recommend at least buying local foods such as vegetables, fruits, and grains.
There you have it! 15 out of the millions of ways to reach green living status. I don’t have to tell you how unique our earth is and how important you are. So together, let’s take a small step to make a big impact.