15 Green Changes To Adopt Today
Last updated on : December 12 2019
Self-care is so important we should take extra steps to ensure we are living the healthiest life possible. Making adjustments to live a greener life helps the planet and has a snowball effect that affects everyone.
Here are 15 green ideas to adopt that will help us all.
1. Recycle more
Recycling at home is a significant first step to take in living a greener life.
Recycling regulations differ from town to town and city to city, so researching what the recycling practices are in your area is the best place to start.
Equip yourself with all of the right bins and tools to make your new habit as smooth and seamless as possible. Lastly, share the knowledge with your family or roommates, so they don't throw away items for recycling.
2. Buy reusable bags
Adopt reusable bags to reduce plastic waste. At the grocery store, these bags are usually around $1, and you don’t need more than a couple to get the job done.
There is no better time than now to make this change because many states in the U.S. have already banned single-use plastic bags.
Clothing retailers are hopping on the bandwagon, too, many providing reusable bags when you make a purchase. Don’t forget to keep these and take them with you on your next trip to the mall.
3. Reduce meat intake
A recent study shows that there may be no other single human activity that has a more significant impact on the planet than the raising of livestock.
The U.S. has terrible habits when it comes to livestock raising and meat production because Americans consume a lot more meat than the rest of the world. We try to produce as much edible meat as quickly as possible, with stark environmental consequences.
Reducing your meat intake can be as easy as practicing “Meatless Mondays,” which is when you go vegetarian for a whole day once a week. Head to Pinterest or a vegetarian friend for some fantastic meatless dinner ideas.
4. Support sustainable clothing brands
Choosing to buy from sustainable brands can make a big difference to the environment.
These brands usually devote themselves to using recycled materials, avoiding toxic chemicals, as well as reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.
When big brands make green strides and consumers support them, sustainable clothing choices can hopefully become normal and drastically help the environment.
5. Replace your contact lenses
If you’re a daily contact lens wearer, the plastic waste adds up quickly. Consider switching your contact lens brand to one that strives to use less plastic.
Scout by Warby Parker uses up to 80% less packaging compared to contact packs you see on the market, and the box they come in is recyclable.
Small items like this usually slip our minds when it comes to plastic usage but can add up quickly and make a big difference when you become mindful of using less.
6. Use reusable water bottles
Reusable water bottles and drink tumblers can reduce an immense amount of personal plastic use.
Use them to replace single-use water bottles, coffee cups, and other to-go drink containers you use daily.
Hydroflask is a great brand to buy from because they support a variety of non-profit organizations that support rebuilding and maintaining parks, which is so vital to cultivating a more sustainable planet.
7. Drive your car less
If your car runs on gas, find ways to use it less. Driving less is a significant change to undertake, but that’s what making the change for good is all about.
When you go to work, try to carpool with someone that lives in your area or take public transportation. You’ll be surprised at how many other people are interested in carpooling or taking a bus or train with you because it saves money and the environment.
Additionally, try to ride your bike or walk instead of driving when you go out to the grocery store for just a few items. You can get great exercise in, and when you only are carrying one bag, you don’t need to have your car there to load up with groceries.
8. Hang clothes to dry
Hanging clothes to dry is another green habit for you to add to your daily life. Reducing the use of your dryer is excellent for energy conservation and reducing your carbon footprint.
Buy a clothing hanger to hang your clothes out to dry after washing. This way, you can completely stop using your dryer or vastly reduce the amount you use it.
9. Upcycle and donate
When you have to get rid of clothing, textiles, or shoes, throwing them away can be damaging to the earth. Instead, find other ways to recycle your items.
The easiest way is by donating gently used items to a local thrift store, a veterans program, or women’s shelter.
However, you can get more creative with your upcycling as well. Sew your old out-of-style clothes into something new and trendy or take clothes that may not fit and make them into something new for a younger family member.
Finally, you can even find places to recycle tattered clothing and textiles, like at H&M stores.
10. Buy second-hand clothes
Just like giving your clothes a second life, do the same for someone else’s clothes. Buying from local thrift stores is a great way to reduce your clothing waste and reuse someone else’s unwanted items.
There are online thrift stores now, making it easier than ever to live a sustainable life. You can also find gently used clothes on Facebook Marketplace or from your family members that may be throwing away old clothes.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to reusable fashion.
11. Plant a garden
Gardens can help reduce your carbon footprint. If you have space, then consider planting your most-bought produce items right in your backyard.
Peppers, tomatoes, and herbs are easy to grow, so if you’re buying them weekly, save yourself some money and grow them yourself. Plus, you may find a new hobby that gets you outside, and you enjoy doing in your spare time.
12. Buy local
If gardening isn’t an option for you due to lack of space or time, then strive to buy local as often as possible.
Go to markets and local stores to shop for produce and other grocery items to help reduce your carbon footprint.
You’ll feel good knowing that you are supporting a small business (and likely a family) and keeping money within your community, instead of buying from large corporations.
13. Buy conscious cosmetics
Just like shopping for sustainable clothing brands, it should be no different for your cosmetics and skincare.
Supporting brands that use renewable resources, reduce their water usage, and avoid toxic chemicals can be useful for your health and the environment.
Herbivore Botanicals is a great example. They source natural and organic ingredients, sell sustainable products, don’t use toxins, and their packaging is recyclable. Not only will the earth thank you, but your skin will too.
14. Use eco-friendly cleaning products
Eco-friendly cleaning products are usually made by sustainable brands that use green manufacturing processes, recyclable packaging, and biodegradable ingredients, so nothing is left in the ocean after it goes down your drain.
Natural cleaning products are generally free of toxic chemicals that cause harm. In colder weather, when you close your windows, the toxins in traditional cleaning products can be trapped in our home.
Buying eco-friendly allows you to feel good about the air you’re breathing.
15. Teach others
Lastly, and most importantly, share your knowledge with others.
One person alone can’t make the planet a healthier place, but many people taking small steps is what will make a difference.
Whether it’s your parents, friends, or kids, share your best practices to encourage others to do the same. Then help each other stick to your new, green lifestyle.
If these eco-friendly changes are new to you, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do them all. Choose a few that resonate with you, or maybe these tips sparked a different green idea.
Bettering yourself is usually a collection of small steps that eventually lead to something bigger; you’ll see that these adjustments to your everyday routine will help you achieve a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
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