Do you want to start living a little greener, but don’t know how?
It can be extremely difficult to live an environmentally friendly life. But it can also be relatively easy to change some habits to work towards that goal. Most of us can be bogged down by the online world telling us how we are killing the planet. They make it seem like we should immediately change our routines, but the truth is that it’s not always possible.
For example, I live in the fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. We do not have a good mass transportation system. I really wish we did. It would save me so much money on gas, car insurance, and car payments. The way the city is built, taking the bus (that’s all we have in Vegas) would take a long time just to get from home to daycare to work and then reverse it. Most of my day is already spent working and it might seem selfish of me, but I don’t want to spend what little free time I have sitting on a bus for an extra hour to two. So while I wish I could drive less, I choose not to. Instead, I try to carpool with my husband to work. Unfortunately, it has decreased due to our differing work schedules and picking up the kids, but when we can we do.
And that is the key. Making what little changes you can to your everyday life. Being green can take a little extra effort with all the modern conveniences, but it is not impossible.
Why Should You Be Environmental Conscious?
Whether you believe in climate change or not, you should be environmentally friendly because we need to take care of our home. It’s all we have for the moment and there is no guarantee that we will find something new and usable any time soon. Earth truly is a beautiful and magical place. I am pretty sure all of us have bucket lists with places that we want to explore and experience. Plus we are not the only ones on this planet and so we should be considerate of all the other life that lives here.
What are some simple ways to live a greener lifestyle?
The list below contains easy things you can do. I recommend choosing one or two items on this list to start and do it until it feels like a normal part of your life. You want to get to the point where you barely have to remind yourself.
- Recycle everything: take a look at your city’s recycling program. Some food retail stores (like Walmart or Albertson’s) recycle plastic bags.
- Reusable straws/water bottles
- Reusable silverware/plates
- Use canvas bags instead of plastic bag
- Tip: Always keep a few in your car so that way you have them on hand. If you have trouble remembering to put them back in your car, place them by the door you use the most.
- Use energy-saving light bulbs
- Turn off lights, appliances or electronics when you are not using them.
- This will also help save you money. It sounds like a win-win to me!
- Use eco-friendly cleaning products like Blueland.
- Choose your personnel cleaning regime carefully. Avoid products that have plastic beads within them.
- Eat less meat.
- I know this might be a hard one for a lot of you because it is definitely hard for me, but even if you can reduce your consumption by one or two nights a week, you are helping the environment.
- Carpool to work or events.
- Plant more trees.
- I think this is a fun one, but that’s because I love gardening. If you are not able to or just don’t want to physically plant a tree check out the Nation Forest Foundation. Basically, it costs $1 to plant one tree.
- Bring a trash bag with you when you visit places, like the park, beach or even your neighborhood.
- I know this might seem a little gross, but use the trash bag to pick up trash and recycling. Don’t forget to sort out the recyclables. Have some gloves you don’t care about or bring some hand sanitizer to help you feel clean again.
Bigger Ways to Go Green
The list above contains great options that can be easily done. They are all attainable goals. This list below has some more difficult tasks that you may want to try. Some of these may not be possible because of where you live, your handyman skills are limited, or you don’t have the money. Even if you are unable to do them now, don’t be afraid to give them a chance for when you are.
- Don’t drive
- This works best if you either live in a city with great mass transportation like New York or it is small enough that you can bike/walk to your destination.
- Invest in environmentally friendly technology, like an energy-efficient refrigerator or electric lawnmower.
- Invest in renewable energy for your home.
- This one has the potential to be too expensive for most people, but if you can jump on the train then I say do it. Plus you will be able to save a lot of money in the long run.
- Artificial Grass
- If you live in the desert-like me, then you know how precious water is. Artificial grass is a great alternative for all of you living in a drought environment.
How does changing one aspect make a difference?
Maybe you don’t think to change one thing will do anything. But consider this, even if the only thing you do is switch to reusable straws it will make a difference in the long run and that is the point. Think about it like this…let’s say you get a Starbucks two times a week and eat out two times as well. That’s 4 single-use straws in 1 week. Let’s assume you will have the same general pattern for a year. So now we use 4 straws a week for 52 weeks, which gives us 208 straws a year. And that is just for you.
What if 100 people have the same pattern, then we would have a total of 20,800 straws per year. The number grows exponentially fast when we think about there being a billion people on the planet. Now while 208 is not that much compared to 20,800, you are still making a difference.
Think about the impact you could have just by changing one thing. It is enormous!
And just think, you personally might inspire someone else to switch to reusable straws and have now started a chain reaction.
Don’t be upset if you don’t always stick with it. Changing a habit is really difficult. Just remember to keep on trying to change your habit. You will eventually figure out a pattern for yourself that will allow you to stick with your new living green lifestyle.
What do you do to live green? Let me know in the comments section! I would love to hear from you about what you do to be environmentally friendly.
Happy Days ~
Here is a great list of the essential items you need and those you can live without to build your maternity wardrobe.