There are many ways we can choose to live more “green” or eco-conscious lives. Sometimes we think that we have to have solar panels on our roof or drive an electric car in order to be green. But there are many things we can do every day to be good stewards of our environment!
Many of these I do; some of them I don’t. They aren’t listed in any particular order of importance. Bonus: lots of these tips will save you money as well! Win-win!
1. Use cloth instead of paper
Paper plates, paper napkins, paper towels, paper bags, and other disposable items are filling up our trashcans and landfills. Why not instead try using real plates, cloth napkins, rags for cleaning and spills, and cloth shopping bags?
2. Walk instead of drive
If you live in a small town or a close community, choose to walk instead of drive when you can. Walk to the neighborhood park. Walk down to the town hall to pay your utility bill or to the post office to mail a package.
3. Use cloth diapers
Using cloth diapers is a great way to be “green”! They aren’t as hard as you might think to use. I wrote a lengthy post about cloth diapering if you’re interested in learning more.
4. Keep a garden
I totally don’t do this (unless you count a small potted herb garden), but maintaining a garden can be a great way to save money and be eco-conscious. You have control over what is sprayed/not sprayed on your food, and you don’t have to drive anywhere to purchase fresh food! It’s in your own backyard (or side yard, or windowsill, or rooftop).
5. Recycle and upcycle
Instead of throwing away glass containers that come into your home (like jars from salsa, bottles from kombucha, etc.), save them to use again or take them to a recycling plant. There are also many craft projects you can do with coffee canisters, toilet paper tubes, and oatmeal canisters!
6. Buy used
If you buy something that is used (like a car, furniture, toys, or clothing), you are giving something discarded a loving, new home. This tip will save you lots of money too!
7. Make your own cleaners
You can (truly!) clean almost any surface in your home with water, vinegar, or baking soda (or a combination of those ingredients). Simply search Pinterest for DIY cleaners and you’ll find a ton of awesome “recipes” to try! These DIY cleaners are much better for the environment than harmful chemicals. You can also easily make your own laundry detergent (here’s my recipe for homemade laundry detergent).
8. Combine errands to save gas money
We mainly do this to save money, not necessarily to be green, but we try and combine our errands to save gas money (and time). When we have to drive to the nearest “big town” 35 minutes away, we make a day of it and run multiple errands at once!
What ways do you live eco-consciously?