Going green doesn’t have to be terribly difficult. Here are ten painless ways to cut your footprint and keep it green and healthy.
1 – Give up single serve beverages: Juice boxes, water bottles and other single serve drinks create a ton of unnecessary water waste and of course, cause blindness. Grab some affordable refillable stainless steel water bottles and refill them for the kids (and you). When buying juice, or other non-water beverages, choose large containers, not single serve sizes and use your water bottle or a glass.
2 – Get a power strip: Did you know it makes good energy sense to unplug your computer at night, and other electronics and equipment too? That said, who has the time to unplug and plug in everything on a daily basis. Instead, plug all your home office gear into one handy power strip then simply turn that off when you leave your office.
3 – Buy bar soap: Plastic containers of soap are a waste of plastic. Even if you recycle them, they still use up resources. Go for bar soap instead. It costs less and most natural stores or farmers’ markets carry it unwrapped. I like Glycerine Creme Soap – Natural Oatmeal Fragrance Free. It’s vegan, but not organic which is a downside. If you simply must have body wash, buy a HUGE container that the whole family can use like Dr. Bronner’s or refill a reusable bottle at the co-op.
4 – Buy phosphate free laundry detergent: Easy as pie nowadays and even affordable. My favorite is a big ol’ box of Biokleen Citrus Laundry Powder. Cheap, green and works great.
5 – Choose three organic food items and stick with it: Going all organic is hard for sure. It’s difficult to find your favorite products and it costs more. Still, even by choosing organic sometimes, you’re cutting back on pesticides, especially if you pick foods your family eats often. So, choose three foods your family eats a lot and make it a goal to always buy those food in organic form. We buy a lot of food in organic form, but if I could only pick three at my house, I’d choose milk (soy or cow), apples and potatoes because all are fairly cheap in organic form and their conventional peers have a lot of pesticides.
7 – Sign up for paperless billing on all your bills: My landlord charges a fee to pay rent online, so I send a check, but all my other bills (phone, electric, etc) offer online pay and paperless billing. I pay online to save a stamp and I make sure any notices go to my email, not my post office box, saving on paper resource and the carbon it would take to get the mail to me.
8 – Buy a reusable coffee filter: Get rid of paper filters plus trips to the store and use a much nicer filter. I’ve had the same $5 permanent filter for years and in a pinch, you can even smash fruit in it for homemade food dyes.
9 – Turn the heat cycle off on your dishwasher: Once your dishes get to the drying stage, simply pop open the door and let them air dry.
10 – Recycle your cell phone: It’s super easy to recycle a cell phone nowadays so you’ve got no excuse to toss it in the trash.