Way to Be Green
15 ways you can green your world
1. Hit the (Reusable) Bottle
End your one-use plastic water bottle addiction by investing in a BPA-free plastic container or steel bottle as a Way to be Green. If you’re worried about your tap water, pick up a reusable water bottle with a built-in filter so that you can hydrate your body without hurting the Earth.
2. Switch Up Your Suds
When you suds up with shower gel, you’re left with an empty plastic bottle, and many communities don’t have the facilities to recycle these. Try swapping your shower gel with super-low-waste soap, preferably from a hand-cut bar or with recyclable paper packaging.
3. Host a Clothing Swap
If you’re jonesing for a wardrobe update and a Way to be Green, but you want to go green (and save some green), invite your friends to bring over their unwanted items for a clothing exchange. After all, one woman’s trash is another woman’s tres chic. Turn it into a potluck by making hors d’ouevres and asking everyone to bring a dish. Donate any leftover or unwanted clothing to charity.
4. Unplug It
Electronic items can still consume energy when they’re turned off, so before you leave the house for the day (and especially if you’re leaving for vacation), unplug all unused devices. Make this task easier on yourself by plugging several items into a powerstrip. Don’t forget to yank laptop and mobile phone chargers out of the wall, too.
5. Bulk Up
Pretty packaging might make you want to buy that new brand of cereal, but what you’re really paying for is marketing. Ditch the unnecessary boxes and bags and stock up on staples like oats, lentils, trail mix and more in the bulk foods section of your local grocery or natural foods store. Not only are bulk foods cheaper, but you’ll also be able to buy only as much as you need.
6. Make Paperless Payments
Cut the clutter and save some trees by converting to online statements and payments for as many bills as possible. From credit cards to rent to electricity, nearly every bill can find a way to go green and be paid electronically now, so just create email folders for statements and payment confirmations to organize and keep track of your payments. Bonus: Come tax time, you won’t be drowning in shoeboxes full of paper statements.
7. Rag Time
Get extra use out of torn or holey t-shirts, sweatshirts, towels and more by cutting them up and using them as dust clothes or wash rags. And, once these items are no longer usable as rags, check to see if there are any textile recycling drop-offs in your area at RecycleMatch.com.
8. Soften Up
Ditch the dryer sheets artificial fragrance-heavy liquid fabric softeners in favor of a more natural solution. Just add a cup of white vinegar during the final rinse cycle and enjoy a way to go green.
9. Work in Your PJs
If you can effectively do your job from home, talk to your boss about telecommuting a day or two each week. According to the EPA, leaving your car at home one or two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. If telecommuting isn’t an option, check out carpooling, public transportation or private ride-share commuting opportunities.
10. Love to Lather
It’s hard to work up a good lather when water is beating down on you, and how can you tell if you’ve missed a spot shaving your legs? Invest in an inexpensive shower head with an “off” button, and get your suds on while saving gallons of water.
11. Get High and Dry
Drying on high heat breaks down the elasticity in fabrics, so prolong the life of your clothes by hanging as many items as possible on wooden racks or drying them outside. Bonus: The scent of sunshine-dried sheets makes for sweet dreams.
12. Eat Like Your Ancestors
Author Michael Pollan said you shouldn’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as food. So, rid your grocery cart of highly processed, overpackaged foods and kick your diet old school. You’ll see a difference in the way you feel and on your grocery bill.
13. Bag It
Paper or plastic? Try neither. Some cities are starting to charge for plastic bags, which is yet another reason to keep a few collapsible bags in your car or purse. Bonus: Sturdy fabric bags are a lot sturdier and more comfortable (not to mention more stylish) to carry than plastic.
14. Lighten Your Load
Clean heavy, unused items out of your car to reduce the amount of gas you’re using. As excited as you might be for golf season, carting your clubs around all the time is going to cost you and the environment.
15. Clean Easy
Do you really need a separate cleaning product for every surface in your home? Of course not. Whip up an all-purpose solution of ½ cup vinegar and ¼ cup baking soda in half a gallon of water and just spray and wipe away.
When you choose Green lifestyle products and measures, you’re usually easier on your wallet and the environment. Remember, you don’t have to live in a tree house in the forest to find Ways to be Green.