“It’s for the environment”. “I feel better doing my part”. “I hate plastic!”
Whatever your reasons are to try to have a smaller carbon footprint, there are a few ways to dip your toes into green living. A few changes here and there can make a great difference. It doesn’t have to take over your life either– find what works best for you!
Receive and pay bills online, unsubscribe from the magazines you don’t even have time to read, use your phone to take notes and keep your calendar updated. Now, if only we could get those credit card companies to stop sending us all that junk mail!
It’s surprising how many items that we use daily are actually recyclable. Take advantage of the recycling opportunities in your office or home. Here’s a handy guide to the recycling and composting program in Cedar Rapids. This is such an easy way to live green!
You don’t need to invest in a smart thermostat to save and conserve energy. Simply turning off lights when leaving a room or unplugging electronics when not in use can make a difference and save you some money too!
Buy Fewer Plastic and Single-Use Items
– Grocery/shopping bags: Seriously, I could not praise reusable bags more. I have so many and use them for everything. Aldi regulars, you know what I’m talking about! I actually keep one in my purse at all times and love the ones that compact into their own little pouch.
– Straws: We’ve all seen that horrible turtle video. So much plastic ends up in our oceans and gets ingested by marine life! After I bought a set of metal straws, I was able to use them 4 times in one week. Think of how many plastic straws that would replace over time! On this same note, bring your own silverware to work; just wash after lunch and you’re good to go!
– Storage Bags: Reusable snack bags are perfect for kids’ snacks. They actually save you money as well because it’s a one time purchase. Plus, you’ll buy more “bulk” items instead of the million little to-go bags. You can also go the snack size container route. Even though some are plastic, they are still multi-use items.
– Food Pouches: Reusable pouches are perfect for your homemade baby food!
– Water bottles: Just say no! So many water fountains cater to filling up our own bottle. Watching that tracking counter go up makes my heart happy.
– To-Go Mugs: Starbucks addict? Bring your own to-go mug to the store. Yes, you can do this!
– Sanitary items: Give the menstrual cup a chance! You might not regret it!
Start a garden
Grow your own veggies in the summer with your kids. You’ll be eating produce while lowering the need for packaging and transportation of goods. This is green living at its best!
Buy and sell used items
You can buy pre-used toys, books, clothes, exercise equipment, and even some electronics. Browse through consignment stores, second-hand stores, garage sales and even online re-sell sites. You’ll be amazed at the variety of things you can find at a great price!