Trying to live eco-friendly is a huge part of my life. I strive to reduce my impact on the environment every day, and I’m loving how the idea of “being green” is becoming a common and agreed upon lifestyle. Unfortunately, it’s also very common for people to do things that harm the environment, without even realizing it.
It’s not necessarily their fault, because these harmful actions have been embedded into our lifestyles to the point that we don’t think twice about them. Most people don’t know what happens to their garbage once it’s taken away, or how detrimental plastic can be to our environment when it’s used at the capacity it is today. But hear me out—there are tons of simple ways to incorporate eco-friendliness into your life, without having to purchase a bunch of green products (although that’s awesome too) or completely change the way you live. If anything, some of these will make your life more simple and enjoyable!
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Turn off your computer at night – I’m a huge culprit of leaving my laptop in sleep mode overnight, and I hardly ever turn it off completely. If it’s on, it’s using energy. And if you don’t like dealing with the time it takes to turn back on, a lot of computers have an option to set a time for it to automatically boot back up!
Buy a reusable water bottle – I purchased a Swell bottle last year, and it comes everywhere with me. Fortunately, there are a ton of water fountains throughout my campus, so it’s easy to fill up throughout the day. Before your buy one, make sure it’s durable and easy to clean so it doesn’t become a hassle!
Buy local – This is one thing I think bloggers have down! Spend some time looking around your city for small businesses and farmer’s markets, and consider buying from them before going to a big-name store. The owners will surely appreciate it!
Invest in a personal coffee cup – Did you know you can bring in your own cup to Starbucks and have them fill it instead of using their paper/plastic cup? They even give you 10 cents off (not much, but it’s something) for doing so! If you’re like me and can’t get enough of their delicious drinks, this change is perfect for you. Starbucks sells their own traveler mugs, but anything similar works!
Go vegetarian every once in a while – Commercial animals, especially cows, take up a LOT of space, water, and food. According to 50 Ways To Help, “It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rainforest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed.” There are a TON of delicious vegetarian meals out there, and trying this just once a week could give you more meal creativity!
Donate – Before you throw out old clothing, furniture, books, etc., consider donating it to a local donation center. You never know what someone else might consider as a treasure, and a donation center will be sure to get your “trash” to someone in need!
Bye bye plastic bags – Seriously, ditch the plastic bags. Have you seen all those pictures of animals killed because they became trapped in a plastic bag?? Yes, recycling is great, but I’m sure you’ve heard the lyrics—plastic bags do enjoy drifting through the wind, and are bound to wind up somewhere they shouldn’t, no matter where you throw them out. Buy a few reusable bags (they’re usually a dollar) and leave them in your car. I even have a foldable bag (you can even get these super cute fruit shaped ones) that I keep in my purse for everyday use!
Support green businesses – A lot of companies are making efforts to be more eco-friendly themselves, whether that’s through their packaging techniques or product materials. If you have the choice, buy eco-friendly!
Avoid using energy when you can – Do you really need that automated can opener? There are a lot of energy-consuming conveniences out there, and yes, some of them are worth using. But if you’re only saving a few seconds by using the electronic version, ditch it.