lucky bandit | RVA based lifestyle blog: 7 simple ways to go green

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 simple ways to go green

7 simple ways to go green katelyn carter

How green are you? I think almost all of us produce a little more waste than we should. We're human, we make mistakes, we live in a world with a lot of trash. BUT there are lots of little simple things you can do to reduce your impact on Mother Earth. Here are seven simple ways to get a little greener:

1. Recycle.
Of course recycling makes it on this list, but think about it - almost everything can be recycled! I try to only buy products that are recyclable or don't have much waste. We keep a little bin next to our trashcan so there's no extra step - it's either trash or recyclable, and all in one place! It's so much easier to remember with a bright green tub staring you in the face. If you don't have a streamlined catch-all recycling bin like we do, be sure to separate your items by type when you drop them off - some recycling centers have strict rules.

2. Opt out of a plastic bag.
Do you really need a bag to carry your candy bar and soda (or maybe apple and water if you tend to go the healthy route) from the gas station to the car? How about when you're just picking up bread from the grocery store? No. Save that waste! Grocery bags never biodegrade and end up killing a lot of wildlife. Turtles frequently mistake floating plastic bags as jellyfish, eat them, and choke to death. Keep reusable bags in your car, by the front door, in your locker at school or work, and you can even pick up small collapsible bags for your purse! When you're picking out vegetables and fruits, those priced per piece don't need bags. You're going to wash them anyway, right? If your veggie choice is per pound, you can grab some of these reusable produce bags. If you're having trouble remembering your reusable bags, you can get a FREE static cling from Conserving Now to stick on your car window so you remember.

3. Cut back on meat intake - participate in Meatless Mondays.
I'm not going to put "go vegan" on this list - it's presumptuous. Not everyone can or wants to go vegan. However, factory farming is one of the largest negative impacts on the environment, and cutting back on meat, dairy, and egg consumption can help! You don't have to cut out animal products altogether (though that would be great!), but participating in Meatless Monday can really help your health and the environment! If you are interested in going vegan, always do your research for a well balanced diet.

4. Go digital with magazines and books.
First let me say that I am a HUGE fan of holding an actual, tangible book. I like physically turning the pages. With that said, I do try to buy a percentage of my books on my Nook. You don't even need an actual Nook if you have a smartphone/tablet or laptop - you can get the Kindle and NOOK apps for free. If you still love getting your magazines in the mail, remember you can recycle them! :)

5. Turn off lights, adjust your thermostat, and check your windows and doors.
When you leave a room, turn off the lights. Don't turn the air conditioner below 72 degrees or the heat above 65 degrees. Turn off the thermostat completely and open the windows when the weather is mild. Not only do these simple little tasks get ingrained into habits quickly, they save you money. Check your windows and doors for leaks when your thermostat is on - that's valuable cooled or heated air you could be losing! You know when your mother used to yell "ARE WE HEATING THE OUTDOORS?!" - well, are you? The squirrels are used to it - they don't need air conditioning!

6. Unsubscribe to junk mail.
I love getting mail, but in the end I've realized that junk mail sucks. It's of no use and just gives the potential to spend money. There are websites that claim to unsubscribe you from catalogs and junk mail, but many take six weeks or more to contact a company and have you removed. Majority of the time there is a number on the catalog/junk mail that you can call. Simply say you are calling to unsubscribe, and the person on the line should be able to help you and process your request much quicker than the websites.

7. Use your appliances wisely.
Only wash completely full loads of laundry (but don't pack them in - you can set your washer off balance). If you have a dryer, this tip applies in the opposite fashion - drip dry your clothes whenever possible. We have a clothesline in our laundry room that I hang the majority of our clothes on to dry. Anything that is needed immediately goes in the dryer. Sometimes I can fit three loads of laundered, dryable clothes in the dryer on one cycle instead of three! Not using the dryer greatly lengthens the life of your clothes, too! If you have a dishwasher, always completely fill it before you start it. It saves soap and energy. If you have a habit of leaving the television on when you fall asleep, set the timer! It will cut off after you fall asleep and you'll save those hours of energy used.

These are just a few tips, but there are hundreds more ways you can go green! Remember - every little bit helps. Don't beat yourself up if you toss your soda bottle, or if you leave a light on when you go to the store. It's about progress, not perfection!

1 comment

  1. Kate,
    Thanks for the shout out! We also sell over 100 designs of beautiful reusable bags! Being green can also be incredibly stylish. 100% of the profits from the sale our our reusable bags go toward providing teachers with environmental education classroom kits to inspire future generations to love and care for their world. Together we can make a difference!