Earth Day is right around the corner, so why not make a new goal to make a more gentle impact on the planet? There is no better time than now to do your part in making this beautiful world a better place!
There are plenty of simple changes you can make to your daily routine to be more sustainable. Here are some creative ways to get green this Earth Day:
- Eat more vegetarian meals.
Even just choosing to eat vegetarian one or two days every week can make a huge impact on your carbon footprint. So much waste and pollution is made from the raising and processing of meat, and at the same time it’s a great way to maximize your vegetable intake! Here are some of our favorite vegetarian recipes to get you started. Feeling even more daring? Try tofu!
- When consuming meat, choose grass-fed.
Meat producers that choose to produce grass-fed meats, and properly manage their pastures (i.e. the natural way herds move through grasslands) actually can positively impact the environment. These meats tend to be a little more expensive, but they often retain more nutrients, and if you’re already eating more vegetarian meals (see above), the added cost shouldn’t be too bad on your budget.
- Try composting!
It’s a great way to return things that you consider “waste” back to the earth as nutrients! The best part is that you don’t need anything fancy to get started, and it can even just go back into your yard (if you don’t have a garden).
- Walk or bike whenever you can.
This is a fantastic way to add more exercise to your week, while also making less of an impact on the environment. More cities are becoming more bike-friendly than ever, and here are some helpful tips for getting started with cycling. Try using an alternative method from driving when running errands or commuting at least once per week!
- Arrange for paperless billing and statements.
Most banks and insurance companies now offer paperless statements as an option through their websites. You’ll throw away much less paper every month, and reduce the risk of late payments!
- Shop for produce locally.
Find a farmer’s market and load up on produce for the week. Chances are, it’s coming from a farm that’s close by – and not on a truck that’s pumping out pollution from thousands of miles away. An added bonus is that it supports the economy of your local community!
- Save that precious water!
Turn off the water when shaving or brushing your teeth. If you have a leaky faucet, fix it. These small changes can save gallons of water every week, and that goes a long way. Contrary to popular belief, water is not an unlimited resource! We’d rather be hydrating with it than letting it go to waste down the drain.
- Remember the saying in this order: Reduce, Reuse, THEN Recycle.
Recycling should be the very last option, as often only a small portion of recyclable materials can actually be reused. Reduce purchasing items that come in a lot of packaging (e.g. buy cereal in bulk, rather than in a box), reuse materials whenever possible (like glass jars for storing leftovers), and only recycle when you have no other options.
- Switch to cloth napkins and rags.
This is a fantastic way to cut back on waste, and save yourself some money at the same time! Cloth napkins often look much nicer than the paper alternatives too. Cut up old sheets or t-shirts to use as rags in place of paper towels.
[Credit: Oxenreider, Tsh. “40 Ways to Go Greener at Home…Besides Just Recycling.” The Art of Simple.]
[Credit: Clinthorne, Jonathan. “Sustainability and Our Food Supply.” Natural Grocers.]