Changing your lifestyle over to a greener lifestyle really isn't that difficult. Throughout this site you can find many of my posts that encourage simple changes to start your green journey. Any changes count, no matter how small they are.
There are no changes that are too small.
So what can you do for the new year? Below are some suggestions of simple changes that won't change your lifestyle too much but can greatly impact your environment, home and even your health. There's no need to go out hugging trees and all of that, just make some subtle changes to start with.
- Reusable totes: I probably sound like a broken record with this one, but seriously, they are amazing. Many stores even give you a discount on your grocery bill for using them. With reusable totes I usually have 4-5 of them filled up to unload and carry to my car/home. With plastic bags, there's easily 20+ bags because for some reason they insist on bagging things like that and it drives me bonkers.
- Reducing plastic: Americans are famous for settling for plastic dinnerware, cheap $1.00 plates, throw away tupperware and so on. Obviously some of us may be in a money crunch and can only purchase that, but there are numerous options. Hit up garage sales, thrift stores and bargain stores for glass plates, ceramic or glass food storage containers, etc... Plastic emits numerous chemicals and isn't healthy for us and doesn't last as long. Recycle your old ones and slowly build your glass stash!
- Turning off lights: Growing up my dad was always on my case for leaving the lights on around our home. As an adult now, I've gotten much better at it. In fact, majority of the time my house is lit up by sunlight and open windows. I love this and am actually proud of my ability to now remember to turn the lights off. Thanks, Dad!
- Recycling:Start simple. Small. Easy. Pick the item of your choice and just start with that. I always recommend starting with plastic as many items we all purchase come in plastic containers and are quickly disposed of (it's the American way).
- Donating: This really isn't green, but it's a great thing to do and it's more than likely a good thing for your home. Over time we all accumulate too much crap, too many toys and too many things that we don't need. Reduce clutter, reduce plastic and reorganize your life a little by giving away those things that you haven't used in ages. I have done this more times than I can count in the last 1-2 years and I'm always still doing it. Every few months a trash bag usually leaves our home filled with goodies for those that need it (usually my clothes).
- Shopping local: In particular with this I really mean trying to go to the farmer's market in your area. Most cities have a local farmer's market and this is a wonderful thing to do! Supporting local farmers is such a great thing to do not just for their ability to pay their bills, but for our environment and farming industry as a whole.
- Think before you buy: Read labels, consider chemical exposure and consider whether or not you really need the item. For many things that we eat and purchase for our homes, there are healthier, greener alternatives that don't cost but pennies more. Don't waste and don't spoil...live simply!
What's your New Year's Resolution?
Any green resolutions?