I feel like most people today are very “all or nothing”. Every day we hear these drastic decisions that we should be making to live a better life: drive a hybrid, go vegan, grow your own veggies, only shop handmade…. we aren’t just doing what we can- we feel like we have to do everything or do nothing.
While it would be wonderful to be able to do everything, these drastic decisions just aren’t always feasible for everyone- at least not for me. I’m totally one of these inbetween-ers. I want to be more socially and economically aware! I want to be waste-free! I want to swear by handmade and locally grown food sources! But I also know that I can’t be everything.
This is why I originally started my Doing Good posts. I wanted to spread the word about companies making good decisions that might fit into your everyday life. Being eco-friendly is something we can also do in small ways: everything makes a difference after all! Here are three easy ways you can make some easy green changes.
- Learn how to recycle – This probably seems obvious, but I watch a ton of people recycle incorrectly every day. For example, did you know that while you should recycle water bottles you should NOT recycle the tops? Or how about the fact that you should recycle cardboard but NOT greasy pizza boxes? And I always think this is weird, but you actually CAN leave staples on that paperwork you’re about to throw in the recycling bin! Things can get a little confusing so make sure you take a minute to educate yourself and recycle correctly.
- Bring your own bags to the grocery store– As you probably already know, plastic is terrible for the environment but we all use it without thinking. While it may seem impossible to swear it off completely a la Trash is for Tossers, a simple change could be giving up on plastic bags. Pick yourself up a few super cute reusable bags and leave them in your car. Time to run to the store? Grab them from your trunk and get on with your environmentally-friendly self!
(Bonus: Have a ton of plastic bags sitting around? Return them!)
- Give up on plastic containers– So now that we want to lower our plastic usage, we probably want to find some glass containers to use instead of the traditional tupperware we all have. I asked for a Pyrex set for Christmas one year and it has to be one of my most used gifts to date (thanks Dean’s mom!). I love that I can cook in it, throw it in the fridge (or freezer) and then pop it in the microwave if I wanted to. They’re easy to clean, plus it’s so weirdly satisfying to eat my lunch out of glass containers!
(Bonus- this is a great excuse for a mason jar salad #sopinterest)
- Bike/walk where you can– Take a pledge to stay out of your car when you’re going a short distance. Bike the half mile to the corner store. Walk to visit a friend a few blocks away. Take a little stroll to the deli for your coffee fix. Heading a little farther away? Hop on the bus or plan a carpool with a co-worker. You’ll be saving on gas and reducing your carbon footprint!
- Unplug- Literally! – Did you know that every item you have plugged in is still pulling electricity? When you’re done with an electronic device, switch it to the off position and unplug it. I’m going to be real with you- unplugging everything is a pain. The easiest way to combat this is to plug all of your items into a surge protector and just flip a single switch instead of unplugging a bunch of wires! Done watching that movie? Turn the TV off, flip your switch and walk away as a pro-energy conservationist.
(Bonus-You’re also saving money on your electric bill
PS- Make the produce bag you see above with a t-shirt via Delia Creates!