11 Unexpectedly Easy Ways to Help the Environment

April 22, 2019

11 Unexpectedly Easy Ways to Help the Environment

Environmental issues around us are hard to ignore. So what better way to celebrate Earth Day than to be more thoughtful about your interactions with the environment.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to make more eco-friendly choices. In fact, it’s pretty simple. Here are 10 unexpectedlyeasy ways to help the environment that you can start doing today.

 

  • 1.Remember Your Reusable Shopping Bags

  • At the grocery store, many of us have this brilliant idea to buy a reusable shopping bag, only to forget it every single time. So, we buy a new one even though it’s really not helpful. In places like Australia, they don’t even offer paper or plastic, but without this kind of pressure to bring your own bag, you’ll need to be diligent about remembering.

    Some tricks to help might be leaving the bags in your car or putting a note next to your door. Even within the grocery store, avoid using the plastic baggies to hold your produce and do your best to avoid packaged foods by buying things in bulk.

    2. Take Shorter Showers

    Everyone’s heard of the common ways to save water. Turn off the faucet when you’re brushing your teeth. Don’t be so crazy about your lawn that you’re watering it all the time. These are all measures you should surely be taking but another one of theseeasy ways to help the environment is by taking shorter showers.

    Great ideas do often come in the shower but try not to allow daydreaming to be part of the cleaning routine. Mindlessly standing in the shower is using more water than you think. On average, Americans are using 2.1 gallons of water per minute of showering. So even shaving an extra minute off of your daily rinse can do wonders for the planet.

    3. Plan Out Your Errands

    You may not live in an area conducive to bike riding and the public transportation system might end up wasting more time than you have to spare. So alternatives to driving might not be a simple solution in your case. But there is still a way to help the environment by making the most out of how much you drive.

    All it takes a little planning to make sure that your errands are being done as efficiently as possible. If the post office is on the way to the grocery store, bring that package you’ve been meaning to send when you’re ready to stock the pantry. Need to return something from the store that’s a few blocks from your child’s school? Bring it along for morning drop-off and swing by to make the return in one shot. Saving a few extra driving trips each week can do a lot for the environment over time.

    4. Get a Reusable Water Bottle

    If you’re looking foreasy ways to help the environment, it really doesn’t get much easier than this.Only 1 in 5 plastic water bottles of the 50 million that are made each year in the U.S. are recycled properly and if all you need to do is fill up a reusable one each day to prevent this, there’s really no excuse not to. It’s a tiny investment but one that pays off again and again.

    This works for coffee cups, too. If you have a caffeine addiction like the rest of us, you probably go through a fair amount of wasteful, disposable coffee cups. Bring a reusable one to your morning cafe stop. Plus, many places even offer discounts for being eco-friendly. Win-win!

    5. Walk More

    This seems obvious, but be honest - how many times have you gotten in your car to drive a few blocks to the pharmacy? How long would it have taken you to walk there? Maybe fifteen minutes? Do you really not have the time?

    Ok, ok - this isn’t about shaming anyone but walking more and driving less areeasy ways to help the environment. Walk to the gym and use it as your warm up and cool down. Walk your kids to school. Walk to the coffee shop. Just walk. Bonus - it’s great exercise.

    6. Reuse Containers

    When you run out of raspberry jam or if your takeout pad thai came in a plastic container, wash them out and keep them for later. Get creative and think of all the ways you can this food reuse packaging. Use them to store more food or even get crafty with them fora DIY project.

    This counts for more than just food containers, too. If you have space, keep Amazon boxes handy for the next time you move or need to ship something. Keep jewelry boxes to store small knickknacks that always seem to get lost. Pretty much every time you’re about to throw something away - think twice and try to reuse it.

    7. Swap Out Your Cleaning Products

    First of all, it’s a little known fact that most surfaces in your house can be cleaned using simple ingredients like vinegar and baking soda. But since we’re looking foreasy ways to help the environment and DIY cleaning products isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, simply swapping chemical-based cleaners for more eco-friendly options is simple to do because of the sheer amount of green cleaning products on the market.

    Additionally, when it comes to cleaning products, you can probably get away with less. Try opting for one multi-purpose cleaner that can do it all and when you run out, just get a refill and reuse the same bottle.

    8. Grab a Needle and Thread

    In a culture of fast fashion, it seems easy and cheap enough to go out and replace clothing that has rips or stains. The truth is, the resources used in the fashion industry is tough on the environment and using less is definitely better in this department.

    Ripped your jeans? Mend them on your own. Need a black dress for a party? Borrow one from a friend. Shop in thrift stores and do clothing swaps. It’s probably even a good idea to carry around a stain stick to remove spills before they’re unsalvageable. Even regular items around the house can benefit from this state of mind. Instead of tossing your coffee machine that’s acting up, try fixing it first.

    9. Go Paperless

    It’s clear that we live in the age of the internet where Umizato computer glasses are sometimes more useful than a pen and paper. And while too much screen time can be cause for adigital detox, going paperless is also one of thoseeasy ways to help the environment.

    It can be as simple as making sure none of your bills are delivered by mail when you have a statement available online. Read magazines on your iPad instead of having the paper copies piling up on your coffee table. Use the calendar app on your phone instead of using a traditional planner. It unexpectedly saves a ton of paper.

    10. Open the Windows

    Many of us get into the habit of setting our air conditioners and enjoying our homes at the perfect 74 degrees no matter what. While we’re not suggesting that you turn off all energy-sucking sources and freeze yourself for the sake of the planet, we are suggesting that it becomes a more mindful decision to use up energy.

    During fall and spring, for example, when the weather is pleasant, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air. Turn on a fan to keep things flowing or cuddle under some blankets but don’t feel like you always need the heater or air conditioning blasting. Similarly, turn off the lights when you’re not in a room and dry your clothes on the line during the summer. You’d be surprised how low your energy bill can get, too!

    11. Recycle Your Old Eyeglasses

    According to the Vision Council of America, 64% of adults wear eyeglasses for corrective vision. Top that with all the people who are seeing the benefits of blue light blocking glasses and soon, we might all have a pair of glasses. Whether your prescription changes or you’re ready for a new look, try recycling your old eyeglasses.

    This could be in a traditional sense like popping out the lenses and recycling the frames if they’re glass, plastic, or aluminum, just like you would any other glass, plastic, or aluminum product. You can also donate your old eyeglasses for someone else to reuse. Organizations likeLions Clubs International andNew Eyes help distribute used eyewear to those in need.

    Theseeasy ways to help the environment are often overlooked and it really comes down paying more attention in your everyday life. This Earth Day, take a moment to assess your daily habits and challenge yourself to gently shift your perspective. It’s easier than you think.


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