living a ‘greener’, more socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle isn’t the easy way out, and it takes some effort, i know…but there a lots of super easy little things you can do that will add up over time. i truly think that what i do makes a difference (even if some people roll their eyes and scoff at that). if even only just one millionth of a sliver of a difference. but it’s something.
let’s say that today, you don’t do anything more than casually recycle but don’t consciously make big changes or efforts to help the environment or to reduce waste. it happens…i’m not judging, but just don’t tell me you don’t have time. because i’m going to give you 5 easy things you can do to work towards a ‘greener’ lifestyle that don’t take any extra effort at all.
#1 – stop using paper napkins.
my hubby and i cook dinner and have a sit down meal everyday. we used to use paper napkins or paper towels - until about 3 years ago when we ditched them forever. we now use only cloth napkins…and we don’t necessarily wash them after every meal, or everyday, but probably once every week or so (we have a lot) – so it never causes extra loads of laundry. it’s like a couple of extra pairs of socks in the laundry. no biggie, right?
#2 – don’t buy bottled water.
i drink a lot of water at home – and on the go. i’m hate to admit it, but we used to buy those gigantic packs of water at costco all the time. we always had water on hand chilling in the fridge. i cringe just thinking about it….we are now total Brita converts. just try it out. i promise you’ll like it, it isn’t any extra work, really, it becomes an easy routine!! i fill the Brita pitcher without even thinking about what i’m doing half the time, it just happens now…and the filters are 100% recyclable (in partnership with Preserve). and go out and get yourself a beautiful sigg stainless steel water bottle for on the go!
#3 – buy tree-free or 100% recycled toilet paper.
this one literally takes zero effort. many tree-free paper products are made out of sugarcane pulp (called bagasse, it’s the residue left over after the sugar is extracted – not only is it a by-product, it’s a 100% biodegradable byproduct – a double whammy!). and it’s easy to find, duane reade sell a 75% tree-free toilet paper. yeah, it’s not the softest stuff ever, but why cut down trees and use virgin wood for your ass? …and for something you use for less than a minute and then immediately throw away? you know i have a point….
#4 – use reuseable shopping bags.
this one takes minimal effort – actually the most effort is actually in remembering to bring the bags to the store in the first place. i hate it when i forget. but it’s not like anyone is asking us to remember and recite the constitution or anything….get cute ones from baggu, envirosax or muji (my favorite) or make your own! most tuck away and fold up easily so you can keep one stuffed in the bottom of your bag or in your car…easy peasy, right?
#5 – go paperless.
are you still getting paper bills in the mail? you are, really? (i’m not judgin’, i’m just sayin’!…) …along with all the other junk those companies send out (that we immediately dismiss) we don’t need a physical memory that we owe someone money. you know and i know, we have to pay them regardless. so stop cutting down trees! most banks / credit card companies offer paperless billing these days and easy 24/7 access to your bill online. my bank even has what they call a ‘green’ checking account – which i use and love…it’s entirely paperless, no bills, statements, paper ads, notices, nothing. in fact, i don’t receive any paper bills from any companies at all in the mail (although i think my neighbor is making up for it with the amount of crap he gets daily and abandons on the floor…make it stop!!).
so what do you think? it’s an easy enough start, right? …it’s always better to do something small than nothing at all. maybe there are other things you may find easier to incorporate into your daily life, and that’s great!
we all have busy schedules and no one wants to make life more complicated, but i think these 5 things are pretty simple, and can be very impactful.
want to learn more?
these websites can help you get you going:
national geographic green guide
the green living blog
eco chick blog
reduce, reuse, recycle!