In honor of Earth Day today, I thought this would be the perfect time to share some easy tips on how to make eco-friendly living a part of our everyday lives!
And while it may seem overwhelming to know where to start, as there are sooooo many ways to be more eco-friendly (I’m considering creating a guide to help people be more eco), I figured I’d start slow and just share 5 ways you can lessen your carbon footprint and show Mother Earth a little extra love! 🙂
Ditch the plastics – Since most plastic ends up either in landfills where it takes foreeeeever to degrade (and when it does, releases harmful toxins) or in oceans where it has a devastating impact on marine life (approx. 100,000 sea animals die every year after becoming entangled in or eating plastic bags), more eco-friendly options would be to use canvas bags when shopping, glass or stainless steel straws for drinking and glass bottles or storage. And glass made from recycled scrap produces 20% less air pollution & 50% less water pollution than glass made from raw materials! TBE tip: Mason jars are not only affordable drinking & storage options but also can be used for home decor!
Eat less meat – I know that for die-hard carnivores (like my family), this seems like blasphemy, but cutting back on meat purchasing/consumption can be of great benefit to the environment. Raising animals for food requires large amounts of land, water, food & energy. According to the Food & Agriculture Organization of the UN, animal agriculture is a “major stressor on many ecosystems & on the planet as a whole”, as well as being a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption (about 34-76 trillion gallons annually). By going meatless even a few times a week, you are helping to lower the amount of resources that are used up! TBE tip: Check out sites like One Green Planet, and Oh She Glows for some really tasty & healthy plant-based recipes that will make you not miss that burger at all!
Use less water – Being more conservative with water usage can not only save you money, but it helps prevent water shortages as well as reducing wastewater treatment costs and the amount of energy required to treat, pump & heat water (meaning less CO2 emissions!). TBE tips: Don’t leave the faucet running when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face, take shorter showers, wash clothes with cold water instead of hot, and invest in a low flow toilet or other water saving utilities.
Shop your local farmer’s market – Skipping the grocery store in favor of your local farmer’s market has so many benefits! First of all, buying local means the food you are buying came from nearby, which means less resources were used to get it to the market, which means less pollution. You’re also helping to support small family farms directly, giving them a better return for their wares! Another benefit to buying from local farmers is that you have a chance to talk to them about their farming methods (something I personally do quite often!) – ie: do they use a low spray method, crop rotation, organic methods, etc. And of course, it’s usually much cheaper at the farmer’s market than at the grocery store, so you can get a wide variety and a good quantity without hurting your wallet! TBE tip: Make sure to get to the market early so you don’t miss out on the best deals, and don’t forget your reusable canvas bag to carry your haul!
Go green with your cleaning and beauty products – Many of the ingredients found in conventional cleaning & beauty/personal care products are pretty unhealthy – not only for us but the environment as well (these chemicals once rinsed down the drain, or flushed down the toilet, make their way into nearby waterways & can poison aquatic life). Truly green companies use methods to reduce their carbon footprint any way they can and use ingredients that are beneficial to us and the environment. And don’t think that going green means you have to spend a fortune or buy everything online – there are many very eco-conscious & affordable brands out there and some you can even find at your local grocery store, Target, Ulta or Whole Foods! TBE tip: Not sure what brands are worth switching to? Check out some of my faves here & here!
What are your favorite tips for being more eco-friendly? Share them below!
Happy Earth Day!