20 Simple Tips for a Greener Lifestyle

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Vegetable garden by Nick Saltmarsh via Flickr

Having an environmentally-friendly home can help save on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Owning an economical car can use less gas and release fewer emissions. But have you thought about your overall lifestyle? Implementing green practices into your everyday routine can play a huge role in the health of the environment.

Let’s take a look at a few simple things you can do:

1. Recycle VHS Tapes

The plastic and film used in your old VHS tapes can be recycled and used to produce other things, reducing the amount of plastic produced inorganically. It’s simple to convert VHS tapes into a more modern format, and it will save space in the basement.

2. Take Shorter Showers

Don’t wait for the water to heat up before hopping in the shower. Also, quickly lather and get out, so you can reduce water consumption. This is particularly important if you live in an area affected by drought.

3. Walk More Frequently

If you only live a couple of miles from work or the grocery store, walk instead of drive. You’ll get your exercise and avoid emissions of any kind.

4. Purchase a Recycling Bin

When you sign up for garbage disposal with the city, sign up for a recycling bin as well. It costs just a few more dollars per month, but it gives you an opportunity to decrease the mountains of waste in our landfills.

5. Utilize Reusable Bags

The next time you go shopping, spend an extra dollar or two on reusable shopping bags. Bring these with you whenever you go shopping to reduce the use of paper and plastic bags.

6. Switch to All-Natural Cleaners

You’d be surprised to learn how many chemicals your everyday cleaning supplies emit. Switching to natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and lemon will protect your home from these toxins.

7. Plant Drought-Resistant Greenery

Plants like cactus and succulents need very little water, but will give your yard the beautiful greenery it deserves.  You might also choose to remove your grass in favor of wood pellets and other drought-friendly landscaping.

8. Reduce Meat Intake

If you like to eat meat, try to limit your consumption to just a couple of times per week. This will save you money and help protect wildlife.

9. Shop Secondhand

There’s no shame in purchasing clothing that’s already been worn or picking up a used recliner at a thrift store. This saves landfills and lessens energy and waste from manufacturers.

10. Boycott Bottled Water

Use a water purifier on your kitchen faucet if you don’t like the taste of your tap water, and use refillable water bottles instead.

11. Salvage Cell Phones

It’s tempting to throw broken cell phones away, but doing so can lead to toxins and chemicals being released into the environment, so recycle them instead. Some phone companies will even purchase your old cell phones for a few dollars in order to promote the practice of recycling.

12. Use a Surge Protector

Save energy and protect your home from spontaneous fires.

13. Change Your Beauty Products

The beauty industry is one of the most harmful industries in the world. Their products are full of toxins and chemicals. You can support greener production by purchasing from manufacturers who deal with organic products.

14. Download Apps

Technology makes it easy to go green with apps like eEcosphere, which connects you with information and people interested in the movement. There’s also Buycott, which helps you avoid businesses that don’t care about the environment.

15. Recycle Rain Water

If you live in an area that gets a lot of rain, put out rain barrels for collection. You can use this water for your plants and lawn.

16. Switch to CFLs

Compact fluorescent lights are much more efficient than traditional light bulbs because the energy goes more to light than heat, meaning there’s less wasted energy.

17. Join the Sharing Economy

Young people are all about sharing nowadays, which is having a positive effect on the environment. They share everything from lodging to transportation, which limits their carbon footprints extensively.

18. Eat Local

Purchase fresh produce and other products from local farms and businesses. The closer the products are to home, the less they have to travel to get to you. That means fewer emissions from transportation vehicles.

19. Support Local Businesses

The same concept applies here. When the travel is minimal for products and services, it supports a cleaner environment.

20. Teach Your Children

Help your children understand the importance of making eco-conscious decisions. If you teach them young, they’ll make greener choices consistently, which could lead to a generation that’s focused on sustainability.