In today’s world, there are many options for how to be eco-friendly, from bringing your reusable bags to the grocery store to driving an environmentally friendly car. Taking care of our planet means taking care of ourselves, so read on for some fun and easy ways to go green.
1. Use Reusable Coffee Filters or K-Cups
Did you know that in 2013, Keurig produced enough Green Mountain K-Cups to circle the world 10.5 times? And these plastic pods aren’t recyclable, which is causing an environmental nightmare. If you want to be a little more eco-friendly, but still want the convenience of your Keurig, try using a reusable coffee pod that works the same way. All you have to do is fill it with your favorite coffee and run your Keurig as you normally would. In addition to saving plastic, these reusable K-cups also help you save money and you have more flexibility with what coffee you drink.
If you use a coffee pot, consider using reusable coffee filters to limit your paper usage. Although most paper coffee filters are biodegradable, it’s always good for the environment to save some landfill space.
2. Drive an Electric or Hybrid Car
Gas prices are only going up and as a limited energy source, we will soon deplete the oil we have available. To combat this, more and more people are choosing hybrid or electric cars. These cars get much better gas mileage, too, which can save you money. The electric and hybrid car market has also become much more attainable and family cars like the Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt, and the Ford Focus Electric are all great entry-level gas-saving cars. Further, there are additional technologies you can buy for your car to help you drive more sustainably.
3. Consider How You Use Plastic
Plastic has become so saturated in our day that you might not even realize how much of it you use. We have so many single-use plastic items in our everyday lives, such as water bottles, plastic bags, and plastic utensils. Below are some alternatives to these plastic choices that can help you live a little eco-friendlier and help save Mother Earth:
- Use Metal Utensils Instead of Plastic Ones – If you find yourself using a lot of plastic utensils at work, consider bringing in a metal set. You can easily wash them in between meals and keep them at your desk.
- Use Metal Straws – You’ve probably noticed that there are several cities eliminating plastic straws altogether, and for good reason. Because of their shape, straws are hard to recycle and often end up in the ocean. Try not to use a straw at all and if you do use one, use a reusable one!
- Use Reusable Bags – Again, many cities and states are eliminating plastic bags at stores, or you have to pay for them. This is one step forward in the fight for the environment. To stay up on the trend, don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to the store. You can even use reusable plastic storage bags and produce bags to really reduce your carbon footprint.
- ·Use Reusable Water Bottles and Mugs – Instead of using a paper cup every morning for your coffee or plastic bottles for your water, bring along your favorite mug and reusable water bottle to really reduce your use of paper and plastic. These bottles and mugs are a fun way to show off your personality and preferences, and they are also more affordable than always buying water or hot drinks!
Turn off the Lights (and Use LED Lightbulbs)
Energy conservation is a great way to be eco-friendly because it saves electricity, a very valuable resource. Always turn the lights off when you’re not home, or invest in smart light bulbs that will do it for you! With smart bulbs like Philips Hue, you can set timers to turn your lights on and off to save energy. They are also LED light bulbs, which are more energy efficient, will help you save money on your electric bill, and will help save the planet while doing it.
Ready to take your eco-friendly lifestyle a step further? Consider signing up with one of several energy companies that use renewable energy, or contact your local businesses to get a quote for installing solar panels. Solar panels used to be seen as an expensive, space-age advancement, but in today’s generation they are actually more affordable than you might think. Even more, you will likely get a tax credit back to make them even more worth it!
We only have one planet, so it’s crucial to protect it as much as we can. These small lifestyle changes will help you live more eco-friendly in this generation. Every little bit helps, so don’t feel intimidated. It’s never too late to start helping the planet, recycling, and taking a stand against climate change.