This year Carl and I have been making changes to be more eco-friendly. It initially felt like it was going to take forever to get to the super green status we wanted to reach. I had watched several environmental documentaries and just felt paralyzed by all the earth and animal killing things I owned. It was pretty dramatic. I looked around at all the horrible plastic I owned but was too afraid to get rid of it because I was certain it would end up in the ocean. What should I do?!
I finally decided like most things, one step at a time is the easiest way to go. I started making little changes that didn’t seem so difficult. Emptying an entire home of non-green items is difficult, but started a recycling bin is easy. Here are ten easy changes to help you get to living more green without any trauma.
Start using a recycling bin.
If your neighborhood or apartment home doesn’t offer recycling, you can find designated drop off locations in your area. Google will tell you where you need to go. For a recycling bin I relocated my large plastic shoe bin into our laundry room where it now collects recycables. Once it’s full, I just dump it out in our nearest recycling center. A large church near us has a very nice and clean drop area that is really easy to stop by.
Stop using paper towels.
I had managed to accumulate a large stockpile of paper towels over the past few years. I finally ran out and made the switch to reusable items. I have kitchen towels I’m using now and I’m working on making my own dish towels. I have a small bin under the sink where I store clean ones and another bin in our laundry room to store dirty ones until it’s time to do the laundry.
Repurpose old t-shirts.
I have one old t-shirt cut into squares and I use them to remove my eye makeup. I reused a glass jar for clean pieces and another jar for dirty ones. Once I’m almost out, I just run the dirty ones through the wash. If you do make your own, know that your makeup will probably stain the shirt, so I recommend choosing a shirt in a color that won’t show mascara and such. There are probably a million ways to repurpose a t-shirt. (I’ve totally got you covered though.)
Buy a re-usable water bottle.
Plastic is not near as recyclable as you think. Ditch the plastic bottles for a glass or metal one. It’s better for you and the environment. The plastic water bottles are harder to clean, I’ve had some that got mold in the crevices and you couldn’t really see it or reach it to clean it.
Go without a straw.
This has been surprisingly difficult, mostly because of habit. It’s hard to stop eating out, but you can cut back on the waste you produce doing so. Skip the straw, forgo a to-go cup and/or only order what you can finish at the restaurant. Little things like that add up.
Bring a reusable shopping bag.
I’m terrible at remembering mine. I own SO MANY reusable bags, I’m pretty ashamed at my inability to remember them. But, even if you’re like me and forget them, you can still avoid the plastic bags. If you aren’t buying much, just say you don’t want a bag. Or you can tell them you want everything in one bag. Sometimes I swear they’re just trying to get rid of their bags and putting as few items as possible in a bag.
Bring your own silverware to the office.
I’m sure many offices are different, but mine has a small kitchen that they keep stocked with disposable plates, bowls, utensils, and such. For awhile I was really bad about using the utensils and plates. I’ve gotten much better about bringing my own. They have dish cleaner so I can use my utensils and clean them when I’m done.
What changes can you make?