Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it should come as no surprise thatour planet is in deep trouble. There is a gaping hole in the o-zone layer,land fills are taking over naturalhabitats,the polar ice caps are melting… if this isn’t motivation to start a more eco-friendly lifestyle, then we don’t know what is. Contrary to popular belief, living eco-friendly does not mean living below your usual standards. In many ways, it enhances your style of living and is slightly more cost-efficient. The key to living a truly green life is to start with the small things — they’ll add up big in the end.
Use Reusable Items:
Everything from take-away coffee cups to one-time-use grocery bags all add copious amounts to landfills everyday. Start reducing that amount by investing in items such as travel coffee mugs andreusable shopping bags (pictured above). Many coffee shops will put your freshly purchased coffee in the mug per your request, otherwise you can make it at home, which will save you a ton of cash. Bring along reusable bags when you do shopping of any kind, including clothing! While bags from Bloomies do look nicer than your average grocery bag, they will only add to excess waste.
No, I do not mean that you should start reverting back to candlelight. Light bulb manufacturers everywhere are creating more energy efficient bulbs. These bulbs use less energy and light for longer periods of time, cutting back on your electric bill as well as the frequency with which you’ll have to buy new bulbs.
In our earliest science classes, we learned about photosynthesis, the process by which plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Due to deforestation, carbon dioxide levels are reaching an all-time high. Fill your living space with plant life, flowers, mini-trees — anything that fits into your home, helps. If you have yard space, the best thing to do is fill it with your favorite breed of flowers or grow a vegetable garden that will help you cut back on grocery shopping bills too.
Probably the easiest step of them all: recycle. Many towns these days have separate garbage pick-ups for recyclable items, making recycling easier than ever. If you are short on cash, grocery stores usually have places for you to deposit your plastic and glass bottles for their monetary worth. So, instead of chucking all the beer cans from your last party, go to the grocery store, deposit them, and earn yourself a buck or two.
Recycling applies to more than justpapers and plastic; you can recycle clothing too. Donate your unused goods to those less forunate or to a second hand clothing store. Help those less fortunate and organize your living space, all atthe same time!
Walk More, Drive Less:
We know it’s less than desirable to be outside when it’s so cold out, but bundle up and start walking. You’ll save money on gas as well as a gym membership. If you’re really too far to consider walking, see if you can carpool or use public transportation.
When possible, try to buy your groceries from a local farmers’ market which helps to limit the excess materials and fuel used to transport mass goods to chain grocery stores. You’ll end up getting healthier and fresher produce than you would at the grocery store.
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