Many people think that saving the environment is an enormous undertaking, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are just a handful of ideas to implement to make a difference.
- Ditch meat at least one day a week! No, I’m not saying become a vegetarian/vegan. Cutting meat out your diet at least one day per week is part of the beauty of Meatless Monday. Meatless Monday is an international campaign that encourages people to not eat meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet.
- Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can. Purchasing from local farmers keeps money in the local economy.
- Don’t buy bottled water! This can be a tough one since it’s become such a staple over the past decade or so. But, those plastic bottles are not as kind to the earth as filtering tap water would be. Plus, have you thought about the cost of bottled water? It’s crazy expensive! Check out the real cost break down.
- Carry a reusable water bottle. Opt for one made of aluminum or stainless steel.
- Buy in bulk. Purchasing food from bulk bins can save money and packaging.
- Plant a garden ~ Growing your own vegetables is a simple way to bring fresh and nutritious food literally to your doorstep. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space, and can even save you money.
- If you’re moving into your own place for the first time, or the 100th time, hit the secondhand stores, thrift stores or even Craigslist before buying something brand new. Don’t overlook garage sales, thrift stores, and consignment shops for clothing and other everyday items as well. Not only will you be saving yourself some money, you’re helping to save the local community by keeping those dollars in the area.
- In some cases, an investment in high-quality, long-lasting products is the better option. Sure, you’ll pay more upfront, but you’ll be happy when you don’t have to replace items as frequently, and that cuts down on waste.
- Wear clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned. This saves money and cuts down on toxic chemical use.
- Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics for as long as possible. Consider donating or recycling them responsibly when the time comes. Electronic waste (E-waste) contains mercury and other toxins. With so many people relying so heavily on electronics and companies releasing the newest/greatest device practically weekly, this is a growing environmental problem.
- Shop local
Every November, Small Business Saturday, established in 2010, encourages us to support small businesses during the busiest shopping time of the year. One consumer advocate argues that local small businesses are more sustainable because they are often more accountable for their actions, have smaller environmental footprints, and innovate to meet local conditions.
- Instead of relying exclusively on large supermarkets, consider purchasing your produce, eggs, dairy, and meat from a local farmer’s market. Food from these sources is usually fresher and more flavorful, and your money will be going directly to these food producers.
- Check out books and movies from your local library instead of buying books and movies. By borrowing, you are again helping your local community, and you’ve just saved yourself the money for the book, that you may or may not even like!
- Start a sharing co-op with friends and neighbors. Offer to lend your mower to your neighbor who has a tent you’d like to use for a cookout.
- Did you know that you can make very effective, non-toxic cleaning products at home? All you need are a few simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and soap.
- Click here to read a few recipes that I’ve discovered and personally used. This saves money, time, and your indoor air quality.
Earth Day is officially observed one day a year, April 22. That doesn’t mean that you can’t make a few adjustments to your regular routine, to make every day Earth Day!