“Living sustainably” or “going zero waste” can seem like daunting concepts that will lead to spending more money or making your life harder. We’re here to give you a starting point that won’t cost you much money and isn’t intimidating! This blog post highlights 5 simple ways you can change your daily routine and be kinder to our planet.
1. Use a reusable water bottle or coffee cup.
Carrying a reusable water bottle with you is a super easy change to make. Eliminating plastic water bottles from your daily routine reduces your energy consumption and your waste production. It’s estimated that plastic water bottles take anywhere from 450-1,000 years to decompose so the less we use, the better.
If you are a big coffee or tea drinker switching to a reusable thermos or travel mug makes a big difference as well! Lots of businesses have started allowing you to bring your own reusable cups, which helps all of us who love our local coffee shops (some even offer discounts!).
2. Say no to single use plastic.
This one is really simple. Be aware of plastic packaging and avoid it when possible. When you shop, tell your cashier that you are okay without a plastic bag. Politely decline plastic silverware if you’re just taking your food home (a more advanced change is bringing your own travel utensils). Instead of taking your food home in Styrofoam or plastic, try bringing your own containers or only ordering as much as you know you can eat. These practices help reduce the amount of waste we create.
3. Pick up trash when you walk your pet.
a. You walk your dog every day, right? Instead of stepping over the trash on your walk, bring a plastic bag (from that pile we know you have under your sink) and collect the trash. This is something that doesn’t require much effort or planning since you’re already out and about, but can make a difference if you do it everyday!
4. Turn off the water when you’re not using it.
We are all guilty of turning on the shower and then getting distracted and doing something “really quick” before we get in the water, but this wasted water adds up! Especially when you factor in the time water also runs while we brush our teeth, or do the dishes. Only .4% of our earth’s water is fresh water and we have 7 billion people sharing that .4% so we need to use it wisely.
5. Walk or bike instead of driving
This is a change that is not only better for our planet, but better for you as well! Walking more and driving less not only means less greenhouse gas emissions, but studies actually show walking reduces risks of heart attacks, strokes and glaucoma. If you live primarily in an area without sidewalks try to consolidate car trips, or carpool, and be efficient about how often you need to drive.