We all know our environment is in danger. If you want to ‘go green’ to help reduce pollution and waste, there are swaps and lifestyle changes you can make TODAY to help heal our planet. Check out these 19 really easy ways to go green!
The Importance of ‘Going Green’
This isn’t news to anyone… but Earth is like a fishbowl. There’s nowhere for our waste and pollution to go. We’re all just floating around in our fishbowl with our own waste; it doesn’t and can’t just magically disappear.
Recycling is fantastic, but we’re still creating waste that we then have to spend time, money, and resources to recycle. Instead, I think it’s important that we all try to make a concerted effort to reduce our waste production as much as possible to lessen our impact on the Earth.
A great place to start is by reducing the waste you create in your own home; your little tiny corner of our big fishbowl!
One nice side effect to ‘going green’ in your home and lifestyle is that it almost always saves you money too! By reducing your consumption of stuff, opting for reusable products instead of disposable ones, and ditching the chemical products, you’ll naturally spend less money on household supplies. It’s a win-win.
Today I’ve put together a list of 19 Easy Ways to ‘Green’ Your Home and Lifestyle. I’ve broken it down into different categories, because there are tons of ways to go green! Check it out below.
19 Easy Ways to Go Green in Your Home & Lifestyle
In The Kitchen:
1) For packing lunches and storing leftovers in your fridge, opt for pop-top jars or mason jars from the dollar store instead of plastic containers.
2) Shop at bulk dry goods stores for your flour, sugar, and other baking supplies, dried beans and soup mixes, spices, etc. They use very thin plastic bags and you can buy more than you would get in thicker plastic packaging at the grocery store.
3) DIY un-paper towels and cloth dinner napkins. There are loads of tutorials on Pinterest for these (they’re totally doable even if you aren’t skilled at sewing).
4) Use reusable dish cloths instead of J-cloths/disposable cloths.
5) Ditch the bottled water! Get a Brita filter for your fridge, or (if it’s safe in your area), drink good old tap water from a glass. Invest in a good stainless steel reusable water bottle. S’well is my favourite brand; their bottles are double-walled, so they keep your drink cold for hours!
6) If and when you do use zipper sandwich bags, wash them out and let them air dry so you can use them a few times before tossing them. I find a dollar store paper towel holder is great for this! Wash out the bag, then hang it upside-down on the holder and it’s dry within a day, ready to be re-used.
7) Be cognizant of what you’re buying at the grocery store. Take note: Is the product packaged in recyclable plastic or cardboard? How much product is in the package? Can you buy it in bulk instead?
Around The House/Cleaning:
8) Kick it old school like your great-grandma and use rags instead of disposable cloths/paper towels for cleaning your home
9) Swap out chemical cleaners for natural alternatives like baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, tea tree oil, castille soaps, natural laundry detergent, etc. You can find tons of recipes online or on Pinterest for surface cleaners, floor cleaners, and mirror/window cleaners using just a few of these natural ingredients. It’s better for the environment, your family’s health, AND your wallet!
10) Install a white marker board or chalk board in a central location for your family members to write messages on, create grocery lists, etc. instead of using sticky notes or other paper. I love this method for our grocery lists because I can then just snap a photo of the list and take my phone with me to the grocery store. Super convenient and no paper waste.
In The Bathroom/Personal Care:
11) Swap out your tampons and pads for a menstrual cup and washable liners. I cannot stress this one enough. The amount of waste created on a daily basis by feminine hygiene products is staggering. And the real shame is that there’s a greener, totally viable alternative! I highly recommend investing in a menstrual cup (I use the DivaCup and have been really happy with it). It pays for itself within a few period cycles, and lasts for years. It’s convenient (you only have to empty it every 12 hours), safe, you don’t have to worry about it clogging your plumbing, and–most importantly–it keeps tampon and pad packaging out of our landfills.
12) I know it’s a lot of work, but give cloth diapers a try if you have babies in the house.
13) Buy your shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion in bulk-sized pump bottles. It’s cheaper than buying it in smaller bottles at the pharmacy anyway, and creates less plastic waste. Try to buy non-toxic/natural products too! It’s better for your health and the planet.
14) Switch to a natural makeup line that doesn’t use chemicals in its products or test on animals. I absolutely LOVE Pure Anada. Their products are incredible and they offer a reusable magnetic pan for face powder and eye shadow refills. The refills also come wrapped in as little cardboard as possible, so it’s a much more Earth-friendly option than other mainstream makeup companies that sometimes have two or three layers of plastic packaging. Pure Anada’s price point is comparable to (and sometimes cheaper than!) drug store or Sephora brands.
15) Swap out your disposable razors for a reusable one with replaceable blades or blade heads, and switch to a natural, non-chemical shaving cream.
16) Use bar soap instead of body wash in the shower. Bar soap usually has little to no packaging and doesn’t require a synthetic body puff.
17) Switch to a non-chemical, natural deodorant. You could also DIY it for super cheap! Check out my recipe here: DIY Natural Deodorant that Works
Lifestyle/Out and About:
18) An oldie but a goodie: stop using plastic shopping bags and bring your own tote bags to the grocery store instead.
I’m going to plug one of my favourite gadgets here too… I highly recommend one of these little purse-pack portable tote bags. You can clip it to the inside of your purse so it’s always easily accessible when you’re shopping at the grocery store (or any store!). Every time I pull it out, I get stunned looks from cashiers and other people in line behind me, like I’ve just pulled a rabbit out of a magic hat. “WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?! THAT’S SO COOL! I NEED ONE!”
More generally speaking, if you’ve purchased an item that is easy to carry on its own (ie. a book, or a sweater) and you don’t have a tote bag with you, simply say you don’t need a bag! If you’ve bought something small like underwear or makeup, pop it in your purse.
19) When getting takeout at Subway or another fast food chain, ask for no bag (unless your meal is super messy!). If you’re eating at the restaurant itself or taking the food right home or back to work, you don’t really need the outer bag holding the wrapped sandwich. Also, ask for just 1 or 2 napkins (usually they give you a huge handful and they just end up in the garbage).
Do you have any other tricks or swaps you use to ‘go green’ in your lifestyle? I would LOVE you to share them in the comments!