If you are just getting started on your journey to a more Eco-friendly, greener life it can be overwhelming! Where do you start? Do you really have get rid of everything and move to an off the grid cabin to live a sustainable life? No. You can start with simple & easy green living hacks that you can try right now. No major life overhauls required! Starting today, you can live a greener, more Eco-friendly life, one simple tip at a time. Are you ready to start making your life a little big greener? Let’s get started!
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1 | Reuse Containers (And Everything Else You can)
Much of the food you buy comes in some sort of containers. These either get discarded in the trash or recycled, but you have another option! Reuse that container! You can use them to store food or other items in, or get creative and up-cycle them into something entirely different. By reusing containers you are not only giving them a second life, but also saving money on containers you probably would have bought for those purposes anyway. Of course there are somethings you shouldn’t do with them, like reuse them for canning, but for storing leftovers, pencils and other small items, they work just fine!
Looking for ideas? Check out these!
2 | Choose Less Packaging
Next time you hit the grocery store, opt for products that come with less packaging. This could mean selecting bulk items, or avoiding individually wrapped items (looking at you individually wrapped prunes! seriously, what’s up with that?), or choosing produce that comes loose instead of in a plastic bag or container. By selecting items with less packaging you are keeping that extra packaging out of the trash and recycling flows. Less waste is always good.
3 | BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag
Plastic bags from stores suck. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. They rip if you look at them wrong, and you can only put 2 items in it. By the time you get home you have a bazillion plastic bags taking up space! Save your self the trouble (and money) and choose a reusable bag. Many stores sell them for a dollar or so near the registers you can also usually score them from events that give out free swag. I’ll be honest, I have no idea where I got most of my reusable bags, they just appeared either from friends & family or from events or organizations.If you are a crafty person, you can also make them yourself or buy them from someone craftier than you.
Other than saving you from a sea of plastic bags, reusable bags hold so much more stuff! Plus you don’t have to worry about anything heavy or with sharp edges slicing open the bag and spilling out it’s contents as you struggle to open your door. Plus, reusable bags save you money. Some stores offer a discount, either flat rate or by the bag when you use a reusable bag for your shopping. If you happen to live in an area that charges for plastic bags, you also don’t have to pay that fee.
4 | Replace Your Light-bulbs
When I first moved into my apartment in Korea without any of my stuff I had to use the built in fluorescent light fixtures. This lasted several months until all of my household goods was delivered. Surprisingly, once I got all my stuff instead of the electric bill going up, it went down. How could this be? Now there was a TV, desktop computer, microwave, and other electronics! It also meant there were the lamps with energy efficient bulbs. By simply replacing the inefficient lighting with the energy efficient lighting the electric bill went down! LED light-bulbs can help you reduce your electricity consumption and best of all, your electric bill. Plus they last a long time, ours have lasted several years (and two international moves).
5 | Unplug
Literally, unplug your electronics when not in use. Did you know that some electronics still use electricity even when they are off. Have you ever noticed your TV or other electronic device have a light on while it’s off? That means it’s using power, and that means it’s costing you money. Unplug your electronics when not in use or use an energy efficient surge protector that turns off electricity when not in use.
6 | Make Green Swaps
There are many products that you use every day that have green substitutes. Small changes can make larger impacts, by choosing greener options you can still use the products you love but have a smaller negative impact on the world. For example, switch out your conventional cleaners for greener, Eco-friendly, and non-toxic alternatives. Or switching your plastic toothbrush to bamboo, or from plastic wrap to Bee’s Wrap. These small changes go a long way to helping you create the green life you love and desire.
You can hack your way to a greener lifestyle, a more eco-frinedly lifestyle. Small, sustainable actions lead to lasting changes that you can use to further enhance your life and live more sustainably.