Ready, Set, Go Green!
If you want to green up your way of life, it's okay to start small. Here are some everyday ways you can become more eco friendly!
10. Start with your food
Start replenishing your pantry and refrigerator with organic, all-natural items. You don't have to make the switch 100 percent overnight, but you'll start to notice the difference in your health once you do! Bonus points if you get your produce from a co-op, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) or a local farmer's market.
9. Get out of the car
You might be surprised at how dependent you are on your vehicle. Make a list of all the places you drive to each week. How many of those are within walking distance? Taking the kids to the park? Pack up the stroller and walk there. If you need to pick up just a few things at the store, bike there, so long as you have a basket for the groceries.
8. At your desk
Consider how you can go green at the office. Do you really need to print that email or keep your computer on while you take your lunch break? When you leave your office for a meeting, turn off the light and your computer (at least the monitor).
7. Real beauty
Go green in your beauty routine. Select natural hair, skin and body products as well as cosmetics without synthetics.
6. Clean up
Cleansing products are loaded with chemicals and toxic ingredients that you ingest as you are cleaning and seep into the products you clean. Choose natural products or make your own.
5. Use time, don't kill it
Instead of cruising the mall in your free time, get outside and volunteer to clean up a park or plant a tree in your neighborhood. Get involved with an environmental awareness organization in your community.
Ditch your bottled water addiction. How many of those little plastic water bottles do you use in a week? Tens of millions of plastic water bottles are thrown away on a daily basis. A 2009 report by the Pacific Institute says that producing bottled water requires as much as 2000 times the energy cost of producing tap water, and estimate that the energy equivalent of 50 million barrels of oil per year is used to produce the bottles each year. What can you do? Buy a BPA-free reusable container and refill it with filtered water. Two of our favorite makers of great-looking water bottles: EarthLust (shown) and Sigg.
Pick up some reusable bags (they are available everywhere now). Tote them with you to do groceries and run errands. If you forget them, reuse those plastic bags â€" they are perfect for lining the small trash bins in your bathrooms and picking up after Fido on a walk.
2. Check secondhand first
If you are shopping for new linens, furniture or, well, just about anything, consider natural and organic products such as bed sheets, towels and clothing. Peruse secondhand furniture stores before those with new stock. If you want to redo your floors, consider reclaimed hardwood or a sustainable material like bamboo (or see if they can be refinished).
1. Dispose wisely
When you update your cell phone, computer or other technie gadget of the moment, sell your old ones or trade them in at a place like Office Depot that knows how to keep them out of landfills and how to properly recycle the parts.