Seven Easy Green Living Tips To Start Your Year
This year, make some green resolutions to live a more eco-friendly life.
Early January is a good time to start anew. There’s something about rolling into a new year that inspires us to do something to improve ourselves.
But what it we all viewed January 1st as an opportunity to make our world a better place?
Making a few eco-friendly changes to the way we live is one way to improve the world with the added benefit of improving our lives since the health of the planet and our personal health are so intertwined. Something as simple as buying better quality food, or eating a little less meat, can have positive repercussions that extend way beyond your waistline.
As with any new resolution or habit, starting with bite-sized changes and adding to them bit by bit is a good way to build positive momentum. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
7 Easy Green Living Tips To Start your Year Off Right
- Buy local as often as possible: Diverting just 10 percent of your shopping dollars will make a huge difference in our local economy. Remember that small businesses are the engine of our local community so if you want our region to continue to grow and be a vibrant place to live you need to support small businesses.
- Take advantage of our safe drinking water and stop buying bottled water: If you don’t like the taste of your tap water, buy a simple carbon filter for your tap or use a filter jug in your fridge. Buy a good stainless steel water bottle and free yourself from plastic when you’re on the go. And that boxed water you see in the grocery store -- It's no better than bottled, especially since few places recycle tetra packs.
- Buy less pre-packaged processed foods: Bit by bit replace the boxes and jars with homemade versions of your favourite packaged foods. Cooking more from scratch means you’ll be eating fewer additives, you’ll reduce the GMOs that you ingest and you’ll probably feel better.
- In your laundry room, switch to unscented detergents and other laundry products. Most cleaning products are scented with artificial fragrances made of hormone-altering chemicals and laundry products are among the most heavily scented products on the market. If “fragrance” is listed as an ingredient, a change is in order.
- Wean your home off of harsh cleaners: The most popular, heavily advertised cleaning products are also the most toxic to you and your family. Swap your bathroom and kitchen cleaners for eco-friendly options that are EcoLogo certified, or choose safe alternatives like microfiber e-cloths or simple baking soda and vinegar.
- Go on an energy diet: Check your hot water heater to see that it’s set no hotter than 120 degrees (any hotter is a waste of money.) Install low flow shower heads for a more efficient use of hot water (up to 60% less for a typical shower). Limit or avoid hot water clothes washing. Cold water washes use 90% less energy than hot water washes and today’s detergents are formulated to work well in cold water.
- Buy less, get more mileage out of what you already have and send everything you’re finished with to its rightful place.
It’s the old “reduce reuse recycle” adage. Keep in mind that “recycle” is the “R” of last resort, meaning “if all else fails...recycle it.” If you want to change the world put more energy into the first two “Rs”.