We are always interested in promoting ways to go green, and are often happily surprised at how much we can save (both in the recycling bin and in our wallets) by making a few eco-friendly changes in our everyday routines. As we love our reusable grocery bags and products, it’s no surprise that our list of the 10 Easy Ways to Go Green involves some of these colorful alternatives. But this list also includes some ideas gathered from our staff on how they try to go green. Check it out!
1. Use reusable grocery bags! Our reusable bags add some cheerful style to your shopping errands but they also help save a ton of garbage. Our friends at Grades of Green note that if you grocery shop once a week using only reusable bags, in 5 years you’ll have kept about 250-1,000 plastic bags out of landfills. That’s way more than a ton of plastic.
2. Walk it out! Did you know walking 5 miles a week saves 339 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions per year and is a great way to get in shape? Instead of heading to the car to go to town or pick up a few things at the store, why not try walking those close-to-home errands (or better yet, dust off the bicycle?). It’s feel-good fun and good for the planet!
3. BYOM – Bring your own mug to your local coffeeshop when you’re taking your coffee to go – most places will offer a discount as thanks for your eco-friendly habit! Check out our cute tumblers that are great on the go!
4. Star Searching – Make smart purchases on appliances and electronics. Look for those energy efficient models on appliances and check for the “Energy Star” label. Sponsored by the EPA and the Department of Energy, the Energy Star program rates products based on their energy efficiency. The star-labeled appliances use less energy and also help save on those utility bills – sometimes up to $600 a year!
5. Support your local farmers! Join a community garden, co-op program or simply do your weekend errands at the local farmers’ market. Supporting your local farmers not only cuts down on all of the emissions and gasoline used to transport goods long distances, it also rallies support for your community AND guarantees that you are getting the freshest food available. It’s a win-win all around.
6. Master Cleanse! – Swap out the store cleaners with toxic ingredients for simple, DIY cleaners using common household staples like vinegar, lemon, baking soda and soap. You not only save money and packaging, you also greatly improve your indoor air quality (no more smelly bleach and floor cleaners!).
7. Go paperless! Now almost all bills are available to pay online, offering a great solution that cuts down on piles and piles of paper. You can easily keep track of your bills through your email inbox and you can pay bills with just a click of the button – instead of mailing in checks, losing paperwork or stressing out with an overflowing file cabinet.
8. Boost your reuse efforts! When you’re shopping for new furniture or odds and ends for the home, check out Craigslist, Freecycle or FreeSharing to see if there are any items that suit your needs. Sometimes you can get gently used products for a lower price but at full value. Also hit up Pinterest to get ideas on DIY decorating reusing things you most likely already have around the house.
9. So long single use! There’s an easy way to cut down on tons of waste and also save money: use reusable products for packed lunches, picnics, etc. Swap out your paper plates, ziplocs and brown paper bags for lunch totes, reusable snack packs, food containers and reusable tableware.
10. Mason jars are all the rage! Repurpose jars and glass containers for other uses including flower vases, drinking glasses and candle holders. Not only will you be on trend, your kitchen will get a fun (and green!) makeover.