Going green doesn't have to be complicated. There are some simple changes you can make around the house to reduce you and your family's energy use, while also promoting lasting health.
These are some of our best tips:
1. Save your scraps.
When you're cooking, there are lots of extra pieces from peeling and chopping your veggies. Instead of tossing them, save them for one of two purposes. First of all, you can keep them in an air-tight container in the freezer and then use them to make vegetable stock later on. Or, you can use them to start composting and feeding your garden naturally. Either way, less waste and more bang for your buck at the grocery store each time you shop.
2. Change out your light bulbs.
Switching your light bulbs to CFLs may be one of the first green tips you think of and for good reason. They can help you cut down on your energy usage and your monthly bill. You should also always turn out the lights in rooms you aren't in and unplug any appliances or chargers not in use -- they're using up energy just being plugged in. Another solution: natural lighting. Keep blinds open as much as possible and situate your desk close to a window for working at home.
3. Go for glass.
Not only do plastic products contain harmful chemicals like BPA, they also create extra waste when you throw them away. When packing away leftovers or lunches, go for glass containers, which can also be used for reheating food. Glass water bottles are also available, but frankly, any reusable water bottle you can refill with filtered water is better than throwing away plastic ones on a daily basis.
4. Hang it up.
Skip the dryer and try hanging your clothing either outside or inside so you don't have to run the dryer as much. Start by hanging lighter items like blouses, t-shirts and delicates and only use the dryer for bulkier items like pants. When the weather is warm and the sun is out, you may prefer to dry all your clothing this way instead. Hang drying clothing also helps it last longer.
5. Choose natural cleaners.
The cleaning products you use around your home come in contact with your family as well as the food you eat. Not to mention they also end up going down the drain where they impact the water supply. Plant-based cleaners work just as well without the harsh and toxic ingredients. You can also make your own. A favorite of ours is apple cider vinegar diluted in water instead of a traditional multi surface cleaner. You can add essential oils for a scent you prefer.
6. Rethink your health and beauty routine.
The products you use to cleanse and care for your body also impact the environment when they get washed down the drain, sprayed into the air or thrown out. Natural products are just as effective and nourishing and can be more gentle on the skin. Pus they're free of chemicals, artificial ingredients and animal products. Read the packaging carefully for all your health and beauty items and be sure to dispose of any remaining products properly.
7. Carry your groceries differently.
When heading to the market, grab a reusable cloth bag when you can. Keeping them in your car or desk at work will help you remember so you can avoid plastic and paper bags. If you do use these options, make sure to recycle them. Don't forget to wash your reusable bags regularly -- they pick up dirt from the car, the conveyor belt, cart or counter at the market and then your floors while waiting to be unpacked.
8. Do your errands on foot.
Avoid driving as much now that the weather is improving by walking or riding your bike to the store to get your errands done. Take your reusable bags or even a backpack and bring your spouse, kids or a friend along with you. You'll be further reducing your carbon footprint, getting some cardio which is good for the entire body and also spending time together.
9. Have energy-free hours.
Just like you schedule your workout or activities, schedule some technology-free time to reduce energy usage. Turn off the lights and television and do something energy-free for a while -- take a walk, go outside and read or take a nap -- just unplug your home and yourself for a while. You'll be amazed what an hour or so away from technology will do for you.
10. Repurpose those old t-shirts.
Think about all the paper towels you use in your home to clean your surfaces and occasional spills and messes. Instead of tossing your old t-shirts, repurpose them by cutting them into rags. You'll save money on all those paper towels while significantly reducing your waste. Another great way to repurpose fabric? Use fabric scraps from other projects to make cloth napkins.
11. Buy local.
Going to the farmers market is a great way to support the environment and your local community. Buy from growers who practice sustainable and organic farming to bring the best produce you can into your home. Just don't forget your reusable bags! You can also look for restaurants that source all of their produce locally, which cuts down on emissions from shipping in product.
12. Recycle as much as possible.
Couldn't have a list of eco-friendly tips without recycling. It's so important to recycle to make sure all waste is properly disposed of and repurposed if possible. Make sure to get the appropriate bins for your city or county recycling program and look for other ways to avoid throwing items out, such as resale for clothing and household goods.
At eVitamins, we have great products to help you live a more green life. Check them out today and Happy Earth Day!