Happy Earth Day! I’m a day ahead but it’s never too early to start saving the planet by going green right from home.
I’ve put together 7 easy and affordable ways I’m going green right now to celebrate Earth Day. Making these slight changes to our lifestyles can benefit both the planet and our wallets.
Hold up, can it really be that simple?!
Going Green Without Breaking the Bank
I don’t know about you but when I think about switching to “organic” or “eco-friendly”, my wallet starts hurting. But it doesn’t actually have to be that way and I’m glad I’ve gotten past the negative connotations. And guess what, you can too!
In this list, I will be sharing how I’ve made the switch and how much it could cost you. On the contrary, how much you could save.
- Reusable shopping bags for groceries. In most states in the US, plastic bags at the grocery stores are free. If you’re like me, you use re-use them as trash bags for the bathrooms. Recycling plastic bags isn’t as “easy” as one would think. Most grocery stores recommend you bring the bags back to their stores for recycling. (I haven’t met one person who does this, including me.) Obviously, purchasing reusable bags is a great and cheap option to avoid using plastic bags in the first place. These reusable bags can be purchased at the stores for super cheap. Take them with you every time you go shopping (doesn’t only have to be for food) or better yet, keep them in the truck of your car so you don’t forget.
Water, water, water
- Invest in a water filter. This is one of the easiest and most profitable ways to avoid purchasing bottled water for your home. You can either buy a faucet filter or a pitcher, depending on your home situation. I haven’t bought a single case of water since I bought my Brita water filter for my kitchen faucet. It’s super easy to install and it fits most faucets (unless your kitchen is too fancy, that is). Just take a moment to browse through them online or at the store, read their specs and details on what they filter.
I found a water filter super similar to mine on Amazon if you want one too! (It’s the first one on my Amazon Picks!) It ended up being a HUGE investment. Just think of the cases of plastic water bottles you no longer have to waste your money on.
When I moved to Las Vegas, my dad and I bought a couple bottled waters for the drive. What I ended up doing was reusing those a couple times before recycling them. You can fill any plastic water bottles you already have with filtered tap water and reuse them. Ah, who knew going green would taste so good?
Paper or plastic?
- Switch from plastic to paper. The last two bullets have been about avoiding plastic, so let’s continue with that. Plastic doesn’t decompose as quickly as paper so any time you can use paper instead of plastic, do it. Just being a little more mindful of the things you’re buying can go a long way. Just a couple months ago while I was living with my family, we switched from plastic to paper plates. We had been using plastic plates at home for as long as I could remember and there’s just no sense in doing that when we have a green alternative.
- Unplug devices when not in use. This one may be a little tricky to do since we’re use to things being plugged in so we can jump right in and use them. However, leaving our appliances and computers plugged in can be stealing right out of our wallets. Power is essentially on “stand-by” when an appliance is plugged in but not in use. Next time you’re done binge-watching Netflix on your tv or microwaving that popcorn, unplug them. Other appliances to unplug when not in use include (but not limited to): toaster, computer/laptop, video game consoles, phone charger, electric toothbrush, etc. You’re only doing yourself, and the entire planet, a favor.
- Use cold water when doing laundry. But will cold water actually clean my clothes? Yes. As it turns out, cold water is more gentle with your clothing. According the the American Cleaning Institute,
“The right temperature can prolong the lifespan of your clothes and save you money.”
So next time you do laundry, give cold water a try.
When Less is More
- Drive less. This is sort of a huge one considering our cars weigh like 5,000 pounds. The easiest way to save on gas and lessen our pollution into the air is to combine trips whenever possible. This means we should plan our trips a little better when it comes to grocery shopping, running errands, etc. This will vary widely between people but taking the time to think about the trip you’re about to make can help a lot. Maybe consider walking, a bike, public transportation or carpooling!
- Buy less. This is a tough one but we gotta do it. Buying less has an immense benefit to reducing our carbon footprint. To become a more conscious consumer, consider sustainable brands and a minimalistic lifestyle. And it’s not just clothing, it’s all the items we’re bringing into our homes, the way they’re getting through our front doors, whether they’re from the stores or online. It all comes from somewhere and we need to make sure we’re making the right, and green, choice. I wrote about how I planned on recycling my own clothes this year and so far, so good!
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
These are only a few steps I’ve taken to commit to a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I’m in no way at the end game but every little bit counts towards a healthier planet. I understand our world is going through a pandemic as I type this. But since we’re all staying home and social distancing, I figured now’s the perfect chance to re-evaluate our lifestyles and come up with little, but ultimately, massive ways we can help the planet.
There are endless resources on how you and I can reduce our carbon footprint. I came across this site and thought I’d share it with you if you’re interested in making more lifestyle changes: The 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint. It includes foods you should (and shouldn’t) avoid, a link to sustainable companies to support, eco-friendly transportation options, etc.
How Will You Go Green?
So what are YOU doing to go green while you’re at home? I’d love to see how you’re going green on Earth Day!
Post your pics on Instagram, tag @alltookarina and use the extremely long hashtag #GoingGreenDuringQuarantine! Show us your unplugged toaster, a boomerang of you switching the washer from hot to cold or enjoying the balcony’s fresh air instead of running the AC. Get creative!
Please feel free to share this with your friends who may also be stuck at home during quarantine. This could also help those of us working from home!
Thanks for reading and stay healthy & be safe!