9 Easy Ways to Go Green

Inspired by the forgotten post I unearthed earlier this week about sustainability, I decided to continue on an environmental train of thought for a bit since, honestly, I don’t think one blog on this topic is enough! Thus, I bring you this short & sweet list of simple ways to be more sustainable. Let’s see how many of these we can incorporate in the next week!

1// Pee in the shower. I’m not even kidding. Toilet flushing makes up nearly 27 percent of indoor water use in a home, on average peeing in the shower once a day saves around 1157 gallons of water a year!

2// Purchase and use re-usable shopping bags (or just save the disposable ones and bring them back with you) whenever you go purchase something.

3// If you buy something small, forgo the bag and toss it in your pocket or purse. If you get a period, consider using a menstrual cup in lieu of tampons and pads. Not only are they more environmentally friendly (think of all of the plastic/paper/etc. that you throw out each month), they’re also more friendly to your body. There’s no risk of toxic shock syndrome when you use a menstrual cup, because they don’t contain the chemicals that tampons do (they’re dyed white etc.) Also, think of the money you will save when you’re not buying pads/tampons every month!

4// Start a scrap paper bin and throw all of those annoying class handouts, fliers, or whatever pieces of paper you’re given but never use  into it – then, when you need to jot something down really quickly, you’ll know what to use! (And recycle when you’re done, of course.

5// Make it a point to start unplugging your electronics when you’re done with them, especially at night when you’re headed to bed! Needlessly wasting electricity is not cool. Not to mention – don’t forget to turn off lights, heaters, and so on when you leave a room. Personally, this is one I need to work on!

6// Wash clothes in cold water whenever you can since up to 85 percent of the energy used to wash clothes goes to heating the water, also line dry when you can. Both of these things save money and energy.

7// Go vegetarian (even if it’s just for a meal or two a week.) Meat takes much more energy to produce than vegetables, fruits, and grain do. Try and make at least one meal a week meatless. Also, buy local when you can! Not only is it awesome to support local farms (if you’re lucky enough to have them) but buying local cuts the carbon-footprint of your food down a great deal!  (BONUS: Consider getting involved with, or donating to, an organization like Food Justice. It’s not fair that many people in this world cannot afford to eat a healthfully balanced diet. Organizations like Food Justice focus on connecting local farms to areas of NYC that have diminished access to affordable, healthy food! A quick search for food justice programs in your area can provide you with ways to help out.)

8// Get a Brita and a metal/plastic water bottle. Not only will you save money now that you’re not constantly buying water bottles, you’ll also cut down on your carbon footprint in a major way!

9// Give your transportation some thought: walk more often or invest in an awesome bike, and try to arrange carpools with friends whenever possible! Along these lines, the environmental activist club on my campus does something awesome every so often; they go up to the reservation near campus with backpacks that are fairly empty, the club spends the day hiking and having fun but they also toss the litter that they come across on the trail into their bags as they go. If you like to hike, or visit your local park, etc. this is a good plan to keep in mind!

Want more? Here are some easy ways to be more eco-friendly with your clothing, here’s 100 ways to save the environment, room-by-room tips for embracing a green lifestyle, and last but certainly not least here’s the most exhaustive list of ideas I have ever seen, organized into easily manageable categories!

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