Hey guys! I’ve been making small changes to my everyday routine in an effort to live more consciously. Here are some tips that I’ve found helpful.
1. Being thoughtful about what you eat and where your food comes from
As you’ve probably heard a million times, buy locally, organically, and aim to reduce your consumption of animal products. It’s resource-intensive to raise livestock and while I’m not saying to cut out all animal products, even making a change as small as meatless Mondays can be a helpful reminder and deterrent towards habit-driven purchases. Additionally, aim to buy locally and seasonally. It’s better for the Earth, it’s better for your wallet, and honestly, it probably tastes better all around.
2. Simplify your laundry routine
Only wash your clothes when they look or smell dirty (exceptions apply to undergarments and socks) and only do full loads at a time. Wash your clothes with cold water to save on energy and buy concentrated detergent to save on packaging. Air-dry your clothes for the double whammy of saving energy costs as well as keeping your clothes looking new for longer.
3. Re-think electricity costs
Replace your lightbulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lightbulbs) and save up to a quarter of your electricity costs! Lift your blinds and opt to use natural light when you have the opportunity to do so. Unplug your devices when they’re not in use (especially your TV) as they might be casually siphoning electricity off.
4. Green your kitchen
Buy sturdy kitchen equipment that will last you years instead of months. Scrap the teflon and go for stainless steel or cast iron instead. Cook multiple dishes at once! When you’re using an oven, plan dishes to cook at the same time. Or better yet, get a crock-pot and make a simple one-pot dish. Additionally, don’t forget about cold foods that can be refreshing and delicious this summer!
5. Embrace natural cleaning products
Whether it’s one of the millions of environmentally-friendly products on the market or plain ‘ol vinegar, take some time to invest in cleaning products that produce fewer toxins for the environment and are just as effective at their job. While it may take some time and research to find the products that work for you, I promise you, once you find your routine, you won’t go back. While you’re at it, replace your paper towels with reusable ones!
6. Instill small changes in your home
Take a moment to check the seams on your windows and doors to make sure that your home is properly insulated; proper insulation can help you save a whole bunch on heating and cooling your space. Additionally, install low-flow faucets and toilets if you own your home and really, just make sure that things (air or water) aren’t leaking when they shouldn’t be (and they really shouldn’t be).
7. Adopt some plant babies
Buy some plants! They’ll purify your air, convert the CO2 into life-saving oxygen, and liven up the room with some color. Maybe start with a spider plant for one that’s easy to manage.
8. Say goodbye to junk mail
Junk mail, both physical and electronic, add clutter and are an outright pain. Take a moment to unsubscribe from physical newsletters that aren’t adding value to your life. Additionally, sign up for e-billing to reduce paper wastes and instantaneously pay your bills.
9. Recycle properly
Read up about the recycling requirements and rules in your specific neighborhood. Some simple tips that apply all-around are: rinse your aluminum and glass, paper and cardboard contaminated with water and grease should be separated, plastic bags slow down the process, and styrofoam is typically a challenge to recycle.
10. Reduce the amount of paper and plastic that you use
Invest in quality tupperware that is reusable instead of packing things in disposable Ziploc bags. Transport your groceries with a canvas tote. Eliminate the use of paper and plastic utensils at home and special request delivery or takeout orders to omit disposable utensils. If you need any additional ideas, here is an article by Huffingtonpost about alternatives to plastic bags!