5 Simple Ways to Go Green
Dakota and I have been working hard over the past year to decrease our impact on the environment. It started small. At first we just began by kicking our dependence on plastic bags. The more we learned about sustianability, though, the more we wanted in. Now that we’ve kicked our plastic bag habit, we are moving on to bigger things! We’ve learned a lot about “going green” along the way and we want to share them with you. A State of Ruin seemed like the perfect place to share my new found love of sustainability. This is the first of many articles about health, leading a low-impact lifestyle and our beautiful mother Earth. Is there anything you want to learn more about? Comment below and I will check it out! Let me know how these tips worked for you on Twitter or Instagram @state_of_ruin 🙂
1. Ditch Plastic Bags
According to the Earth Policy Institute, its estimated that over 1 TRILLION plastic bags are produced and discarded every year. Why is this a problem? Plastic bags do not biodegrade, they photodegrade (break down into smaller, toxic pieces) over time, leaking toxicity into the environment. Now here’s the big secret… plastic grocery bags are not necessary! Reusable grocery bags are easy to use, cheap and fun!
Click your favorite ECOBAG below for a fair wage, sustainably-made grocery bag or buy a reusable bag at your local grocery store.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Like plastic grocery bags, plastic water bottles have a huge environmental impact. The United States consumes 30 million of the 50 million plastic bottles that are made each year. That’s crazy!!! Ditch the plastic and opt for a reusable bottle instead. Stainless steel water bottles are lightweight, usually dishwater safe, durable and perfect for someone worried about toxicity as stainless steel bottles are non-reactive so they will never leach. Another great alternative is glass water bottles but because I’m so clumsy they are not an option for me.
3. Recycle Recycle Recyle
Recycling is quite possibly one of the best things you can do to help our planet. Recycling reduces the waste sent to landfills, conserves natural resources and saves energy. Want to learn more about recycling? Click the links below.
- Browse the website of your local government to learn more about the recycling program in your community.
- Where to Recycle Specific Items: Amazing sites like Earth 911 and Recycle Nation provide “Recycle Searches” where you can get a comprehensive list of recycling facilities near you, including businesses that recycle difficult products like cell phones and batteries. Plus even more eco-friendly info!
- Learn more about the benefits on the EPA’s website.
4. Stop Junk Mail
Ugh, junk mail. It’s annoying and I swear my junk mail stack grows when I have my back turned. The EPA estimates that over 4 million tons of junk mail is produced each year and close to half of that is thrown away, unopened. Below are three simple and safe ways to reduce your junk mail for good!
- Opt Out Prescreen— Hate getting “pre-approved” credit card offers? This is the only “opt out of credit and insurance offers” site that is run by the USA four major credit companies. The website is ugly and minimalistic but it will do the job!
- National Do Not Mail List– This free and simple service will remove your name from commercial lists so you no longer receive unsolicited mail.
- Online Bill Pay- Go paperless through your bank to receive bills, statements and account information via email. It’s easy and best of all, it saves tons of paper!
5. Buy Local
There are so many benefits to buying locally, though it may be difficult, depending on where you live. Investing in local businesses has less of an impact on the environment for a variety of reasons— Usually less packaging, less transportation, more emphasis on seasonal products and they overall just consume less resources than huge companies. Buying local also invests money back into your community and strengthens the community as a whole. For me, going local is easy since Louisville is known for it’s dedication to local businesses. When possible, buy local!
Leading a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t happen over night. It’s important that we share information, support and ideas! Taking these small, simple steps could have such an incredible impact on our beautiful world and our communities. Comment below, I love reading feedback!