Happy Earth Day (on Sunday)! I want to share a few Earth Day tips that can help you become more eco-conscious without going crazy with it. We do our best to be eco-conscious and aware of our impact on the environment but I try not to become too consumed with it. As much as we’d love to be we’re just not at a place in our lives where we can do things like install solar panels or eat only homegrown organic food. Fortunately, those aren’t the only ways to practice an earth-friendly lifestyle. There are a lot of little things you can do to help the environment and be more eco-conscious in your day to day life.
We do what we can to avoid plastic, reuse or repurpose items as much as possible, and support businesses that are eco-conscious and environmentally-friendly. I’m certain we make plenty of mistakes and there is a lot more we could do for the environment but we do as much as we can with where we are in life. I used to feel like I had to commit 100% and do everything right or I was failing the environment. Now, I’ve learned to realize that by doing what I can I’m doing enough.
Here are our top Earth Day tips to help you become more eco-conscious:
Walk or bike instead of driving
I once read a tip that said if you’re going to somewhere 2 miles away or closer, walk. There isn’t anything within 2 miles of where we live now but when we lived in Atlanta that was definitely an option. I’d walk to the grocery store, coffee shop, cafe, mall, etc. all of the time. Not only was it great for my health but it felt good knowing I was doing a little good for the environment too.
If you’re in a walkable area, choose to walk or take a bike whenever possible. Depending on your city, there might even be a bike share program where you can use provided bikes for a flat fee per year. There was a program like that in downtown Atlanta that was fabulous.
Drink tap water
If you drink bottled water over tap water there are plenty of things you can do to improve the water quality in your home. We use a PUR filter on our kitchen tap and it’s incredible how much cleaner the water tastes, I tasted it with the first glass. It was less than $20 which is way cheaper and more eco-conscious than constantly buying bottled water. In fact (and you may not want to hear this) but a lot of bottled water is really nothing more than filtered tap water. If you filtered it yourself and used a reusable water bottle, just think of the money you could save! Plus, you’d be doing the environment a lot of good.
Plan and map your errands
This took some training on my part but it was a game-changer once I learned how to do it. Rather than taking separate trips to run errands like going to the post office, grocery shopping, and the dry cleaner choose to do it all in the same day. Start with the place furthest from home and work your way back. It minimizes your drive time and helps you be more efficient. When you’re going to the grocery store, be sure to plan a list and take it with you to avoid forgetting something simple and having to make a return trip. By planning ahead, you’ll find yourself saving time and money while also reducing congestion on the roads.
Bring your own reusable bag
Did you know that Target gives you a small discount for every reusable shopping bag you use? They do so make sure you ask for it if you take your own bags. Not that you needed another reason to use reusable shopping bags but I know you’re at Target every week anyway so I’m just throwing that out there. 😉 Bringing your own shopping bags eliminates the need for plastic bags which wind up filling up the landfills so while you’re getting that Target discount you can feel good knowing you’re also helping out the environment.
Use natural light or energy efficient light bulbs
We are lucky in that our front windows get direct sunlight every day from sunrise to sunset. It’s amazing because I don’t have to turn on the lights in our home until dark. That helps us keep our electric use (and our electric bill) down which is good for the environment and our wallets. We switched out all of our light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs since they have longer lifespans and need to be replaced less frequently.
Learn to love leftovers
Here’s a sobering statistic for you – somewhere between 25% and 40% of the food purchased in the U.S. is thrown away. Now, I’m not going to go off on a tangent about how there are starving children in the world (you already know that) but honestly, that stat is depressing. We obviously waste too much whicih is damaging to the environment and our own wallets. Learn to curb your impulse purchases, commit to meal planning, and learn to repurpose your leftovers so less food is going to waste.