We can feel overwhelmed with it comes to protecting the environment, but the truth is adopting even a single habit for greater sustainability can have a dramatically positive impact. Our actions have a ripple effect and each one of us can make a difference, starting with these 10 simple strategies:
- Invest in a reusable water bottle. Billions of plastic water bottles don’t get recycled and end up in landfills every year. Investing in a reusable water bottle is an easy way to reduce plastic waste, while also helping you stay hydrated!
- Go paperless. Whether it’s saying “no thanks” to paper receipts, signing up to pay bills digitally, or switching to reusable dish towels, going paperless helps to reduce energy and tree consumption.
- Shop local for fruits and veggies. Out-of-season, commercially produced fruits and vegetables are often shipped from thousands of miles away—a process that comes with an oversized carbon footprint. Choosing local, organic produce not only benefits the environment, you’re supporting small farmers and doing good for the local economy.
- Reassess how you get to and from work. If realistic, switch from traditional, gas-powered vehicles to alternative forms of transportation. Walking, biking, using public transit, driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, or even carpooling are valuable ways to cut emissions.
- Enjoy meals with reusable utensils. When it comes to plastics, single-use utensils and straws are a scourge to the environment. Instead, choose reusable metal or wooden utensils. They’re typically inexpensive, easy to clean, and perfectly portable for everyday needs.
- Ditch plastic grocery bags. Reusable grocery bags are readily available, affordable, and usually much more durable than single-use plastic bags. Make “bringing your own” a habit—have your bag ready well before anyone asks, “paper or plastic?”
- Go meatless for a day (or more). As a global movement to promote better sustainability and nutrition, Meatless Monday serves as a fun motivator to explore new culinary options while also helping to better the planet through plant-based meals.
- Unplug to avoid wasted energy. Turned-off appliances and unused devices left plugged into outlets continue to drain small amounts of energy. If you’re done using your lamp, laptop, or phone charger, unplug it. Save energy by plugging in only when you need to.
- Compost food waste. You can repurpose non-animal food waste into some seriously potent and environment-friendly fertilizer through composting. Waste from fruit, vegetables, bread, coffee, and cereals can be dumped into a compost bin and later used to fuel your garden.
- Recycle. Be conscious of opportunities to recycle, and get in the habit of sorting out items that don’t belong in the trash (which ends up in a landfill). Discard glass, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum cans into their designated bins at work or home.
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