Leave Your Mark on The World, Not Your Trash: Going Green for Earth Day
Going green is not only beneficial for the environment, but for you as an individual as well. It reduces clutter, can provide you tax deductions, save you tons of money, and help you to live a healthier, happier, more simple life. Here are some of my favorite quick and easy tips to GO GREEN for Earth Day, and every day.
- Think like a minimalist.
- Attach a reminder to be conscious of the environment during online correspondences by placing a blurb on your email signature. (Mine says “Please consider the environment before printing this email or any attachments.”)
- Shop cruelty free & compassionately! Visit www.leapingbunny.org to find out what brands are cruelty free. Don’t support ones that aren’t on the list. Take it a step further and send them a quick email or tweet to let them know why they’re losing your business- eventually, they will have to make more environmentally friendly choices if they want to continue making profits. (I’ve done the same for companies who use too much packaging, or packing that can’t be recycled or is not biodegradable.)
- Use reusable bags for shopping. And yes, it’s possible to be Earth friendly and fashion friendly at the same time- you can visit www.zazzle.com to make your own tote. (My tote says “My other bag is Chanel”!)
- Buy your food locally. Farmer’s markets offer fresh, organic produce that is locally grown, at substantially cheaper costs than larger chains. You’re also doing your body a favor and supporting the economy in your area. (You can even get major discounts from some of these smaller businesses from sites like www.groupon.com)
- Are you a bottled water drinker? Try a Bobble- a water bottle with a filter so you can fill up anywhere! It’s much more efficient on your pocket and the environment. Get one at www.waterbobble.com
- Some cosmetic companies offer container recycling. MAC offers a free lipstick with 6 container returns. (www.maccosmetics.com) The company Origins (www.origins.com) will recycle cosmetic containers from any brand.
- Pay your bills online & opt for paperless statements. (Have you SEEN a cell phone statement?! Mine used to be like 300 pages a month!)
- Turn out lights when you leave a room. Make the most of natural light & try to use windows instead of AC & lights. It’s cheaper for you, uses less electricity, and there is something about sunshine and fresh air that just says ❤.
- There are donation centers for things like old glasses, cell phones, clothing & other items. Use Google & find one near you. Not only are you getting rid of your clutter, but you’re helping someone out too. Old glasses are often outfitted with new lenses for those who can’t afford glasses but need them. Old cell phones are often given to those in domestic violence shelters who are fleeing their abusers and may need to call 911. Oh, and don’t forget about your tax deduction!
- You can sell your old electronic equipment online and get money for it! There are tons of options- just look here. Some companies also offer you the opportunity to trade your old model or unit in for a discount on a newer one- a “buy back” program if you will.
- Instead of tossing things, give them new life! A pair of jeans can be made into shorts or a tote. You can add embellishment to a jacket using pieces of an old lace shirt. Broken jewelry can be used to make new jewelry. If you have clothes that are fading or dull, you can dye them easily and it’s totally cheap.
- Buy eBooks instead of print versions. They are cheaper, easier to carry around, reduce clutter, and there’s no shipping. Plus the instant gratification of receiving it right away! If you don’t have a Kindle, iPad, or Nook, there are Kindle apps available for your laptop or smart phone.
- If you must throw out the the plastic rings that hold soda & beer cans together, snip them first. Animals can get stuck in the loops while sitting in the landfill or if they end up in the ocean.
- Get a community garden going & grow veggies/fruits. Here in New York several vacant lots have been turned into gardens.
- Walk instead of using cars. It’s great exercise & studies are showing it can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s.
- Love fruit like grapes but never end up eating them all & thus wasting them? Freeze them! They’re a delish sweet treat, perfect for summer. Not too mention, low cal and healthy.