In recent months, I have been exploring different ways to live a "greener" life. I'm just gonna share a few tips on what I've been doing recently:
1) Use reusable bags when shopping. It doesn't have to be just food shopping either, although when you go grocery shopping at Whole Foods and Meijer, you get $0.10 off per bag. Not a whole lot but it does add up! You're also saving a ton of plastic and paper, too. Whole Foods and Meijer both have reusable bags for sale for cheap ($1 ish).
2) Recycle everything possible. I know this one is a little bit obvious, but did you know that you can recycle #5 plastics (yogurt cups and the like) at Whole Foods now? So exciting. :) No more unnecessary plastic ending up in landfills. It may seem like it takes extra effort, but you're going to go shop anyway - why not bring your reusable bag filled with recyclable plastic to the store with you?
3) Use a water bottle and an insulated coffee mug daily. If you drink coffee everyday... that's one cup a day, at least, which means 365 cup a YEAR. That's a lot of paper that usually is just thrown away. Using a thermos or mug only requires that you remember to bring it with you when you go out. I always throw mine in my backpack, so if I do feel like getting Starbucks or tea at work, I can use it and save a cup. Sounds like a small thing, but it really adds up. So remember your mugs and water bottles!
4) Use rags. When you're wiping up spills in the kitchen, instead of reaching for the paper towels, use a rag! Old t-shirts make good ones (I haven't done this one personally yet, but I have started using rags). Not only do rags hold more water, you can keep reusing them. When they need washing, just throw them in with your laundry! Saves time and you don't have to do a whole separate load.
5) Another idea was to use cloth napkins. I also haven't tried this myself yet, but would like to try in the future. Think about how many napkins and tissues we use each day - I know for myself, I use quite a few.
6) Buy locally grown food. I learned about this during my nutrition class last semester, and I know I've learned to be more conscious of it when I shop. The closer the food is grown to where you're living, the cheaper it is (less transportation costs) and the less energy it takes for the food to be shipped to you. Not to mention, the food is much fresher and can be kept for longer!
7) Buy organically. I know there has been much debate about how organic food is just more expensive but not that much better... but I disagree. I know that organically-raised meat sometimes costs a lot more than packaged meat, but I can tell you that it does taste different. It tastes better, and with proper handling, can be kept longer as well, but does taste the best when cooked soon after purchase. I've really enjoyed the selections of organically-raised meat at Whole Foods (haha, I love that place!) and I don't mind spending a bit extra for tastier and healthier meats and vegetables. Living green applies to your body as well! Treat yourself to healthier food - it's worth it!
8) Tiff gave me these two cool links. I'm going to add them here so I can have them in the future, too!
For old books that you can't sell and give away and that have just been collecting dust at home... why not send them to Better Books? Not only do they pay for you to ship the books to them (if it's 3+ books), they also use ecofriendly boxes to ship the books to people who need them. Pretty sweet deal, if you ask me!
For used CDs, go to this site. Awesome!
Those are just some of the changes I've made to my life, and I hope you find them useful as well. Small changes, one at a time, do make a difference. :) Some good blogs I like to read are Daily Danny and The Greenest Dollar.
Keep sending me sites or ideas if you have them! :)