Spring: it’s the perfect time to adopt new habits. Everything is coming alive, and there’s a sense of newness and rebirth that inspires us to start fresh with our best intentions. With Earth Day quickly approaching, here are 8 simple, earth friendly habits to incorporate into your routine.
1. Walk or cycle more.
Depending on the climate where you live, getting around without depending on a car or bus might be difficult in the winter. Take advantage of springtime to change your routine and walk or bike when you can!
2. Eat less meat.
The meat industry is extremely taxing for our planet, requiring huge amounts of land, water, grain/food, and energy to keep up with our demand for consumption. In fact, giving up hamburgers might reduce your carbon footprint more than getting rid of your car! Participate in Meatless Monday. Or, if you are ready for a more hardcore change, try eating Vegan or Vegetarian for a month!
3. Brush with Bamboo.
Make the simple switch from a plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one, which will mostly biodegrade at the end of it’s lifecycle rather than contribute to the 50 million pounds of plastic trash that is generated solely from discarded plastic toothbrushes. Some companies even offer bamboo brush subscriptions that will mail you a new toothbrush whenever your old one needs replacing.
4. Stop using plastic for produce.
Those flimsy plastic sacks at the grocery store for placing your produce in are pretty unnecessary, when you think about it! Simply place your apples or broccoli in your cart on their own, or invest in produce bags that you can use over and over again. You can also make your own reusable produce bags by sewing simple drawstring bags out of scrap fabric.
5. Refuse single-use coffee cups.
When you buy takeaway coffee or other drinks, how long does it take to drink your latte or tea? 5 minutes? 15? Contrast that with the amount of time it will take for your disposable paper coffee cup to biodegrade: at least 20 years! Bring your own reusable travel mug, or opt to take a few minutes to drink your coffee in your local coffee shop in a reusable mug.
6. Turn off the water when you shave.
When you shave in the shower, turn the water off rather than letting it run. You’ll save gallons each month! The same goes for brushing your teeth.
7. Buy something you need secondhand rather than new.
Need to purchase something for your home or wardrobe? Try to find it secondhand, first, before purchasing it new. Bonus points if you’re able to find someone to sell or swap the item to you locally so that the item doesn’t need to be shipped! Buying secondhand keeps used (but still perfectly usable) items from ending up in a landfill, and it will save money as well.
8. Wash your jeans less often.
Washing our clothes unnecessarily is one of the biggest water-wasters in our homes- nearly a quarter of our water use goes to laundry! Try going a few more days in between washes, especially for items like jeans or jackets that don’t need washing as frequently.
Will you commit to one of these small changes, or an eco-friendly idea of your own? Let us know in the comments!