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20 Simple Ways to Live More Sustainably<

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Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd, and my goal is to make environmentally conscious choices throughout the year. Adopting a sustainable lifestyle begins with mindset. Once you and your family decide to make caring for and preserving our planet a priority, the rest comes easily. Commit to doing your best within your circumstances and budget. Here are 20 straightforward ways to live more sustainably. With green living becoming more popular, many families want to live eco-friendlier lives. This does not have to be as hard as it sounds. There are many ways to be more environmentally conscious.

Easy Ways To Go Green Now

10 Ways To Go Green With Little Effort

1. Recycle

Recycling is one of the best ways to reduce your environmental impact. Many items put in the trash can be recycled or reused. Recycling services can process paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, food packaging, and glass. Here are 6 household items you may not know are recyclable.

2. Increase Energy Efficiency

Improving energy efficiency at home is a worthy goal. Simple habits like turning off lights when not in use, adjusting your thermostat, and buying energy-efficient appliances can reduce your impact. Choose eco-friendly LED bulbs. This will save energy long-term.

3. Drive Less

Driving significantly contributes to environmental problems. Not only does it rapidly deplete oil reserves, it also increases pollution. Every bit helps. Trade a large vehicle for a more fuel-efficient one. Plan errands to combine trips. Walk, bike, or use public transportation when possible. If able, condense your work schedule to 4 days instead of 5 or work from home 1 day per week. Each gallon of gas saved per car per week equals millions of barrels of oil conserved. You don’t need to walk 5 miles in the snow for milk. But be willing to walk across the mall or a few blocks to the park. Again, small changes by many people add up.

4. Support Green Companies and Local Businesses

Use your consumer power to choose green companies and local businesses when possible. Locally produced food doesn’t have to be shipped far. Buying local means money stays in your community, rather than supporting corporations. Read more at Green Consumer Choices.

5. Utilize Solar Power

Making a full switch to home solar power may be too expensive for most. But everyone can benefit from solar energy. Get small outdoor solar lighting. Prices have dropped from over $20 to as low as $3. Use them for landscaping, night lights, accent lighting, etc. This will reduce some electricity use. Though savings per unit are small, multiplied by millions of people it adds up. This is one of the more affordable, easy green options.

6. Shop Thrift Stores

Back-to-school shopping often requires buying new clothes and supplies. Purge old items to donate. And while dropping them off, browse and shop! Here are thrift store shopping tips from US News.

7. Make Homemade Snacks

Making your own trail mix is cheaper than buying individually packaged snacks. You control the ingredients, and can choose organic. Homemade healthy treats taste best when hiking! And carry your own reusable water bottle instead of disposable plastic bottles.

8. Enjoy Green Outdoor Activities

There are many eco-friendly things to do outside. Here are 5 Ways To Make A Difference At Your Local Park.

9. Go Green As A Family

Spending active time outdoors together builds family bonds while fostering environmental appreciation. Here are some eco-friendly family activities.

reuse to go green

10. Find Ways To Reuse

Glass jars can be reused for food storage or vases. Food waste can become compost. Clean coffee cans store flour, sugar, pasta, sewing supplies, or toys. Shoeboxes stack nicely and make great storage and gift boxes when decorated. As pictured, I used them for cloth diapers, another green choice. There you have it – 10 easy ways to go green! Many small changes in habits can make a big impact. It all adds up, so never discount your contribution to the planet! What are some of your favorite eco-friendly ways to do more with less? I’d love to hear which of these 10 you already do and which ideas you’ll try.

10 More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle Changes

Whether you deeply care about the environment or simply want to save money, finding creative ways to reduce dependency on energy is helpful. A good starting point is areas where you can easily make changes. Here are some examples of eco-friendly lifestyle adjustments to reduce your energy use. Though lifestyle changes take more effort, they are achievable.

eco-friendly-lifestyle-changes

11. Adopt a Conservation Mindset

To reduce energy usage, embrace a mindset of conservation. Make every effort to use less energy throughout your day – from turning off lights to utilizing natural daylight. Completely changing your mindset will decrease your energy needs.

12. Use Native Plants and Natural Materials for Landscaping

Choose eco-friendly landscaping with native plants. Use stone for walkways and benches. Plant deciduous trees to eventually provide shade. Avoid non-native or fast growing trees. Choose oaks, hickories, walnuts, maples, etc. that will live for generations. If planting evergreens like pines or cedars, align them to shade in summer but allow winter sunlight.

13. Consider Alternative Energy Sources

Reducing energy needs may require alternative energy sources for your home and car. Solar energy is becoming more popular for lighting homes. Electric cars are also on the rise for eco-friendly transport.

14. Be Eco-Friendly On Vacation

Reducing energy requires lifestyle changes even on vacation. Choose lower energy vacation spots like the forest or wilderness over energy-intensive destinations. Remain mindful of conservation even on vacation. Camping is a great green getaway. What lower energy vacations will you pick?

15. Reuse Gray Water

Place a small pan in sinks and shower to catch water. Reuse “gray” water to water plants and flush toilets instead of letting it go down the drain. If each American saved 1 gallon daily, the savings would supply a city the size of Detroit or Miami for a week. This is an easy green habit once established.

16. Turn Up the Thermostat

Heating and cooling homes uses major energy. In summer use fans instead of low air conditioning. In winter utilize natural heat sources rather than electric units.

Clothesline DryPhoto by Pablo Solomon

17. Line Dry Clothes

For an eco-friendly lifestyle, line dry clothes instead of using the dryer. This can lead to significant savings, especially for large families. Few things save more energy and money. Install a clothesline to harness natural sun and wind to dry clothes when weather and time allow.

18. Eat Fresh Food

Avoid takeout and packaging waste. Consider growing your own garden and finding recipes to make eating fresh more appealing. Eat less meat or go vegetarian. Shop for organic produce and avoid over-packaged items. Bring reusable bags instead of using plastic.

19. Take Cooler Showers

Heating water takes major energy. Save energy by taking warm or lukewarm showers instead of hot. Consider shorter showers. Wash clothes in cold water.

energy star label

20. Buy Only ENERGY STAR® Appliances

To reduce energy needs, choose appliances certified to use less energy, saving you money. Check the rebate finder.

Conclusion

Conserve by always looking for ways to reduce energy use daily. Don’t hesitate to buy products focused on efficiency. Be open to making changes where needed. Walk instead of driving short distances. You likely can’t adopt these eco-friendly changes 100% of the time, but having goals to work toward is great. Every green choice makes a difference. Which eco-friendly changes will you make?

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