Good news for Kermit the Frog: being green is in. At least we’re referring to being environmentally-conscious. As the condition of our environment continues to worsen, we feel more compelled to make significant lifestyle changes. People are turning to solar power, smart houses and green cars.
However, you don’t have to go through a complete home makeover to help save the environment. There are smaller changes that make an enormous impact in the long run. Let’s look at some of them.
Join The Bring-Your-Own Initiative
A significant percentage of the waste we produce in a day is from food packaging and plastic bags. Sure, it may seem convenient, but this has led to tons of garbage around the globe.
This is why people are starting to develop the initiative of bringing reusable products when they shop. A simple swap to a cloth bag instead of using plastic at the grocery can save you from using over 700 plastic bags.
The bring-your-own initiative also entails starting your Tupperware collection for the good of the environment. Bring your food container when going out to avoid plastic, Styrofoam or paper take-out boxes. You can also use this to store items you buy in the grocery such as meat, vegetables, spices, and other products.
“We measured how much people did a wide range of pro-environmental behaviors, and how visible each behavior was to other people. Some behaviors like carrying reusable bags to the grocery are very visible to others,” writes Cameron Brick, Ph.D.
Say No To Disposable Items
Speaking of disposable, much of our garbage also comprises of plastic utensils, paper coffee cups, straws, toothbrushes, water bottles and the like. Good news: there are alternatives. There has been an increasing number of stores dedicated to selling such items.
You’ll be surprised by what products you can find in these stores. There’s a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush. Replace your plastic straws with metal or bamboo ones. Refuse plastic utensils by using your metal spoons and forks.
Skip the plastic shampoo bottle and try out shampoo bars that look like soap. Purchase razors that you don’t have to toss out, and replace the blades. Ladies on their red days can turn to cloth pads or menstrual cups.
What we’re trying to say is, go for products you can use for a longer time instead of something you only use once.
“Now, perhaps as a result of the BBC Series The Blue Planet, in which David Attenborough viscerally portrayed the waste and harm caused by single-use plastics, many people are trying to reduce their use of plastics,” writes Thomas Webb Ph.D.
Maintain Your Appliances
When something in the kitchen breaks down, many people immediately run to the store or Amazon to purchase a new one. Toss out the old and bring in that new toaster. However, people rarely think about where these items go after they’ve thrown them out.
To avoid spending on new appliances, treat them like a car. That means maintaining them. Don’t overuse them and clean them properly. Proper cleaning will not only lengthen the lives of your appliances, but you’ll also save on energy. For instance, it’s essential to clean the back of your beloved refrigerator as dusty coils use up more electricity.
Build A Compost Pile
Admittedly, food waste doesn’t have the same impact as non-biodegradable waste. However, there’s still so much potential in what you throw out. Why not consider making a compost pile? That way, you enrich the soil with nutrients. You don’t need a farm or a large backyard for it either. Some people have managed to compost indoors.
Some neighborhoods and communities also have programs for composting. Try asking around to see if there’s something you can contribute to.
Unplug Those Electronics At Night
It may be tempting to press the power button on the TV remote at night. Even Netflix has the option of going on standby when it senses that you’ve fallen asleep. But it isn’t wise to just put your electronics to sleep.
You’ll find that you can save on your electricity bill when you shut off and unplug your television at night. You can do the same with your personal laptop, computer, and other electronic devices at home.
“Unplug kitchen appliances and chargers when not in use to thwart ‘energy vampires,'” writes Meg Selig, MA.
Many people wonder if their small actions matter. It’s because of this way of thinking that the environment continues to suffer. But be confident that even saying no to a single plastic straw will mean something if everybody does it.
After all, progress in the little things matters just as much as the big changes.