The history of America’s green movement goes back much farther than 1999 when the Toyota Prius hit U.S. soil. It actually began in the 1800s, although what we know as the “modern green movement” started in 1970.
It took another 30 years for it to go mainstream. Today, “going green” isn’t only a popular buzzword, it’s a way of life.
People are buying smaller homes, driving hybrid cars, and planting urban gardens.
You may not be able to sell your house and car. And, you may already live in a lush, green area.
But there are still some small changes you can make to go green and live your best life. We’re giving you 10 of them below.
1. Eat Less Meat
You don’t have to go full-on vegan if you don’t want to. But, studies show that reducing your consumption of meat and dairy is the biggest way to lessen your impact on the planet.
Meat and dairy provide 18% of calories but take up 83% of farmland. Cattle farms are responsible for 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Cutting back on dairy and meat once a week will cut down on the resources it takes to keep up with the food demand. It’s a classic example of supply and demand.
When you do eat meat or dairy, choose organic products. Or, eat sustainable meat.
Every human being on the planet should be recycling by now. At least, here in the U.S. where we produce, use, and import so much stuff.
Sadly, only 35% of Americans recycle. The citizens aren’t the only ones to blame. There are municipalities around the country that don’t provide recycling services.
This means that residents in certain areas have to go out of their way to find a private recycler. Or, they have to take it somewhere themselves. We live in a convenient society, which means people seldom go out of their way anymore.
If you live in a community that doesn’t have recycling as part of your garbage pick up, attend town hall meetings. Ask for an audience with city hall. Rally your neighbors together and start a petition.
If that’s too much outside of your comfort zone, live your best life and lead by example. Start recycling your household goods. Then, start recycling at work too.
3. Repurpose Your Home Decor
If you enjoy changing your home decor often, start looking at greener ways to do it. Turn mason jars into candle holders or flower vases into a holiday centerpiece.
Instead of throwing out that old bookcase, sand it, paint it, and use it as a shoe cubby in your mudroom. If you’re replacing an old wooden door, treat it, restain it, cut it to size and turn it into a headboard.
If you really want to dive in, think about going green with Feng Shui. The idea of balancing energies along with helping the environment is becoming more appealing than ever. Use some of your repurposed items to create a living space that’s full of positive energy for you and planet Earth.
If you need some tips on peace and balance, trying looking up a Libra horoscope today. You might find inspiration from the zodiac’s biggest proponent of harmony.
4. Get Rid of Chemical Cleaners
If Feng Shui is a little too out of your comfort zone, start smaller. Replace your chemical cleaners with greener, household products.
Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice are natural, versatile cleaners that cost less and are better for the environment.
5. Donate Your Unwanted Items
If repurposing items isn’t your thing, it’s definitely somebody’s. Instead of putting that bookcase out on the curb, take it to a donation center.
See if there’s a local artisan in your town who takes donated items. Churches are another great place to take your unwanted belongings.
You can also post about your items on Facebook. You may know a friend who’s looking for exactly what you’re trying to get rid of.
6. Forget Bottled Water
Yes, there are many benefits to drinking filtered water. But that doesn’t mean it has to come out of a plastic bottle!
For all the good bottled water does for humans, it’s terrible for the environment. 80% of all plastic bottles end up in landfills. Yikes!
For less than $30, you can invest in a refillable water pitcher. It’s a cost-effective way of having clean, filtered water without adding to the plastic waste problem. Use a reusable travel bottle and voila!
7. Go Paperless
You likely pay most of your bills online. It’s convenient and ensures your check doesn’t get lost in the mail, accruing you late fees.
So, stop receiving paper bills every month and opt for the paperless versions. Every month, your utility companies and creditors will email your statements.
Some will even give you a small discount for going paperless. It’s a win-win!
8. Stop Buying in Bulk
Sure, buying in bulk saves you money per unit. But how much of it do you throw away?
Things like paper towels and toilet paper won’t go bad, but some of the foodstuffs we buy in bulk does. Where’s the money savings?
Start buying only what you’ll use. You may think it’s cheaper to buy eight one-gallon tubs of yogurt–but are you really going to eat it all before it spoils?
9. Save Energy
Saving energy is good for everyone. You’ll feel good about your conservation efforts, the environment is happier, and your bank account is bigger.
Most people think of saving energy as saving money. But, the less power you consume, the less toxic fumes get released into the air by power plants. You’re conserving the Earth’s resources and protecting ecosystems.
Turn off the lights when you walk out of a room, use energy-efficient light bulbs, and seal your windows. These simple steps can bring big changes.
10. Start Walking
Not all communities have reliable public transportation. But if yours does, take advantage of it!
If you can walk or ride a bike instead of driving–do it. See if you can carpool with co-workers.
Our vehicles are much more eco-friendly than they once were, but we can still cut down on greenhouse gases by driving them less. Like saving energy, you’ll save gas, which will save you money.
Need More Green Tips on How to Live Your Best Life?
If you want to live your best life, being healthy and happy is key. Don’t only focus on yourself, though. Expand your healthy and happy mantra to the world around you.
To live green, you don’t have to quit your job and move off the grid in your tiny house. You can keep your house, car, and all your possessions and make minor changes.
If you want to know more tips about taking care of the environment, read more on our eco-friendly tips blog.