I thought I’d make an easy list of very small things that you can do without a lot of time or effort. I mentioned a few on the first Green Pledge post, but I want to add to the ideas. I know a lot of green living is time and money intensive, like putting solar panels on the roof or planting a garden. But if everyone made just a few small changes it could make a big difference!
– Walk or ride your bike whenever possible. If you live in a rural area, this can be hard to accomplish sometimes. If the post office is just four blocks away, and you have time to spare, walk to buy stamps!
– Consolidate errands. The amount of gas you use making tiny little trips to the store really adds up. Try to do all your grocery shopping at one time to eliminate those mini-trips. And try to plan other errands, such as stopping by the bank or library, so that you don’t have to backtrack.
–Buy less stuff. This one seems self-explanatory. But the less stuff we buy, the less stuff that will eventually end up in a landfill someday. Go through your closet and see if you REALLY need any more sweaters this season. Or, if you are like me, dig to the bottom of the clothes basket and find all those missing socks instead of buying more.
-Buy used. Sometimes, you really DO need another sweater or more kitchen bowls. Try to buy used whenever possible. You can score some great deals at garage sales, thrift shops, and flea markets.
– Eat less meat. If my husband were a dinosaur, he’d be a T-Rex. In other words, we have meat at every single meal. I personally could do without it, but he insists. But did you know that a pound of beef requires around 12,000 gallons of water to produce, compared to 60 gallons for a pound of potatoes? Astonishing! Try making just one meatless meal to start with.
– Reuse clothes and towels. Think about it. It doesn’t really make sense to use a new bath towel each time you take a shower. Your body is clean, so why not just hang the towel back up to use again next time? Wear your clothes, especially jeans, more than once. An added bonus: less laundry!
– Adjust your thermostat. Turn it down one degree in winter, and up one degree in the summer. You probably won’t notice the difference until you get your bill.
– Stop buying CDs, books, and movies. Rent movies from Netflix, check books out from the library, and download the songs you want to listen to. You’ll get all the music, books, and movies you want, but you want have the waste. Or check out sites like PaperBack Swap, where you can swap out your old unwanted books for new ones. They even have links to swap old movies and CDs.
– Try one homemade cleaner. Just give homemade cleaners a chance. Sprinkle some baking soda in your sink, scrub the tub with half a lemon and sea salt, or use vinegar instead of fabric softener. You probably already have these things in your house, so you won’t be out any money. If you hate them, no loss.
– Wash your laundry in cold water. It’s really not necessary to wash your clothes in hot water, so try switching to cold. They’ll get just as clean and save you energy.