When you think about “going green,” you might immediately conjure up images of reusable shopping bags and buying organic produce. Those are both great ideas, but there are many more easy tweaks you can make to your daily life to reduce your environmental footprint.
1. Think twice about buying new. Every product you purchase has an environmental footprint, beginning with the materials used to create it, the byproducts emitted during its manufacture and the packaging (and ultimately the product itself) when it ends up in a landfill. Before you buy, pause and decide if you really need it – minimalism is great for the environment and for making your home and your life more zen. When you do need to purchase, consider buying gently used; there are more options than ever for locating used products (think Facebook Marketplace, used clothing sites like ThredUp and Poshmark as well as apps you can download such as LetGo, Decluttr, and Chairish).
2. Go Plastic-Free as much as you can. Here’s where those reusable bags come in! You can also cut down on plastic waste by forgoing plastic water bottles, straws, and cutlery (you can get great reusable cutlery sets and travel utensils to keep in your desk or vehicle). When you’re shopping, purposefully choose products that are packaged in plastic. Plastic never goes away, with billions of pounds of it currently floating in our oceans, so every little bit you can cut out of your daily life helps!
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4. Drive less, and drive smart. One of the biggest ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is through your driving habits. Walking, biking, carpooling, and public transportation are best, but we do inevitably have to drive our vehicles. Make sure your car gets regular tune ups and that its tires are properly inflated – this decreases your fuel usage, which helps with global warming!
5. Prevent food waste. Did you know that 40% of edible food in the US goes to waste? Curb food waste in your household with planned shopping, and by thinking creatively about how to use/consume what you purchase. Another way you can reduce your environmental footprint through your eating habits? Reduce your meat consumption! Try “meatless Mondays” for a starter.
6. Vote. Look for candidates with strong environmental platforms. Encourage your representatives to pass policies that fight climate change and protect the environment.
The tips above are only the tip of the iceberg!For more information on sustainability, visit these sites:
Want to know more about the Green Team? Read about us on the UVAFinance blog.