6 Habits of Environmentally Conscious People That You're Probably Already Doing
If world change begins with the individual, then it starts with you and me!
I don’t know about you, but when I hear ‘go green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ I think of a globally-sized issue and feel somewhat helpless in the fight to make a change. I think, “I’m only one person, will what I do really make a difference?” and what I’m quickly finding is yes, it actually will! Doing my part can in fact make a difference. So what does eco-friendly really mean? Simply put, eco friendly literally means friendly to the earth or simply not harmful to the environment. This refers to products and practices that help in conserving resources like water and energy as well as preventing air, water and land pollution. Ready to get in there and do your part? Here are 6 habits of environmentally conscious people that you’re probably already doing!
Let’s make this tangible and start off easy: Pay your bills online! We all know the drill: As soon as you set up the electric at your new apartment or summon the wifi guy to come to your home, you can expect the standard bill to come through, many times with a brief printed in bold in the header suggesting to go paperless. According to the Orange County Water District, it takes 2.6 gallons of water to produce 1 sheet of paper. 40 million tons of paper are not recycled each year in the US while Americans on average throw away 4 million tons of office paper each year. That’s enough to build a 12 foot wall from New York to California according to the American Forest and Paper Association! And while we all wish we could escape bills of all kinds, they will continue coming- so, why not make the process more streamlined? Going paperless streamlines the process on both sides and means reducing waste by cutting out the clutter and ultimately making businesses more organized and efficient. Sounds like an easy change to me!
Reduce Your Waste
The second is another easy-to-implement one: Turn off the water while you brush your teeth. Turning off the water between wetting your toothbrush and rinsing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save water in the bathroom. The University of Illinois calculates that shutting off the tap instead of letting it run continuously will save your family up to 10 gallons of water daily. So while this may not mean much to you environmentally, maybe it will financially! You could be saving that much in water costs every single day. So give it a try! It’s another easy way you can help reduce your waste footprint.
Conserve Where You Can
Staying in the stream of water, this next one is crucial: Don’t run the dishwasher or washing machine until it’s full. According to National Park Services, the average residential washing machine uses about 41 gallons of water per load. If this is the national average in the laundry room, imagine how many of those loads are run at less than full capacity. Imagine the amount of water one person could conserve if they waited until the load was full to run the machine! Running the dishwasher solely when it's full can eliminate one load of dishes per week and save the average family nearly 320 gallons of water annually just in their kitchen. If waiting until both machines are at maximum capacity can help the environment, that’s an easy change we can all Adopt.
Avoid Pre-Packaged Goods
Now, let’s talk grocery shopping. The next one is another easy one: Buy loose produce. All this means is, when you’re purchasing fresh produce, avoid anything pre-packaged. Not only do you have more control over what you select but if your produce is already going to be placed in a plastic bag at check out, why use two if you’re just going to throw both away? Choosing loose produce also allows the buyer to select the right quantity for his or her self or family, minimizing food waste and packaging waste at the same time. It's a win-win!
Speaking of produce, food isn’t the only thing high in demand at the store. This next one is a modern concept that helps the environment tremendously and cuts away at the time spent on errand runs, too: Shop online and have your products delivered! For the sake of focus, let’s talk cleaning products. Recently, I came across a company called Cleancult. Cleancult is a non-toxic, plant based cleaning company committed to creating the cleanest cleaners on the planet. This company is proud to ship carbon-neutral delivery services that cut down on emissions.
Shopping online is not only efficient for the consumer but helps cut back on buying products you don’t need that will add to the landfills and waste in the long run. By partnering with carbonfund.org, investing in carbon reduction projects, and planting trees to offset their shipments, Cleancult provides consumers with clean products knowing that they’re part of the solution, not the problem. Shopping online with Cleancult is a great investment, both of time and energy!
Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
From the laundry room and kitchen to the dining room, this one is for all my homemakers and interior decorators out there. Another easy way to help the environment is to use cloth napkins. Research indicates that, so long as you wash your napkins regularly with other loads of laundry (avoid washing them on their own to reduce your water usage), there is no difference in which is healthier: paper or cloth. Anytime you can reuse resources over the long run, you’re helping the planet. The tools you use to keep those napkins clean can be reusable too!
Cleancult’s wool dryer balls last for up to 1,000 dry cycles and save you from having to waste with single use dryer sheets! Rethinking your current purchasing habits? Good!
The last way we can all be environmentally friendly is to use glass bottles to refill your daily liquids. According to Johnson & Johnson, roughly 552 million plastic bottles of shampoo end up in landfills each year and the average American uses somewhere around 10 bottles of shampoo a year. All of these bottles not only add to the pollution problem, but use up energy, water and resources to produce. One statistic circling around the media states that by 2050, if humans don't make major changes, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. If this doesn’t make someone rethink his or her daily habits, what will?
That’s when Cleancult yet again steps in to close the gap. Cleancult has created a revolutionary refill model, one that reduces costs and plastic waste for all of their main products and every product produced by the company is 100% recyclable. Other cleaning products use a lot of plastic, which clogs up our homes, landfills, and oceans but Cleancult does not! If milk cartons aren't recyclable in your area, they even have a free recycle back program for their members!
Not only are these products safe for you, your family, and the environment, they also actually work! I’ve tried some other cleaning products that claim to be natural and effective, but end in my washing my dishes twice or using twice as much product for the same result. The ingredients in Cleancult products are safe and effective, cutting through dirt and grime the first time around so I don’t have to waste water or time (which are both very valuable!).
So what do you say? Are you ready to embark (or continue) on this environmentally-friendly journey? If world change begins with the individual, then it starts with you and me! Looking at the issue at large is far too daunting, yes, but choosing to turn off the water while brushing, waiting till the dishwasher is full before running or creating an account with Cleancult isn’t asking too much! With these six easy beginner steps, I believe we will see a greener and cleaner world in our future. Our grandchildren will thank us for starting now!