Yes, we need to make big changes if we're going to reverse this environmental crisis, but we all have to start somewhere. I'm a big believer in small changes, because it's better to jump in and do what you can than let yourself get overwhelmed and decide it's just too much to take on.
Talking about reducing our footprints and living greener is all well and good, but in practice it can get a little bit overwhelming. Rather than letting green fatigue get you down, you can focus on making little changes and building up from there. Once you take the plunge, it's much easier to live a little bit greener, one day at a time.
Here are 5 little things that you can do right now to make your life a bit more eco-friendly. Got tips of your own? Share them in the comments! All of these small changes add up to a big impact!
1. Ditch the triclosan
Triclosan is an anti-microbial chemical that lurks in many personal care products. When this stuff gets into our water supply, it's bad news, but it's very easy to banish from the medicine cabinet. Go through your cabinet and read the ingredients on your toothpaste, soap, shampoo, etc. If you see triclosan listed, get rid of it! When you hit the store, make sure you check the labels before you buy.
2. Use a shower bucket to save water
I've talked about the shower bucket before, but I think it bears mentioning again here, because it's such an easy way to reduce your impact. When you turn on the shower, stick a bucket under the faucet to collect the water while it heats up. You'll probably collect around 4-5 gallons of water, and you can use it for all sorts of household purposes like watering plants, washing the floor, or even flushing the toilet.
3. Turn up the thermostat
Even nudging that thermostat up by 2 degrees can reduce your power bill by close to 8 percent! You're not just saving on cash, though. Since most electricity here in the U.S. comes from coal-fired power plants, you're doing your bit to reduce emissions and fight air and water pollution.
4. Get crafty
Before you toss that empty bottle or piece of cardboard into the recycle bin, ask yourself if there's a crafty way that you can reuse it. You can also use your crafty skills to make things you need from discarded items, rather than purchasing something new. Need inspiration? Our DIY section is full of recycled craft ideas to get you going!
5. Turn off the lights
No, I don't mean you should sit in darkness. Just stay conscious of what lights you have on in the house and whether you really need them on. When you leave a room, hit the switch. You can also ask yourself if there's a way to get by with fewer lights on. For example, my bathroom has two light switches. One turns on four bulbs over the sink, and the other turns on one bulb in the ceiling. By hitting that second switch when I go in to brush my teeth at night, I'm reducing my energy usage by 75% without really sacrificing a thing. I mean, how well do I need to see myself brushing my teeth?
Of course, this is just a jumping off point, and there are tons of other little ways that you can green your routine! What are some small changes you've made to green up your lifestyle?
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by .A.A.