And we’re not talking about Kermit… In honor of Earth Day, we thought we’d take a minute to share some simple ways you can live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. From Meatless Mondays to breaking up with paper towels, keep reading for some easy ways to be more green. Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click on a link. We hope you like our green picks!
1. Eat Less Meat
Even one day without eating meat does wonders. According to EarthDay.Org, if you “skip steak once a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.” They also state that “producing meat requires a huge amount of water. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.” You don’t need to starve the fam though—have a little fun with it and enjoy these dinner recipes for Meatless Monday. Who knows, maybe you’ll move on to Meatless Tuesdays… and Wednesdays…
2. Ditch Paper Towels for Dish Towels
We get it. Using dish towels instead of paper towels adds to the amount of laundry you have to do, but it makes such a huge difference. You can find dish towels at a bargain price these days too. Lay them out in your kitchen near your sink, by the dishwasher and on the oven handle. This will remind you to skip the paper towels and use a dish towel instead.
3. Use Less Paper and Plastic
Repeat after us, just say no to plastic water bottles and paper plates. Invest in a reusable water bottle that will also help you drink more water. And paper plates are a big no-no. Yes, we know they save time on dishes, but a little time spent with some dish soap makes a big impact for the planet. Turn on some tunes and get to cleaning! (Just watch that water use.;)
This is an easy one! Keep a recycle bin next to your trash can and hang up a list of recyclable items to encourage cutting down on unnecessary waste. There are a ton of items you can recycle these days—magazines, junk mail, shampoo bottles, food cans, aluminum cans and so much more. Check out this handy guide for a list of items you can recycle.
5. Use Canvas Bags Instead of Plastic Bags
Paper or plastic? No thanks! Buy a cute canvas tote or two from your local grocery mart and use that to carry your goods home.
6. Cut Down on Drive Time
If you live close to work, dust off your bike and air up the tires! Bonus—you’ll also get a nice little workout before you get into the office. Not lucky enough to live close to your job? Opt to ride your bike or walk to weekend activities where you’d usually drive.
7. Buy Reusable items (and Use and Reuse them!)
There are some great items out there that are actually way more fun to use than paper plates and plastic straws and cups. We love taking our own coffee mug or cup into the office. Still love straws? Sadly, straws are on the top 10 list of marine debris collected every year. Even sadder? Many (many) sea turtles end up with them in their noses. Save some waste and a sweet turtle by buying a reusable straw. You can also take your own reusable utensils to work so you don’t have to use plastic cutlery. Ordering in? Let them know you have your own utensils.
Want to cut down on your closet? Embrace Minimalism with These 7 Decluttering Tips from Marie Kondo.
Melody Lowe is the Director of Content & Strategy for Blender Networks, Inc. When she’s not managing blogs for FitMinutes, The-E-Tailer, Cartageous, InStyleRooms, NurturedPaws & Shoelistic, she’s rearranging her bookcase at home in Culver City, CA, getting her fix of breakfast tacos and Topo Chicos in her hometown of Austin, TX with her fiancé and rescue dog or managing her own blog, Mustache Melrose.