Happy Belated Earth Day!
Happy Earth Day everyone! 🙂 I know I’m a day late on this one but I had to work yesterday and by the end of the work day I can’t stand another minute of screen time. We’re extremely passionate about the environment here at Go Where It’s Warm & I’m excited to share some of our tips for a greener life with you!
Most of our friends & co-workers think we’re a bit on the extreme side but I disagree. Like anything, the longer you do something the easier it becomes and the more you can take on. Being environmentally friendly is just like that. Once things become a habit they fall into the background and you can focus on the next task. We’ve gotten where we are over years of little adjustments and improvements. We’re definitely not perfect & we could always do more but if everyone made a conscious effort to reduce their impact the combined results would be astounding!
Everyone can do something & every little bit helps!
Here are some of our tips for living a greener life. There are a ton of ideas below, just do what you can! Awareness is half the battle. Once you start thinking in terms of environmental impact you’ll naturally change your habits.
- Drive less – if you’ve been reading a while you know we love “no car days” which sometimes extend into a full weekend. We’re lucky to live somewhere we can walk or bike to a decent amount of things. No car days are also a great way to decompress. If you’re someone who drives a lot try mixing in a few no car days. Since we’ve started having them our tolerance for driving places has significantly decreased. We used 1 tank of gas the entire winter in Florida.
- Go veg! Giving up meat will make the largest environmental impact of everything else on this list combined. We gave up meat about 10 years ago and my cooking has only become more creative for it. Can’t stand the thought of never again having a steak, burger or chicken wing? That’s okay – cutting back helps too. Every meatless meal helps. NPR posted a great article on moderation yesterday.
- Buy a fuel efficient car or at least don’t buy significantly more car than you need. Nothing urks me more than seeing a single person commuting alone in a giant SUV! We’re in the mid-Atlantic, there’s hardly a need for anyone to drive a giant SUV.
- Going out for dinner? Why not bring your own containers for leftovers. Our local Indian restaurant gets a chuckle out of us doing this but we can never finish what we order & styrofoam is pretty awful.
- Do you have a yard? Why not give composting a try. You can buy a bin for around $100. We have two that we switch between, while we fill up one the other cooks down then we switch. Added bonus – you can use the compost to nourish your garden & grass. We compost all we can. Besides food scraps you can compost q-tips, toilet paper tubes and even old cotton clothes that are too beat to donate. We also compost our shredded paper mail. Might as well right? The more that stays out of the landfill the better.
- Donate everything you don’t need. If it can’t be sold it’ll be shredded for insulation or even donated to pet shelters for bedding.
- Always have a re-usable water bottle on hand. There’s no need to waste resources on single-use water bottles.
- Recycle everything you can, duh!
- Don’t buy more than you need of anything – just because something is on sale & super cheap doesn’t mean you need it. Most cheap goods come with a high humanitarian cost in addition to their environmental unfriendliness. This Grist video says it all in under 4 minutes.
- Cut out plastic wrap, etc. When I pack lunch for work, I put everything in re-usable containers. I joke that I “pack in and pack out” for a day of work like I’m camping. Camping would be much more fun.
- Use cloth napkins at home rather than paper.
- Get a bunch of kitchen towels you can wash to save on paper towels.
- Bring your own re-usable bags to the grocery store, it’s surprising that anyone isn’t doing this by now. Re-usable bags are so much sturdier than plastic or paper and they’re better for the environment, what’s not to love. Same rule applies here though, don’t collect more bags than you can ever hope to use.
- Buy locally grown fruits & veggies when available.
- Try to eat what’s in season & choose items that traveled the shortest distance. A pineapple is a serious treat in this house!
- Grow something you can eat. Even if you live in an apartment with a tiny porch/balcony you can grow something. A little herb garden or a patio tomato plant.
- Beware of single use things! Single serving snacks often come in very unfriendly packaging. Which brings me to my next bullet.
- Consider the packaging of everything you buy. Products with responsible packaging win every time.
- Bring a bag for trash on walks, you’ll be surprised how much you find once you start looking for it.
- Don’t buy into the “need it right now” mentality. Amazon Prime, groceries delivered to your house, etc all come with high environmental costs. It’s much more efficient for a lot of something to be shipped to a single location than it is to do personal home delivery.
Making the shift toward an environmentally friendly lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard just pick a thing a week to focus on and build from there.
It takes 30 days to form a habit – what positive changes could you make for the Earth in the next 30 days?
Have a great weekend everyone!
Until next time …
Stay warm friends!