With another New Year upon us, it's that time again— the time we set goals with the best intentions for the year to come. Some of those goals may be tough (but keep at it, you can do it!) and some can be simple— like making the decision to be more green. But when you decide to be more green, where do you start?
Here are 15 easy things you can start doing today to make the future better for the earth, you, and your children. If you want to go beyond these 15 suggestions, here are 25 more!
Many of us leave our computers on or in hibernate mode rather than shutting down at the end of the day. But doing so creates a drain on energy and shortens the life of your laptop's battery. So before you log off, read everything in those 25 opened browser tabs, close them down, and shut your computer off for the night.
To save energy, when away for long periods during the day or while you are on vacation, don't heat or cool your home as you would if you were there. Turn the thermostat down or up so the heat or air conditioning does not kick in as often. When you return home, set it back to a comfortable level.
By supporting your local farmers, you contribute to your local economy, you reduce carbon emissions, and you help to secure easy access to what farmer's have to offer. Farmer's markets are usually a spring/summer/fall thing, but many cities have indoor farmer's markets that run during the winter. Do a Google search for active farmer's markets in your area.
With everything being online these days, get rid of the paper version of your favourites and go for a digital subscription instead.
Keeping your car maintained is a great way to cut back on vehicle emissions and save you money. Set a schedule and stick to it and you will enjoy the benefit of less repairs in the future.
As a former small retail business owner, I can't tell you enough how important it is to support local small businesses. The economy will thank you, the environment will thank you because you have to drive less, and the small business owners will be forever grateful.
Do a purge of all the plastic containers in your kitchen and replace them with longer-lasting, and safer glass or stainless steel containers.
Using the wrong type of detergent is harmful to our lakes, rivers, oceans and our health. Do some research and find out what the most eco-friendly (and healthy for you) laundry detergents and dish detergents are.
If grabbing a morning coffee at your favourite coffee shop is part of your routine, then avoid the one-use paper cups and buy a nice reusable mug or tumbler for your morning coffee. Some places even offer a discount if you bring your own.
I know...I know. We all love our long, hot showers, especially in the winter, but those few extra minutes use extra energy to heat the water and there is also the extra water is being used unnecessarily. Cut back on your showers by a few minutes to save.
This is a difficult habit to break, I've been there. If you are finding that cutting back on paper product use is a hard thing to do, take baby steps and opt for products that are more eco-friendly. If you are ready to ditch the paper products for good, buy a few sets of cloth napkins that can be reused.
Step away from the screens and get outside to explore nature with your kids. By encouraging outdoor play and exploration of nature in our neighborhoods we can show our kids how we are connected to the environment and how our actions affect it.
Clean up household clutter by taking the time to go through all of your kids' old clothes and gear and get rid of them in an eco-friendly manner.
If you are a gardener, purchase a rain barrel and collect rain water to reuse for watering your garden.
This the best ways to keep up to date on the latest in the green world and to learn new ways to be more green. Of course, this blog is a great place to get green info, but if you are looking to add to your list, try Green Living, Mother Nature Network, Green Moms Collective, Tree Hugger, The David Suzuki Foundation...to name a few!
Which tip will you start with? Do you have any more to add?