It’s a fact: we need to make changes now to protect our planet for future generations. At the beginning of a new year, let’s examine our lifestyles and see how we can make some simple changes that will have a lasting effect on our environment. Here are a few easy ways to live green (and even save green) in the new year.
Buy Less Bottled Water
According to the Clean Air Council, “26 to 41 percent of the 2.4 million tons of polyethylene terephthalate plastic discarded every year is bottled water bottles.” The solution to this is simple: buy less water. A few years back, I stopped buying a case of water per week and instead began carrying a reusable water bottle with me. This change not only nets at least $150 in savings annually, but also eliminates the disposal of hundreds of water bottles (I drink a lot of water.) When disposable water bottles are unavoidable, be sure to recycle them properly, which includes removing the lids so that they don’t get caught in the sorting equipment.
A University of Wisconsin study revealed, “short trips on bicycles could save approximately four trillion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, 1,100 lives and $7 billion in mortality and health care costs for the [Midwest] every year.”
I often walk into town or bike to the supermarket to pick up a few things rather then driving. Not only does leaving the car in the driveway better for the environment and your wallet, but has health benefits as well. A little extra exercise is good for all.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
According to the Clean Air Council, Americans us one billion plastic shopping bags annually, but less than one percent are recycled.These bags don’t biodegrade–they break down into smaller pieces in the sunlight and contaminates the soil and water. Reusable bags are easy to make, try one of these tutorials:
- How to Make a Produce Bag from an old T-Shirt
- How to make an eco shopping bag from an old pillowcase
I keep a stash of reusable bags and produce bags in my car so that I always have one at hand.