Every day is an opportunity to make greener decisions, helping to reduce pollution, climate warming, and waste. Here are 10 simple acts and easy ways to do your part in 2021.
Stop buying plastic water bottles.
If you can only pick one action for the entire year, pick this one. It is the easiest way to reduce huge amounts of plastic pollution in our oceans and help to save marine life. Get a reusable bottle for everyone in the family. Use a water filter pitcher, faucet-mounted filter, or a charcoal stick that will naturally purify your water.
Say “no” to napkins, utensils, and unwanted condiments when your order takeout. If you plan to eat your takeout at home or at work, you can likely find a fork and napkin somewhere there.
Reuse takeout containers.
Walk instead of drive.
Walk or ride your bike for distances less than two miles. This will help reduce your carbon footprint, you will enjoy the sunshine (or the rain), and you will get exercise.
Save water and energy.
Switch to LED light bulbs and only run your dishwasher when it is full. Take shorter showers. Turn off your laptop and TV every night.
Choose reusable vs. disposable.
Create a grocery kit with tote bags and produce bags for fresh veggies. You will prevent hundreds of plastic bags from going to waste.
Compost and recycle.
Go online and learn how to recycle properly. Don’t forget to clean and dry your recyclables before putting them in your blue bin.
Watch an environmental documentary.
Grab some popcorn and educate yourself about environmental issues. Teach the next generation to be kinder to the planet.
Think before you buy.
Impulse shopping only makes you feel better for a minute. Buy less, buy better, and make it last. Ask yourself questions before you buy something, like, “Do I already have something similar at home? How many times will I use it? Can I borrow it? Do I really need it?” Adopt the “one in, one out” rule to avoid clutter.
Choose local, organic, and go with the flow. Eating with the seasons will boost the local economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Try meatless Mondays and choose fresh veggies vs. precut veggies in plastic packaging. Plan your meals to prevent food waste.
Write down why it is important to go “greener.”
Make it a family activity. Why is it important for you to live a greener lifestyle? What can you do today to take the first step? How can you make it a new habit? What are the benefits for you, your family, and your community?
Believe me, this works! I saw positive changes in my family. In over two years of living green, we changed one thing at a time, developed new habits, made progress, and influenced our entourage. We see it every day in our trash cans, our consumption, our health, our skin, our moods, and in our bank account.
Act now. Pick one step. Make a difference.
– Aline Bloch, Owner of Aline’s Cardboard and Issaquah Highlands Resident