Ten Simple Hacks for Eco-Friendly Living
By Grace Kennedy
We may celebrate Earth Day on April 22, but you can start upgrading your eco-friendly game any time, thanks to these 10 simple changes. As a bonus, these tricks will save you money, too. Earth Day for the win!
1. Eat less meat
There’s a reason Meatless Monday is a thing. Cutting back on meat, even just one day a week, can make an environmental difference. Plus, it’s great for your health and your wallet. Get all Pinterest-y with it – you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have trying new recipes.
2. Something Borrowed
What do you buy new that you could get second hand instead? You’d be surprised what you can find these days. Treasure hunting is fun, frugal and super eco-friendly. Your local Goodwill, public library, and Craigslist are just waiting for you to discover their treasures.
3. Get Classy for the Earth
Cloth napkins – they’re not just for fancy tea parties. There are so many reasons to use cloth over disposable napkins, including eco-friendliness and a lovely table setting. Bonus reasons: Making your own napkins is a great way to learn sewing, and folding napkins is a fun way for little ones to help with the laundry.
4. Unplug It
Give your computer a rest every night. Even though it may be “sleeping,” it still uses energy. Completely turn it off and unplug it to make a bigger impact.
5. Support Green Businesses
Let your wallet walk the walk. Check GreenAmerica.org for a list of businesses embracing eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
6. Cleanliness is Next to Eco-Friendliness
Don’t be intimidated by DIY household cleaners. They’re easy, cheap and fun. Seriously, if it’s good enough for the dependable folks at Good Housekeeping, it’s good enough for us.
7. Have a Light Bulb Moment
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs. Cha-ching for you and the planet. Here is a guide to proper light bulb disposal.
8. Stock Your Freezer
Those hoarding shows on TLC may be disturbing, but there is one place in your house where it’s good to be a packrat, and that’s your freezer. A full freezer runs more efficiently, and energy efficiency is super eco-friendly.
9. Channel Your Inner Faye Dunaway
Here is your chance to get all Mommy Dearest in the name of environmentalism. No wire hangers (in the landfill)! Instead of throwing out those hangers you get from your dry cleaner, collect them and take them back to the dry cleaner when you go to drop off a new load.
10. Get Cute with Lunch
Search “reusable food storage” on Amazon to unearth a treasure trove of adorable and eco-friendly lunch-packing options. Save money, keep plastic bags out of the garbage, and be the envy of the lunchroom with your sassy sandwich holder.
Want to go a step further? Visit GreatNonprofits.org, then filter by “Environment” on the left side of the home page for a list of organizations with Earth-friendly missions that need your help.
Grace Kennedy is a Charlotte, N.C.-based writer and marketing consultant. She specializes in using the power of storytelling to bring mission statements to life.