10 ways to make your life greener
This year, Earth Day is observed on April 22. Founded in 1970, Earth Day's mission is to demonstrate support for environmental protection. With climate change becoming an ever-growing concern, it's important to celebrate Earth Day not just every April but year-round to mitigate the effects of global warming. Take some time to learn about sustainable living and how you can make your day-to-day life more eco-friendly to help preserve the planet for future generations. Need some ideas? Check out these ten hacks for easily eco-proofing your life:
1. Compost food scraps
If you'd like to live more sustainably, wasting as little food as possible is essential, but it's hard sometimes to avoid throwing out a few table scraps. That's where composting helps. Purchase a small compost bin for your kitchen and biodegradable compost bags and place food scraps in it. Many cities offer regular curbside food scrap collection. Alternatively, you can make your own plant fertilizer from compost.
2. Embrace meatless Mondays
We're now well aware that the processing of animal products, particularly red meat, omits harmful CO2 emissions. One way you can help change this is to eat more plant-based foods over animal-based ones. There are tons of great plant protein sources, such as beans, nuts, tofu, legumes, and more. Commit to eating a few meatless meals per week. For example, try starting with meatless Mondays.
3. Eat organic foods
Overall, organic farming is better for the environment — it enhances the health of soils, water, and air by avoiding harmful pesticides and artificial fertilizers. Through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription, you can support local organic farms. Check out Local Harvest to find a CSA near you.
4. Be mindful of water usage
We're all guilty of leaving the faucet running while brushing our teeth or washing our faces. But, this only contributes to water shortages across the country and the globe. Make sure not to leave the tap running when not in use. You can also install an eco showerhead to help conserve water and wait to wash your clothes until you have a full load.
5. Use reusable shopping bags
Invest in a couple of tote bags for your shopping — this is a simple way to help prevent plastic waste. This can significantly cut down on the amount of litter in the ocean and on land. These reusable bags are made from recycled fiber.
6. Buy secondhand
Buying clothing and other items secondhand can help reduce emissions from clothing production and disposal by up to 24%. And it also provides an opportunity to grab a bargain, find something unique, or even upcycle an item. If you must purchase new, look for sustainable materials, such as econyl.
7. Support sustainable businesses
As a consumer, you can make responsible and sustainable decisions that can drive change. This can be accomplished by shopping for ethical or sustainable brands when buying products or supporting companies that have sustainable certifications.
8. Choose eco-friendly beauty and skincare products
When purchasing beauty and skincare products, look for brands or products that are environmentally friendly. Many products, like LaserAway Beauty City Cloths Gentle Cleansing & Makeup Remover Wipes, are 100% biodegradable. Other beauty and skincare products are also designated as clean, meaning they are safe, non-toxic, and have transparent labeling of ingredients. Check out Clean at Sephora to learn more about eco-friendly brands.
9. Drive less
Did you know that air pollution is the biggest environmental cause of premature deaths in the world? You can reduce your carbon footprint by opting for public transportation, riding your bike instead of taking your car, and carpooling.
10. Insulate your house
On average, buildings generate almost 40% of global greenhouse emissions. You can eco-proof your house, apartment, or condo and drive down energy costs by draft-proofing your windows and doors during the winter and using thermal drapes during the summer.
Green for the win
Protecting the planet starts with you! Remember that every small change you make here and there can really add up. Incorporate the above tips into your daily routine to help support the environment and promote sustainability (and share these tips with friends and family, too!).
- "91 Little Ways to Green Your Life at Home," Apartment Therapy, July 17, 2020.
- "Sustainable Living: 40 Eco-friendly Tips from The Best Experts in The Business," Marie Claire, December 13, 2021.