Practicing What you Preach...Around the Clock
It's easy to practice environmentally friendly habits in the public eye. Most of us think to ask the party host where to recycle our beer cans, get in line for the hand blow dryer at the mall, and refrain from wearing lavish furs to the grocery store for fear of unwanted attention.
What happens when we're alone?
I'd like to challenge you to shift your choices from being socially motivated to being environmentally motivated. This starts with taking a fresh look at your daily routine and identifying wasteful behaviors. Here are a few tips to get started.
1. Going Green at the Grocery Store
Keep your totes in tow! Reduce plastic waste by taking a few reusable bags on your next grocery trip. According to biologicaldiversity.org, Americans use 100 billion single-use plastic bags each year. This staggering figure can easily be diminished by tossing a few cloth bags in the trunk of your car or in your backpack for easy access.
Shop close. Lessen carbon emissions and save time by choosing a food source near your home.
Look for environmentally friendly products with USDA organic and cruelty-free labels. If you can, cut out the middle man and go directly to your nearest farm source.
2. Recycle. Really.
Recycling reduces the need for more landfills (and there are thousands in the United States alone)! If not for sake of protecting our one precious environment, do it for yourself – using recycled materials allows us to save on the consumption of energy, therefore keeping production costs at bay. In short, recycling equates to more money in your pocket.
Not sure what to recycle? Research the recycling regulations and symbols specific to your area. Bonus points if you write these rules on a chalkboard and display it by your trash and recycling bins so your guests know that you value eco-friendly habits in your home.
3. Re-purpose wooden furniture instead of buying it new.
Demand for new wooden furniture means increased supply and fewer trees. Embrace the character in imperfect wood, or make a creative project out of sanding, painting, and embellishing it.
Once you’ve adopted an environmentally responsible practice, vow to stick to it.
Doing a good deed once is helpful, but making deliberate decisions to protect our habitat every day is the best way to effect change.