Today is Earth Day, what day is better for setting some green goals for yourself? No goal is to small when it comes to helping our planet, even small actions add up. Here is a list of some green goals to get you started.
- Ditch bottled water. Bottled water has a big impact and most of it is just tap water that is being bottled and shipped in. If you are worried about the quality of your tap water get a filter, you will still save a lot of money! There as so many great options for reusable bottles these days, my favorite brands are Klean Kanteen, Earthlust, and Lifefactory. I do recommend avoiding plastic bottles which won’t last as long and may give off toxic chemicals.
- Ditch plastic shopping bags. Plastic shopping bags make up a lot of the litter in the world, they are even ending up in our oceans in mass numbers. A lot of energy has to be used to make something you will use for just a few minutes. Reusable bags are stronger, come in many great styles and some stores even give discounts when you bring your own bag! Some stores in Oklahoma where you will find discounts include Native Roots, Whole Foods, and even Target! I recommend skipping the cheap bags you see in some stores and going with good quality ones, some of the cheap ones have lead. Some of the locally owned stores have cotton options that are safe and durable. Other good brands include ChicoBag, Envirosax, and Flip & Tumble.
- Skip straws or bring your own. Straws seem like such a small thing but the US uses more than 500 million disposable plastic straws everyday! That’s a lot of plastic waste! A lot of the time you really don’t even need a straw but if you want one try out some reusable options like glass or stainless steel. I’m a big fan of GlassDharma glass straws.
- Buy from the bulk bins. Many stores like Native Roots, Forward Foods, Whole Foods and Earth Natural Foods have bulk bins where you can buy the amount you need and you can bring your own containers to refill to reduce both food waste and plastic waste.
- Recycle everything you can. Find out what your city recycles and even nearby cities with drop-offs. You can also recycle other items around the state, you can find some suggestions on our Recycling page.
- Install a programable thermostat. Programable thermostats make it easier to be sure you aren’t over cooling or over heating your house. Many now allow you to have several settings. Mine is set to different temps for night, during the day, and during work hours. You can also set a lot of them for vacations and have the house already to a comfortable temperature for when you get home without leaving it on that setting while you are away.
- Buy used. Buying used helps prevent new resources having to be used and keeps things out of the landfill.
- Set up a compost bin. Composting your food waste is simple and a great way to cut down the amount you send to the landfill. Many home improvement stores now carry compost bins for very reasonable prices.
- Drive less. Walk, bike, take public transportation, and carpool whenever you can.
These are just a few tips to get you started. We would love to hear what your goals are for going green this year, post in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Photo credits: NASA Goddard Photo and Video
About the Author
Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and freelance writer. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.