Whether you'd like to set a better example for your kids or just keep up with them, living a greener lifestyle is not hard to do, especially if you make small changes over time to get there.
Here's how to start: For every decision you make, consider whether your choice is green. In other words, did you pick an option that has less of an impact on the earth or uses fewer natural resources.
Green Living Tips for the Home
The number one way to live greener is to buy less stuff. Think about everything you buy that gets used only once and then gets thrown away. Then consider alternatives that don't create waste. Still using paper plates and cups? Use real plates and cups instead. Cloth napkins and washable dishrags are good alternative to paper towels. Plastic bags can be replaced with reusable containers. The goal is to make less garbage each week. Here are more tips for reducing your household garbage.
When it comes to cleaning, many families don't like using harsh chemicals or not knowing what's in their household cleaners. You might want to check out the great conversation we had with Cozi readers about their best tips for green cleaning.
And finally, using fewer utilities is a very direct way to use fewer natural resources. Skimping even a little on water use, heating, air conditioning, and electricity helps. For ideas on how to start, see our tips for cutting your utility use.
Green Living Tips for Buying Groceries and Planning Meals
Every day you make choices about what to buy at the grocery store. You might choose what tastes best, you might stick to what's on sale, and if you're really good, you'll consider whether it's healthy for you. But living green means you'd also think about factors like how much packaging is used (do you really need single serve juice boxes or water bottles?), whether the food was imported from a faraway region or produced locally (better), and whether you need to serve meat every day of the week (producing meat uses more resources than growing fruits, vegetables and grains).
If it feels overwhelming, start by choosing the simplest foods—foods with few ingredients, foods without artificial ingredients, foods without elaborate packaging—and then cook at home from whole ingredients whenever possible, and you're on the right track!
Green Living Starter List
- Store reusable bags in your car so you're never caught at the grocery store without them.
- At the grocery store, choose whole foods without elaborate packaging.
- Drive less. Plan outings and errands to minimize miles driven and walk or bike when you can.
- Stock natural household cleaners instead of those with toxic or unknown chemicals.
- Throw away less paper by reducing use of paper plates, napkins and cups.
- Before buying big ticket items do a quick search on craigslist, check yard sales, and ask friends.
- Landscape for your climate: plants in their native zones can thrive without extra watering, fertilizing or pesticides.
See more shopping and to do lists in the Cozi List Library.
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