We all want to do our part to save the planet, but let’s be honest – we want it to be as easy as possible. In my Year of Simplicity, I’m trying to streamline everything and I’ve found that these solutions are easy and make me much more eco-friendly.
Make Recycling the easiest option. Three years ago, I took the trash can out of my office. I wanted a reason to get up and move around more and thought this would help me do just that – and it worked. At the same time, I replaced my trash can spot with a recycle bin – and I’ve significantly upped my recycling as a result. Whenever something is the easiest option, you’re much more likely to make it happen.
Buffet saves the day. When you’re entertaining, set up food buffet-style and let people portion off their own food. This will usually encourage them to get what they want and eliminate most food waste. To amp up the eco-friendliness, encourage people to get smaller portions the first time and encourage them to come back for seconds. This will really help to make sure guests only take what they’ll really consume.
Reusable drink containers matter. I carry a reusable water bottle with me everywhere – mostly because I’m very thirsty all of the time. But my reusable bottle has helped me eliminate more than 10,000 plastic bottles from landfills! If it’s hard for you to remember, use my little trick: I bring a bottle in on Monday and take it home on Friday – saves me from remembering and I’m more likely to use my reusable bottles.
Green-thumb saves you tons. I’ve seen so many people use their garden to grow fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. Amazing! This is an item on my goal list – to be a good gardener. The great news is the more you garden, the more you help reduce waste from produce travelling to get to you – and those miles can add up. So even if you can only grow green beans – my mother’s specialty – it’s still worth it. Every little bit helps.
Find your treasures second-hand. I love shopping at thrift stores. You never know what you’re going to find and it seems like a treasure hunt every time. I’ve made it a priority to not purchase any new items for the past year – especially clothing – if I can find something comparable at a thrift store. The items are often less expensive and eliminate excess because a new item isn’t being produced.
Big deals are a big deal. We hardly buy anything in single serving sizes because the cost-per-item is ridiculous. Instead, I buy items in bulk containers and portion off single serving sizes into our reusable containers on the weekends when I have time. This simple switch has saved our family tons of money and has eliminated our single-serving trash from a landfill.
Think about what you can do to be more eco-friendly. It doesn’t have to be big, bold steps – even small, daily changes can make a big impact over time. It’s really easy to get started, just make a plan and stick with it.