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I don't know about you, but for me, there's a fine line between living a life that's detrimental to our environment and living the life of a paper bag princess. It's just the world we live in. But it doesn't have to be.
If everyone would just make a few small changes in their day to day activities, our world would be a way better place. So today I'm lining out 10 simple things that I do (and you can too) to be more environmentally-friendly.
1. Plant trees with Ecosia (free).
Ecosia is a web browser I recently discovered and absolutely love. They are an eco-friendly company who uses the ad revenue from their site to plant trees where they are needed. You can use it on virtually any device and you can use it in conjunction with your chrome browser by downloading the Chrome extension. Help plant a tree by searching with Ecosia today.
2. Use reusable shopping bags (inexpensive).
3. Recycle, recycle, recycle (free).
Recycling is 100% free to do and you can start doing it right now. Where I live, it's mandatory to recycle. But if you live in a city that doesn't require you to recycle you can still search for recycling stations and recycle on your own. And if you really get into it—bring a recycling bin to your work to help inspire your co-workers to be more eco-friendly.
4. Stop using plastic straws (inexpensive).
There are a couple of things I want to point out here. First, if you haven't watched the video of a turtle getting a plastic straw pulled out of his nose, click there. Hopefully, that will begin to open your mind a little bit and get your using more environmentally-friendly products.
The second thing I want to point out here is that it's not just plastic straws you should stop using. It's also plastic water bottles and paper coffee cups. You can't recycle these things, they are just a waste of paper and plastic, and they'll probably end up in the ocean hurting some poor innocent animal.
5. Replace paper towels with microfiber cloths (inexpensive).
6. Ladies, consider a diva cup (inexpensive).
Millions of tampons and pads are thrown out each year into a landfill. Since you can really recycle them or use them in a composting pile, consider getting a diva cup. It’s an all natural silicone cup that you use for your menstrual cycle. This way you don’t have to spend money every month on pads, tampons, and wipes and you get to help the environment while you’re at it.
7. Unplug things when you're done with them (free).
When you leave things plugged in and turned on, you're essentially using up power for no reason. Go ahead and unplug things when you're not using them (even if you have smart plugs) and turn your computers, tablets, and televisions off. This will help you save some money on your energy bill and it's less harsh on the environment.
8. Go paperless (free).
I don’t know about you but I hate getting a ton of mail that I’m just going to end up throwing away after I open it anyway. So I did myself (and the environment) a favor when I switched all my statements over to paperless. It’s really not that different from receiving it in the mail. It just gets sent to your email and if you really need a hard copy you can print it out at home.
9. Donate items (free).
Instead of throwing things away, why not donate your old items to a charity or a family in need? This way they don’t end up in taking up unnecessary space in some landfill. Or another thing you can do is consign your items so that you get a little bit of money in return for them.
10. Conserve water (free).
Remember how we talked about unplugging things you’re not using when you’re finished with them? Another thing you can do to be more environmentally-friendly is to conserve your water usage. A lot of people let the water run while they're washing the dishes or brushing their teeth when they don’t really need to. Get in the habit of shutting the water off when you aren’t using it.