I believe in caring for the earth we live on. I believe we are called to be good stewards of what we’re given. To have authority over the plants and animals around us, but I like to think of it as a mutually beneficial relationship instead of a dictatorship. To husband the earth, in effect.
What a cool word picture. I think of how my wonderful husband cares for me, encourages me, loves me, and takes me on adventures with him. He would never intentionally harm me or use me with selfish intentions.
Maybe you’d like to tread a bit lighter on the earth, but you don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you’ve already jumped on that bandwagon a while ago, but need some inspiration.
Either way, here are 25 practical tips for going green, reducing waste, & caring for the planet (and most likely saving money in the process!)
- Stop buying so much crap. Seriously. Stop it. Do you really need it or is it just a good bargain?
- When you do have to shop, bring reusable bags to carry home your purchases.
- Use cold water in your washing machine (maybe splurging for warm with the towels).
- Line dry your clothes. Did you know the dryer alone makes up 1/3 of your utility bill? That’s a hefty amount of energy (not to mention money!) from one appliance.
- Only run your dishwasher when it is completely full.
- Plug your TV, computer, etc. on a power strip and turn it OFF when you’re not using them.
- On that note, unplug other electronic devices and appliances when you’re not using them. Think toaster, blender, stereo, etc.
- Think twice before hopping in the car to run around the corner. Could you walk or ride your bike instead?
- Replace standard light bulbs with compact fluorescents that will last longer and save you money in the process.
- Turn OFF the lights when you’re not using them. And make more use of natural light and candles.
- Make your own coffee or tea at home instead of stopping by Starbucks twice every day.
- If you do splurge at a coffee shop, bring your own mug or travel cup.
- Stop buying bottled water. Invest in a water filter and a reusable water bottle.
- Switch to paperless bank statements and receive them online instead.
- Put a stop to unsolicited junk mail. I can’t even fathom how much paper is wasted this way.
- Start recycling the junk mail you do still receive (along with newspapers, cardboard, plastics, and glass).
- Reduce the amount of plastic you consume in the first place by filling reusable glass containers from bulk bins at the health food store (think spices, flours, nuts, seeds, even laundry detergent and soap).
- Make your own cleaning supplies and nix the chemical filled commercial cleaners.
- Support businesses that are involved in eco-friendly initiatives.
- Support restaurants that compost, recycle, reduce waste, and offer biodegradable packaging.
- Buy your produce from local farmers who use organic or spray-free methods.
- Compost kitchen scraps and use them in your garden, if you have one. If you don’t, give it to a friend that does.
- Shop at thrift stores or secondhand shops for clothes and home furnishings. Also known as up-cycling!
- Plant a tree.
- Send this post to all your friends to encourage them to go green too!
What are your practical tips for going green?