As the year 2023 gently approaches, let’s look ahead to how as individuals, we can each do our part to live sustainable lifestyles and incorporate positive eco-friendly actions into our everyday lives. This New Year eco-friendly checkup does a household run through to see how many green measures you are already implementing and where some further changes could be incorporated. Each new year brings with it feelings of hope, fresh starts, and desires to live healthier eco-friendly lives. Let this guide here help you reduce your carbon footprint and include positive eco-friendly actions in your new year’s resolutions.
The Biggest Eco-Friendly Game Changers
Incorporating one or all of these eco-friendly habits will put you in the top 5% of eco-conscious households.
- Consume more vegetarian meals– this will reduce the amount of land, water, and oil resources that humans consume and the amount of pollution that it would otherwise cause.
- Line dry your clothes– saves money, saves fossil fuels, and is better for the environment.
- Use solar instead of fossil fuel in the home.
- Filter your water instead of buying plastic bottles of water- will stop the use of petrol in making plastic bottles, and the USA has some of the safest drinking tap water in the world.
- Quite Fast Fashion- the fast fashion industry is one of the most polluting and unethical industries in the world. To make the switch shop instead for high-quality fabrics, shop second-hand stores, or opt for sustainable fashion brands.
- Drive less, cycle more wherever possible. Learn to plan your local errand runs on a bike, a long walk, or other non-fossil fuel methods. Not only is it better for the environment, but you’ll feel good getting an extra bit of exercise!
HOW TO GREEN YOUR KITCHEN HABITS
According to the EPA, the average person generates 4.9 pounds of waste each day, with most of it ending up in landfills. Let’s take inventory of your eco-friendly kitchen habits to start. Listed are the many ways you can be more eco-conscious. Let’s see how many actions you already have in place and if there are additional ones you can add.
Bulk shopping- By shopping in bulk you are reducing the amount of packing that goes from the store shelf into the trash. You can use the bulk method for much of your pantry staples: beans, grains, flours, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits for example. Bring your own reusable containers (if these include the weight on them another bonus). Bulk also applies to liquid items, cleaning items, personal hygiene items, and body care products. This app on the Zero Waste Home website lets you enter your zip code and will give you a listing of near stores to fund bulk purchasing.
Cleaning Products– for a safer household and a healthier planet, change out your cleaning products from commercial brands that contain toxic chemicals. There’s no need for these toxins to get your home clean. Eco-friendly cleaning products you can buy or make yourself are much better options and a great new habit to incorporate for your new year eco-friendly resolutions.
Cloth napkins- a pretty simple eco-friendly step you can take is to use cloth napkins in your home versus ones made from tree pulp that is also chemically treated and bleached white. One-time-use products are never a positive thing for our environment. Cloth napkins are even more sustainable when you make them from upcycled fabric.
Composting- Once you start collecting your food scraps you might be shocked to see how much would normally go into the trash. Composting is one of the biggest New Year’s positive eco-friendly habits you can make. Many cities across the nation are even offering curbside compost pickup nowadays. There are a variety of ways to collect composting items in your kitchen, from countertop models to simply delegating a collection bag in your freezer that you empty once a week.
Cook from scratch- Save all the packing from your prepared and processed foods for one week. You’ll be astounded at how much waste is generated from packaging alone. Taking a few hours on the weekend to do some batch cooking for the week can positively impact the amount of garbage you no longer generate from purchasing packaged food in a very large way. Not only does cooking from scratch dramatically reduce waste, but it also saves you money and most likely will give you healthier meal options. Try your hand at making the things that come in plastic packaging: yogurt, ice cream, spreads, and salad dressings for example.
Food packaging replacements- this is one more one-time-use stuff, plastic wrap, plastic sandwich bags, and wax paper. If you don’t have them in your kitchen you won’t use them and will find other ways to manage. Aluminum foil can be recycled if it is clean and dry and rolled into a ball at least as big as a baseball. Instead of one-time-use products, get creative with jars and other reusable food containers. There is also the option of buying beeswax food cover products (replacing plastic cling wrap).
Paper towel replacements- one-time-use anything is not eco-friendly. So replace your paper towels with some homemade cotton rags from old t-shirts, towels, or sheets (polyester and other synthetic fabrics don’t absorb). Measure about an 18-inch-by-18-inch piece for the most convenient rag sizes.
Reusable containers- With your new eco-mindset and new year eco-friendly habits, bringing reusable containers with you whenever you go out to eat can become second nature. Be proud to not take part in one-time-use wasteful takeout containers. If you want a meal to go, you can ask for it served on a plate and then transfer it to your own takeaway containers. Additional reusable actions you can take it to make sure you always bring your cloth shopping bags with you whenever you go shopping, any kind of shopping, grocery, or gifts or anything else.
Sustainable sponges – did you know that all kitchen sponges, unless you have one from the sea or sustainably made, release microplastics into the water system? Replace your kitchen sponges with ones made from crushed nut shells, loofahs, and many other creative and sustinable ideas. To extend the life of your current sponge, wet it and place it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
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