Becoming environmentally conscious isn’t something that just happens overnight. It’s more of a process or a journey that happens step-by-step. However, as more and more people continue to start living green, the ecological benefits of sustainable living are starting to compound for society. These types of changes don’t happen overnight, but when enough people start deciding to make a difference, it controls the momentum of the narrative of our society. Here are some tips to make your day-to-day life more sustainable…
Try to Reduce Your Paper Usage
Do you go to your mailbox almost every day and walk back inside with a large clump of letters that you then need to dig through? Probably, if you’re like most Americans. And the worst part is that there are very rarely any actual letters, which can actually be exciting to get. In junk mail alone, Americans receive nearly 70 pounds of paper to their house, each year. This adds up to a whole lot of horrible waste and can stop by simply contacting the company that sends the junk mail and asking to be taken off their mailing list.
Likewise, speaking with your bank, utility company, or other financial institutions and asking to go paperless can help you cut back on the amount of paper waste that you generate. If you do use paper, also be sure that you set up your home to make it easy to consistently recycle it.
Switch to Reusable Grocery Bags
We go through an astonishingly high number of plastic grocery bags every year. In America alone, we use about 100 billion plastic shopping bags, every year. Not only is that a lot of plastic that is filling up the landfill, but it also takes a large amount of oil to produce that much plastic. Roughly 12-13 million barrels of oil are needed to produce those plastic bags.
The sad reality about these facts is that a large number of grocery sacks that we use are plastic. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. Using reusable shopping bags can help cut down on the overall number of plastic bags used by Americans, which can make grocery shopping a more sustainable experience.
Find Ways to Reduce Your Vehicle’s Emissions
If you thought the number of plastic shopping bags that Americans use is alarming, then get a load of how much gasoline we burn through. Each year, Americans use over 142 billion gallons of gasoline in just their vehicles. This doesn’t go into heating for houses and businesses either.
This doesn’t mean that you need to push your family sedan into a ditch and buy a Tesla. You can start to cut back on the amount of gasoline that your vehicle needs by doing very simple maintenance on it, such as getting your muffler repaired or getting the oil changed regularly.
Buy (and Use) a Reusable Water Bottle
We’re back to plastic, where around 38 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away each year, as opposed to the 12 billion that are recycled, on average. All of the billions of pounds of plastic waste that ends up in oceans and landfills, every year.
One of the simplest steps that you can take towards going green is to simply buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up when you need to stay hydrated, rather than wasting a totally new plastic bottle every time you get thirsty. Like many other options to go green, this won’t only help you be more environmentally friendly, but will actually help you save money throughout the year.
Opt for Reusable Building Materials
Using plastic is generally a practice that isn’t very green, and yet it is something that we use in nearly every facet of our lives. One example of this is when we are building our homes when plastic composite materials are starting to show up in a variety of home projects. When you’re thinking about diving into a home improvement project, opt to go for wood, or even materials for a salvage yard, rather than using plastic lumber or similar materials. The same goes for when you’re replacing your fencing or your garage door.