Now that 2020 is in full swing, we wanted to take note of a few things that can be done to reduce your environmental impact this year. Things that if they are done all year long, will amount to a serious positive impact on the world around you, as well as your mindset and health.
As you read through this list, choose at least a few that will be total Non-negotiable items. Things that you can be strict with yourself on, that will make a big difference in the long run. Don't bend, or say "just this once," because if you're anything like us, once becomes twice, which becomes 50 times before you know it. Stick to your guns. The earth will thank you for it.
1. Take a reusable bag for groceries or other shopping trips. Or if you forgot one, carry the stuff out in your arms....don't take a plastic bag just because you don't want to look silly!
2. Compost your fruit and veggie scraps at home, instead of throwing into the garbage bin. If you have a garden or back yard, have a compost bin and every year you will have nutrient rich soil on hand for all of your gardening projects!
>>Tip: Don't like the smell? Put a small bin in your freezer and throw your scraps in there, and then once a week empty into your outdoor bin. Easy peasy!
3. Refrain from putting produce in plastic bags at the grocery store. Is that extra bag really necessary? If you want to keep things bunched together, use a fabric reusable bulk bag instead.
4. Take a reusable coffee cup with you. If you want coffee while you're out and don't have your mug, either sit in the cafe to drink it in one of their mugs, or go without the coffee. Sometimes its just a matter of thinking ahead to bring the cup, or realizing you'll be fine with a coffee or tea until you get home.
This is one that we've been doing for a couple years now, and it makes so much difference! But remember to be strict with yourself!
5. Getting take out for dinner? Call ahead and tell them that you'd like to bring your own container, save them using single use plastic containers or Styrofoam. Most restaurants are happy to do this, as you're saving them money too!
6. Carpool more. Heading the same direction as your spouse or friend? Share the trip instead of both going at different times. Close to the local shops? Try walking or biking there instead, getting exercise and errands done sounds like a win win to us!
7. This one is super simple, and we bet a lot of you already do this... but use a tea towel at home to dry dishes, wipe up messes etc in the kitchen, and ditch those paper towels. You can use a tea towel repeatedly, then wash and use again.
According to The Green Book, the bestselling guide to saving the planet, we are a paper towel-loving nation: "A decrease in U.S. household consumption of just three rolls per year would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees."
That's insane! Definitely one worth trying this year. Do you have tea towels and kitchen dish cloths at home? Then just don't buy the paper towels and see what happens. I have a feeling you'll be juuuust fine.
8. Remember to go easy on yourself with these, you don't have to do them all all at once, but if you can, choose 2-3 that you want to implement, and stick to them! Every little bit that you do helps, and the earth (and us living here) will thank you for it.
Have a fabulously sustainable 2020, and we'll see you on the streets with that reusable coffee mug! We've got this!