I used to think that living a green lifestyle was hard or not possible living in the city; but as I've learned, and am continuing to learn, this is far from the truth! Being green doesn't have to be complex or complicated. Sometimes we read articles or observe social media influencers and think, 'I could never do all of that'. And the thing is, we don't have to. There are little things that we can do every single day that can help impact the environment for the better.
Start with these and expand if you so choose. But don' make the mistake of missing out on the things you can do right now, in light of those you may not be able to ;)
Here are some easy ways you can go green today:
Recycle. One of the simplest ways for us to help our planet is by recycling. From conserving energy to decreasing dependency on new resources and reducing waste, recycling helps cut down greenhouse gas emissions and chemical pollution. If you're unsure where to recycle certain things, check out our post on recycling common household items. Bonus: Reuse when you can and reduce your consumption across the board when possible (aka, buy less!).
Compost. We just started composting last week and are so happy (and surprised!) to see that we don't really have any trash. There are so many items that are compostable that I never even knew (e.g., dirty napkins, paper towels, hair, cardboard) so pretty much everything we use now is compostable, or recyclable, or reusable, which feels great! For our fellow Chicagoans, here's how you can compost in the city: Urban Canopy or Healthy Soil Compost. We use Urban Canopy and pay $15/month to have our compost picked up; however, after realizing how much of our trash is actually compostable, we'll be upgrading to their biweekly pickups. They provide the compost bucket and offer pickups weekly, biweekly and monthly, depending on your subscription, and all of it is done on bike! For all of our non-local readers, you can find an organization near you here :)
Get Reusable Bags. Okay, I think many of you are already doing this but if you're not, get on it!! This is one of the easiest ways to help reduce waste, as well as the need for new bags to be produced. I leave a few in my trunk, and one folded up in my backpack, so I always have them on hand because it can be easy to forget. Bonus: I haven't tried these yet as I'd like to do more research to learn where they get their beeswax from, but for those of you who are interested in taking it one step further, take a look at this sustainable food storage company Bees Wrap to swap out your zip lock bags.
Turn Down Your Water Temperature. See, I told you these were simple ;) You'd be amazed how much energy this will conserve. According to the EPA, lowering your water temperature to 120F will not only reduce your energy consumption, but it will also save you 6%-10% on your bill. And you can always turn it back up on extra cold days if you're needing hotter water. For step-by-step instructions on how to lower your water temperature, click here. Bonus: Reduce your carbon footprint even further by shortening your shower by one minute. One minute! This can save close to 3,300 liters of water per year, or enough energy to heat water for 6,000 cups of coffee. Try setting a timer to help you keep track, or if you listen to music while you shower, shorten your shower by one song.
Plant a Seed. Not only will this remind you where we came from and to take care of the environment, it will also allow you to connect with nature. When we're connected with something from the beginning, we're more likely to feel an attachment and responsibility for its wellbeing. Watching that seed grow into a flower or plant and watering it every day, will help serve as a daily reminder as to why it's our job to love and nourish this beautiful earth. Go Green! 🌱
Love + Light,