I've heard more than once that what I'm doing is great (thank you) but too much work. It is a lot of work, but there are easy things anyone can do to become a little greener without growing your own food, adding solar panels to your roof or buying an electric car. It doesn't have to be budget breaking. Rome wasn't built in a day, one step at a time please.
1. Use Reusable Bags.
Most grocery stores sell them for around a buck a piece. I know quite a few people use them at the grocery store, but what about while shopping at the mall or the drug store?
I have one simuliar to the one in the photo and try to keep it in my purse all the time. I purchased mine at Old Navy years ago. This one is a Flip & Tumble for $9-$12 a piece depending how many you buy. I doubt I spent more than $5 for mine.
These make a great stocking stuffers, too. Both sisters received one.
2. Compost your leaves and grass clippings.
Bins are easy to make and there is NO maintenance or layer recipes. Just perfect dirt in about year. If you are thinking, 'Jamie, you don't know how much leaves and grassing clippings I have?!' I get it. They break down very small and quickly, so you are left with more room than you think. I was surprised mine still isn't full and I've been filling it up for over six months with more than just leaves. You are saving the landfill and you will be getting beautiful dirt even if you don't garden. Need help? Howtocompost.org can help.
Do you bag your lawn clippings? What about just not bagging at all. My mower cuts the grass extra smaller, so I don't need to bag.
3. Use water bottles
|Bobble Filtered Water Bottle|
Don't buy bottled water or paper plates. Think of the water bottles as another accessory. Using water bottles and your everyday china helps to not fill up the landfills. Even office supply stores are selling reusable water bottles with filters. The photo is a Bobble
water bottle that filters the water as you drink. They seem to be the 'it' water bottle. Cute huh?
If you love having a cup of coffee at the coffee shop, ask for a 'here' cup and you get a nice ceramic mug instead of paper cup. Starbucks does this, you just have to ask. Sometimes I even bring my own insulated mug if I'm in a hurry.
Bring your own cup to the office! I bring my glass from home even though they provide disposable cups. Mine holds more, too.
Sadly, even if you recycle, it takes more energy and money to make old products a new product than to take from our earth and make new. (I'm not saying 'stop recycling,' just don't buy the recyclables in the first place)
4. Buy more fresh fruits and veggies AND look for 'local'
Obviously, it's better for you, but you aren't buying extra packaging and many stores now are buying produce from local farmers (in season which took less time and money to get to you). I usually forgo the plastic bags, too. Who needs them!? Local may not be organic, but it's a small step.
Farmers Markets are also fun, but make sure and look for the local sign here, too. Not everything at the farmers market is local. It's such a treat for me to hit up the Dallas Farmers Market. This guy has a fresh corn dish in a cup... to die for! Healthy, it is not.
5. Grow Something Edible.
Herbs are easy if you purchase a small plant and trim regularly. You even get more bang for your buck growing herbs. They are over $2 for a small package of fresh herbs at the store when you can buy most herbs in the container for about $4.
Better yet, grow a few veggies or herbs in containers on the patio in full sun. It's truly a great reward to eat something you grew. I have herbs (rosemary) as shrubs in my front yard!
6. REUSE STUFF!
It's free! It seems like gift bags and tissue paper are an easy one. I have quite a collection. Like the 'green' baby shower I went to, I put my gift in the box my tilapia came in. She also received lots of baby cloths from her friends' that their children can not longer fit in.
Or the bag my oranges came in, it hangs in the laundry area to hold plastic bags. Cleaning out a flower bed? Maybe a neighbor might want some of your extra plants. Most paper sacks are compostable. Other things just need a new coat of paint for a new life. I picked up an old desk on a curb last weekend. I could go on...
There are all kinds of little things anyone can do without breaking the bank to become a little greener. You might be conserving without knowing it. How are you being green?