I know from personal experience how hard it is to be eco friendly! But in an area that has no clue about eco friendliness it is even harder! It can present with lots of challenges and bumps in the road. What I have learned is to make sure you pack CONFIDENCE with you! You will get lots of weird looks, looks of confusion, questions and some eye rolls! So if you're not confident in your choices and any of those happen, you will never do them again!
My suggestion is to START AT HOME! That way you can build confidence in your choices and maybe once you venture outside, you can do them with pride!
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
AHHHHH! I absolutely LOVE composting! Anytime I get to talk about it I get excited! Composting is fun and easy! It's one of the easiest ways to reduce your waste, reduce your carbon footprint and supply your soil with some well needed nutrients. It can be done in a variety of places-not just on a farm! There's different methods and there's even an app that you can find a place to drop off your compost called ShareWaste. For gardeners its considered black gold!
Here's my blog post about composting: https://www.sustainableinky.com/post/basic-backyard-composting
2. CHANGE YOUR DIET!
Did you know that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions! At an alarming rate 50,000 acres of forests are cut down DAILY for farmland to produce animal products. You don't have to become vegetarian or vegan, but limiting the amount of animal products helps the environment! If you haven't tried Meatless Mondays, nows the time! It's easier than ever to reduce your consumption of meat and byproducts! Theres so many replacements even cheese and milk!
3. ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT HOME!
You'd be surprised at how much energy you can save at home! Changing your incandescent bulbs to LED use at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer according to energy.gov. Plus having certified energy star appliances will save energy as well. Even simpler things such as line drying clothes, running a full load in the dishwasher will save energy as well!
4. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE PURCHASING!
Do you ever get caught up in all those emails offering you amazing deals, telling you to purchase things before they are gone?! Whoever does the marketing for these companies know exactly how to make you think you need something!
Have you ever purchased something then immediately regretted it or you knew you were going to use it once! Fast fashion is number 2 right behind the oil industry when it comes to being one of the dirtiest! Not only is fast fashion a problem, but also household goods, being influenced into buying a bigger house or better car, etc! Anything considered "trendy" should be a red flag to the conscious consumer!
5. SWITCH TO RENEWABLES!
You might not realize it but clean energy might be easier than you think! If I am able to get it here in Kentucky, anyone can! It just might take some research and perseverance. Some companies may charge a small additional fee on top of your regular charges and some areas you can split 50/50 between clean and "regular" energy. I think its worth the extra $5 for us to not get it from dirty coal plants verses wind power.
6. CUT OUT PLASTIC!
Well, that's easier said than done. First, if I have a choice between lets say a cardboard box or a plastic container, choose the cardboard box. Cardboard, glass and aluminum are much easier to recycle than plastic. Plastics although, valuable are difficult to recycle and are not sustainable since on average (if able to be recycled) plastic can be recycled around 7-8 times before they are deemed unusable.
7. FIX IT!
Think like your grandparents! They never threw anything out and always found a way to reuse items or fix them! Nothing was wasted! In our society its easier and sometimes cheaper to just throw out that old radio instead of taking the time to fix it. Consider mending old clothes, sewing a button that fell off of your shirt, fixing that old appliance.
In our society, we don't have the time to fix these things and its easier to click the "Buy it Now" button to order a new one online. When you fix something, you're given that sense of pride that you fixed whatever that item is! Take pride in what you own!
8. GREEN CLEANING!
This was something I have done for years! I think back to my college days when I was broke! Choices had to be made on what I'd spend my money on! Dryer sheets were first to go. I specifically remember standing there looking at them and thinking I could buy food for that amount of money instead. From that moment on, no more dryer sheets!
Besides dryer sheets, green cleaning is simple, cost effective, better for the environment and you probably have the ingredients in your house right now. Household cleaning supplies are full of toxic chemicals that are horrible for you and your family-not just the environment. Check out my Facebook and Instagram for plenty of recipes.
9. WALK OR BIKE!
This is a super easy swap-IF you live in a walkable/bike friendly area! Its a great way to reduce wear and tear on your car, save gas, reduce your carbon footprint and money! Every gallon of gas you use, 24 pounds of carbon are released into the atmosphere! That right there should convince you to get some exercise and start walking and biking!
10. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD!
What can give you more pride and self sufficiency than growing your own food! Now, this does not mean you need to live on a farm, but it does mean, you can pretty much grow food anywhere! From a New York flat to your well-groomed subdivision! It may involve some creativity, but you can do it! Plus you can grow food all-year long inside! Who doesn't love a garden fresh tomato!?
I hope you enjoyed this post! Get out there and save the world!