New year 2022 is around the corner and everyone's looking for a great start of their year. Here is a few small and easy changes you could make to achieve a healthier and environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Remember there's nothing too small in terms of impact. Even if you end up making one of these changes in your lifestyle, that is something. Imagine if everyone else does the same (most probably the people around you are going to get inspired), the impact gets bigger.
Read on to learn more.
Build a better community around you
Being environmentally friendly is not just about the materials we use and how we dispose them off. It's also about building a healthier living environment around you. An act of kindness will just do that. Saying a warm "Hello, how are you doing?" to a stranger leaves a very positive impact on them.
Let's give your neighbors a helping hand when they need it. This not only makes them happy, it can also boost your feelings of confidence, being in control and happiness.
What's even better is that the person who receives your kindness will most probably do the same to others and so on, hence you are making a for-reaching impact.
Help your neighbors
Here are a few examples but there's a lot more you could do and trust me that will make you happy.
- If it snows in your area, help your neighbors shovel their cars and clear their pathways or sidewalks etc.
- Especially look out for older neighbors needing your help. Remember you are going to get to that age one day and what you give away now will definitely come back positively one way or the other.
- Help someone get their groceries inside from their car.
Spend some more time with your friend(s) and family
Someone has a birthday soon? You know what could be a better gift for them? Your time! Visit them on their birthday if possible and spend a day with them, helping them with some stuff at home. This will surely go long way.
Waste less food, donate more
Especially in parties where food is served in big containers, try to get less food in your plate. You can always go back and get more if you are still hungry. But if you fill your plate to its corners all at once and end up eating only some of it, the left-over will go to waste.
This for sure is not the only source of food waste, but let's stop wasting it this way at least and donate more food to the needy people. The left over food that's not touched can be donated to food banks.
Save more water and energy
Washing dishes and hands with less water
When washing dishes or hands, there are two ways to do it:
- Running the tap at its full flow all the time, even while you are applying the soap or detergent.
- Slowing it down to a lower level, or using a flow controller to reduce the water flow. You can also shut it while applying the soap or detergent.
Both ways are equally efficient but use the second one as that uses less water. You will save some money on your water bills.
Save water while getting shower
Preferably use a shower flow reducer. Also turn it off when applying shampoo or other body care products before rinsing them again.
Use less hot water
This will surely save you money on your energy bills. When washing hands or in shower, you don't have to use scorching hot water. Start mixing up more cold water. A cold water shower increases the blood flow, calms your itchy skin and has multiple other health benefits.
The sun shines everywhere right? So why not use its energy when we have the ways to do so?
Use a solar power bank
Even small gadgets end up consuming a lot of energy if you have a handful of them at home. Charging them with the solar power will save some of that energy.
If you don't have a solar power bank already, you can buy one here on goosavvy.com. It supports multiple devices and can also be charged faster with a USB cable when it's not enough sunlight.
Find more solar powered products here.
Install solar panels at your home if possible
Who wouldn't love free electricity? Begin with a smaller solar panel that can help charge your electronic devices and run small fans too.
Plant more trees
Planting more trees is the most eco friendly thing to do. Watch out for plastic plant starters though when buying small plants. Look for planters made from wood pulp or get the paper based ones.
If there's no choice and you end up buying the plastic plant pots or starter, make sure to recycle them properly and do not put them in trash. You could reuse them in the following season too if you store them properly.
You could also donate to National Forest Service to plant trees for you.
Use compostable plant starters
If you are into growing plants from seeds, you can use the below pictured biodegradable seed starter pots. Buy them here. They are compostable and the decompose themselves as the plant grows, so no need to worry about the waste or having to recycle.
Start avoiding single-use throw away plastics
Small and single-use plastics have become an integral part of our lives and most of that plastic ends up in land fills, oceans etc. Let's start avoiding them today as it's not difficult to find reusable and durable alternatives.
Get a re-usable cutlery set
Carry a reusable set with you on your hiking and camping trips. It would be a good idea to take it to the parties too where we use and trash a lot of plastic cutlery. Buy reusable bamboo cutlery set here.
Request to use your own container when getting take out food
When buying takeout food, carry and request to use your own reusable container. Don't be shy, give it a shot. This way you will avoid the plastic containers you get with the food from restaurants by default. You can use your regular lunch box for this purpose. Buy one here.
Carry your refillable water bottle or tumbler
It feels so convenient and easy to pick a plastic water bottle on the go. But this is one of major sources of plastic waste because these bottles do not mostly get recycled.
Let's get used to carrying our own refillable bottles and start avoiding the plastic. Buy it here if you don't have one already.
Start carrying a reusable shopping or grocery bag
Plastic bags, sigh, every time we do groceries we get a handful of them and they mostly end up in our trash bags. Here are a few ideas to deal with them.
- Let's start avoiding them at first place. It's not hard to fold a reusable bag and put in your pocket or in your car. Also, prefer going to local farmers markets to buy loose produce and carry it in your own bag instead of visiting the big brand stores that give you the same in pre-packed plastic containers. Buy reusable grocery bags here.
- What about existing plastic bags I already got? Well, the best way is to fold them and store them for a possible future re-use (e.g. might help carrying something out).
Paper towels: Stop using them for household cleaning at least
Currently, the biggest amount of solid waste is paper (23% of total annual solid waste as of 2018 according to US EPA data).
Let's try to reduce this waste. You will save money as well as trees.
Replace your kitchen paper towels with cloth towels
Those kitchen paper towels are not just used in kitchen, we use them in all sorts of cleaning and wiping in our homes. Kids drop a piece of food on floor, we tear a sheet of towel apart, wipe it and dump it in trash bin. So easy huh?
How about using cloth towels for the same purpose? A little extra effort could go long way. Keep multiple clean cloth towels handy, use them and wash them for a reuse. You can buy them here.
Give up on plastic toothbrushes
Around 1 billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away in the US every year. How about switching to a bamboo toothbrush? Natural material is better anyways and it's not hard to find those wooden toothbrushes anymore. Get your pack here.
Finally, start watching for what's going to the trash bin
Dropping something in trash? Give it a second thought to see if it can go to the recycle bin. A lot of recyclable waste is not recycled because it mostly ends up in trash instead of the recycle bins. With a little extra effort, we can reduce the waste and increase the recycling.
Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading and have a great start of your new year. Happy New Year!
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