I used to think “going green” meant changing your whole lifestyle. Ditching the car, never using a plastic bag and only buying products that are recyclable and eco-friendly. While all of these things are great for the environment, I found that it isn’t necessary to change your whole lifestyle and habits in one day. Instead, small adjustments and changes can make a difference and are much easier to do! It can also be fun, rewarding and most of the time even save you a little bit of money! The great thing about it is that you can put as much effort in it as you want and still be making a difference, no matter how small!
- Reusing plastic bags! Not only are you helping keep plastic bags from trashing your city or ending up in a landfill but you are also saving money on common household expenses like small trash can holders or a doggy bag. Jillee at One Good Thing shares 60+ ways to reuse those plastic bags! If you want to step up your re-use game you can buy reusable bags when shopping- some stores will even reward you for it and give you a discount! It can also be a cheap, easy and memorable souvenir to buy when traveling. Check out the one I got in Paris this summer!
- Shopping at used clothing stores! Check out the article from EcoWatch- which talks about how the fashion industry is the second dirtiest industry in the world. Every piece of clothing you buy at a used clothing store is one less that is produced! While technically buying clothes isn’t free… it is usually much cheaper than your average clothing store. Plus you can find some pretty unique clothes! A few of my favorite pieces are from Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange and Goodwill. Check out your local stores today!
- Volunteering at your local environmental organization. If you have never volunteered before you have to try it! For me, I have always met great people, had fun then felt great the rest of the day because I did something good. It is also a way to find out what you are really passionate about. Once I started volunteering for Friends of Lafitte Greenway I became more passionate about access to public transportation throughout New Orleans. Plus, if you are a student, volunteer work looks great on a resume!
- Recycle! Recycling can be a pain and sometimes even expensive if you sign up for curbside pick up. Instead, check out your local recycling drop off stations! In New Orleans they have a monthly drop off date to bring paper and plastic. A month seems like a long time but just keep a separate bin for paper and plastic! I promise, you will feel good knowing that you aren’t contributing to the excessive amount of waste in landfills. Plus, it is free!
- Lower that electric bill and open some windows! I may not speak for everyone but growing up I was privileged and maybe a bit spoiled with the use and reliance of AC. It wasn’t until I started traveling abroad that I realized AC really wasn’t a necessity, especially when it wasn’t an inconvenience without it in the middle of the summer in France! Now, I try to open up more windows and keep the AC off. Results? Cheaper electricity bill. Now I can’t even tell the difference when it is on or off!
If you have any more ideas on free ways to go green comment below!