Though Earth Day started in 1970, and “going green” has become household dialogue, many still overlook simple ways to simplify their lifestyle for clean living. Yet, with environmentally friendly products and substitutes ever on the rise, awareness keeps growing and carbon footprints decrease.
Here are three ways to go greener that weren’t possible just ten years ago:
1. Going Paperless: Internet management and email
Image via Flickr by rosmary
Junk mail and bulging file cabinets need exist no more. As most companies offer paperless billing and account management, there’s no need to receive letters in the mail that destroy millions of trees and clutter counters.
First, opt out of credit card and insurance offer overflow with sites such as OptOutPrescreen.com. In addition, visit DMAchoice or register for the National Do Not Mail List to lessen unsolicited junk mail.
Second, as Filethis.com advises, set up online statements with any insurance, banking, and bill pay. It’s easy to manage, and cuts out the paper rush. You don’t have to choose auto-bill pay so paying is just a matter of singing in online and staying on deadline as you would with paper statements.
Third, when time allows, scan documents to PDFS and shred the paper (recycle where possible). It’s easier to send PDFs for contracts, jobs, etc. Plus, now you can use digital signatures with most technology (Adobe, or the PowerPad Lite App on Apple technology).
Lastly, much technology now eliminates the need for printing. Tablets and digital reading devices make reading books, newspapers, reports, making schedules, and sending contracts all possible on a digital screen.
2. BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags
Most groceries, retail stores, and general pharmacy/general purpose stores offer incentives for purchasing and using their reusable bags. Generally, if you buy one, you can use it anywhere, and still receive payback.
For example, as GoodHouseKeeping.com reveals, CVS pays customers $1 per every four trips in which they use their own bag rather than the store’s plastic ones. That’s covering the cost of the reusable bag in the first place, and earning free money back. What’s not to love? Plus, these bags are great to replace brown paper bags for children’s lunches or your own in-office meal.
If you do have to use paper or plastic bags on errands, remember that brown bags are recyclable, and many groceries, such as Publix, do take plastic bags back for recycling.
3. Green Community Online Info
Image via Flickr by StockMonkeys.com
Between tips on evaluating homes for green-friendliness, lawn care dos and dont’s, and learning about organic foods, the online community resources available to every city, town, etc. make reducing our carbon footprints always a click away.
For example, the University of Florida offers sustainable lifestyle handbooks, and a comprehensive website for total indoor and outdoor sustainability and green conservation information and advice. In addition, Build Direct offers many interior design and home improvement ideas to green-proof a home, such as upcycling and improving insulation.
The next ten years
Make the change to a greener lifestyle–it’s just too easy. In the next ten years, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.