Going green can be intimidating and if done improperly, expensive. But there are simple things you can do every day that will have a big impact on mother Earth and your wallet. Here are 7 autopilot habits that will make your home greener.
Can I be honest for a minute? I’m failing at going green.
Sometimes I take too long in the shower or let food go bad in the fridge, or turn the heat up too high.
As if that doesn’t make me feel bad enough about myself, it’s easy to find someone on Instagram that has perfected all things green and make you feel less than worthy or capable of going green. They’re the minimalist, composting, plastic-free, straw-free, zero-waste, self-sustaining, green thumb perfection that makes you feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start.
We envy they’re patience and diligence in finding the magic solutions to going green.
Especially when you go through a roll of paper towel in two days because your dogs had so many accidents in the house or you don’t have the energy to cut up veggies so you buy frozen ones that come in a plastic bag. Or, my favorite, forgeting the reusable shopping bags, again, because you didn’t put them back in the car after the last time you used them.
Talk about feeling like a failure…
But it’s not ok to beat ourselves up so much. Change takes time, and becoming more conscious of our eco-impact is a lifestyle change. It takes time for it to become natural to think about every move we make. Eventually those changes in habit become regular and we’ve suddenly instilled some green practices in our everyday life without even realizing it.
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Here are 7 autopilot things you can do right now to go green
- Set your thermostat on auto. This automatically turns down your heat or ac when you’re out of the house or sleeping.
- Eat proper portion sizes. This is great for staying healthy, making food last longer aka saving money and reducing food waste.
- Get some fabric napkins and reusable paper towels. I love these go-with-everything, recycled denim & linen napkins or these gorgeous reusable paper towels by greenandhappyshop on Etsy.
- Click the “save ink” option when you print from home and use responsibly sourced paper. Better yet, start going paper-free by opting into receiving your bills by email then downloading them and having a digital electronic system.
- Get a low flow shower head and time your showers. Per this article from USGS, even showers with water-saving showerheads go through 2 gallons of water per minute. It’s so easy to stay in the warm, relaxing shower but remember how valuable water is as a resource. Keep your shower time limited to 1-2 songs on your playlist and work down from there.
- Turn off the water in between washing dishes or brushing your teeth.
- Avoid warming up or cooling off your car by letting it run for 20 minutes before you get in it to reduce emissions. Bundle up and get out your scraper or open the doors for a couple of mintues if it needs to cool off.
Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash
Consider this: is what you’re doing a luxury or necessity?
For example, a shower is necessary for health and hygiene but using it for luxury would be spending 15 minutes in the shower, standing there with the water running because it feels good. Even more, a basic shower is actually luxury for many people in the world and shouldn’t be taken advantage of.
If every single person chose not to use a straw in one day, or a plastic bag, that is over 327 MILLION pieces of plastic saved from our oceans.
Just that one tiny decision made by each person.
Also, remember that nothing has to be done perfectly and you’ll have struggles in areas others won’t, and they’ll stuggle where you excel. In our house, we constantly struggle with disposable paper towels and toilet paper as we have 2 dogs that have multiple accidents in the house every day due to health problems. We’re yet to find a solution that is more environmentally friendly but this is what we’re able to do with our lifestyle. For you, it may be that you’re long showers are self-care or you struggle with portion control in food.
Here are some other posts on going green you may like:
So here’s your reminder (and mine): going green is progress, not perfection.
All we’re trying to do here is live our best life with less impact on Mother Earth and the existing and future generations of humans and animals. Together, our small actions create big change.
What’s been the hardest change for you going green? What’s the most intimidating? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to help you find a solution!