5 Simple Things You Can Start Doing Now to Live Greener


Green pasture and blue sky

We all could be a little more conscious about the environment we live in and the effects our lifestyles have on it. Try to incorporate these 5 easy ways to help protect the environment into your daily life. Every little bit helps!

Use Natural Household Cleaners
Conventional household cleaners contain chemicals that can harm the environment and you as well. Just like food, if you can’t pronounce it what’s on the label, it would probably be a good idea to step away. Studies show that common disinfectants contain many toxic substances, such as formaldehyde. The contaminants in household cleaners contain VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which are gases released by these chemicals. They are known to cause a host of health problems.

Instead, use a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part hot water. Vinegar kills most germs and the strong scent freshens the air, and then fades away when it dries. Add the vinegar and water to a spray bottle and clean away.

Turn Off the Water
It’s as simple as that. Turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth. Turn it off as you scrub your face if washing at the sink. And even turn off the shower as you lather your body up with suds! Ladies, turn off the spigot when you’re shaving your legs, too. Chances are, you’re already avoiding the water right now to keep the shaving gel on your legs. Guys – if you shave at the sink, leave the water off and only turn it on to rinse the razor when it gets too full of shaving cream.

Start Composting
If you don’t eat it all, don’t toss it in the trash! That leftover food can be very beneficial! Don’t have a garden? Now’s the time to start one and use your leftover food scraps to nourish the soil. If you have a secluded corner of the yard, start dumping it there, or if you prefer not to take out your compost daily, buy a small trash container with a lid (it’ll get stinky as the days go by) and take it out every couple of days or so. Even if you don’t have a garden full of vegetables, chances are, the flowers decorating your landscape could use a nice dose of compost goodness.

Reuse Your Take-Out Containers
Ordered some chow mein last night and it came in that nice, white plastic container with the pretty, clear dome lid? You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones you probably tossed in the trash last time! These containers have several uses, and not just for food. Of course they can be washed, saved and reused to take last night’s leftovers for lunch the next day. They can also be used to store small items in the garage like screws, nuts and bolts, or in the craft room for items like buttons, small sewing notions and/or beads. The paper ones with the wire handles could be the spotlight of the kids’ next craft project. They can pain them crazy colors or decorate them with buttons or stickers.

Locate a Recycling Center in Your Area or Use Your Recycling Bins
I lived in an apartment complex once that did not participate in a recycling program. At first, we just dumped everything in the trash because we didn’t know where the closest recycling facility was located. After a while, our consciences got the better of us. We had to find the nearest facility, even if it meant saving trash bags full of metal cans, paper goods and plastic containers in our cramped little garage until we had time to take them to the recycling place. If you already have recycling bins provided to you by your neighborhood, make use of them! If you don’t know when the recycling truck comes, most likely your neighbor does, or you can ask your homeowners’ association.

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