If you’d like to minimize your environmental impact in 2021 and aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas.
Minimize waste in one room of your home. Choosing one area to focus on in your home is a great place to start. Work on minimizing plastic, DIYing some things, and reducing your use of energy and unnecessary items.
Carry reusable bags, utensils and straws.
Reduce plastic and packaging when grocery shopping. Shop the bulk and produce sections on the perimeter of the store first to minimize purchasing the packaged goods in the middle aisles. Be sure to bring your own reusable shopping and produce bags with you to the grocery store.
Swap one disposable for a reusable alternative. Here are some easy swaps: Choose reusable utensils and straws instead of disposable. Air dry your hands when you’re out and use cloth napkins and rags at home. Use a reusable water bottle instead of disposable water bottles. Keep a reusable tote to use for shopping instead of single-use plastic bags.
Wash your clothes in cold water.
Eat less meat. Eating less meat and dairy will substantially reduce your carbon footprint. Committing to eating less meat can take many forms, including opting for a Meatless Monday, only eating meat and dairy on the weekends or opting to be completely vegan. Decide what works best for you!
Watch or read an environmental documentary or book every month.
Switch up your commute. Instead of driving to work or school every day, try taking public transportation, carpooling, biking, e-scootering, or walking at least once a week! Or you can avoid a commute altogether by trying to work from home at least one extra day per week, if your job allows.
Limit the number of new items you purchase. You can do this by checking for second-hand options before you buy something new, or limiting the number of new items you purchase every month.
Startcomposting.This can be done in a variety of settings, including apartments.
Shop locally. This will help reduce carbon emissions and grow your local economy.
Choose organic whenever possible. Organic farms use less resources, protect pollinator bees, prevent air and groundwater pollution, and increase biodiversity.
Skip the“fast” fashion. Fast fashion is inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. Not purchasing fast fashion will help reduce water pollution, toxic waste and water consumption. If you must purchase new clothes, shop local thrift and consignment stores first and prioritize high-0quality, durable and timeless clothing.
Hang your laundry out to dry.Dryers use a lot of energy. Try using a clothes line or foldable rack when feasible.
How to Save Energy During Covid-19
Social distancing efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19 has many of us spending more time at home. Between remote learning, working from home and reduced capacity limits at many businesses, our homes have become schools, offices, restaurants and recreation centers. All of this time at home has increased energy usage. Here is a great resource from The Energy Team at Compare The Marketon how to save money on energy during thepandemic: