For many, the decision to live a life in line with the planet can be sudden. An inspiring movie like An Inconvenient Truth or The Cove can incite the desire to change.
But there are some easy lifestyle habits that you may already do—or can reinforce to get on the fast track to living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Picking up on small, basic habits are gateways to greater consciousness.
Use a carbon footprint calculator to determine individual or household impact. A carbon footprint gives an indication of how much is carbon an individual or household emits per ton each year, based on transportation routines, diet, recycling habits, and energy usage. This is a great starting point to see what kind of changes need to be made.
Animal agriculture is a leading contributor to global warming. The process of producing meat and dairy for wide consumption has a tremendous impact on the environment. From deforestation, to transportation and water usage, reducing our reliance on the animal agriculture industry could be an important step in reversing climate change. Meatless Monday is a great way to get started with a plant-based diet.
Organic food is produced using limited chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. While some are reluctant to choose organic food because of the cost, choosing organic has health benefits as well. Organic foods do not contain food additive and have also been known to have higher nutrient levels and less pesticide residue. Rather than feeling pressured to convert your entire pantry to organic and natural purchases overnight, begin by just buying organic versions of the foods that have the highest rates of residual chemicals. These foods include potatoes, peanut butter and peanuts, ketchup, apples and milk.
Buying organic clothing can be expensive but gradually incorporate these eco-friendly options when able. Shopping for thrift and vintage clothing
Try to keep all clothing for as long as possible or at least ensure that they will have a second life by donating to organizations like the Salvation Army or a local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sell old clothing on eBay.
One of the quickest ways to green your home to switch to Compact Fluorescent Lights, or CFLs. Relatively inexpensive, they are available at any home good store. CFLs help save energy—and money.
Bring reusable totes to the grocery store. In recent years, they have become readily available for purchase at grocery stores. When shopping for clothing, use old shopping bags.
Composting is the process of recycling organic materials like banana peels, coffee grains and scraps of paper into a natural fertilizer. Composting cuts down of the amount of material that ends up in landfills.