3. Ditch the Bottled Water
Yes, you should definitely be drinking water, but you shouldn’t let your hydration habit kill the planet. Bottled water is a double negative: the plastic used to make the bottles is made from petroleum, and most bottles end up in the trash instead of recycling.
A more environmentally and wallet-friendly solution is to buy a water filtration pitcher or a reusable filtered water bottle. This ensures that you can guzzle all the filtered water you need in a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way.
4. The Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
This tip almost goes without saying. Almost. Western countries are known for excessive and wasteful consumption; Americans alone create 4.4 pounds of waste each per day. You can change this by actively reducing how much you use; be conscious of what you buy and use, don’t use products with excessive packaging or other wasted materials.
Take time to reuse whatever you can, like plastic bags, paper bags, and water. Whatever you can’t reuse, make sure you either compost or recycle.
5. Unplug When Not in Use
Powered down electronics and appliances still use energy when they’re plugged in, known as vampire or standby energy, and can not only drain your wallet, but also waste fossil fuel generated energy. Appliances and electronics such as your TV, home computer, printer, coffeemaker, cell phone charger, and internet all use energy even when they’re turned off. The only way to avoid this is to unplug your appliances and electronics when you’re not using them. Is this a pain? Yes, but it’s definitely less painful than long-term CO2 emission. Oh, and don’t forget to recycle your electronics when you’re done with them.
Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be a painful, life-altering decision. There are plenty of little, everyday habits you can change in order to “go green.” If you feel like committing to all five of these steps is too much, try taking them one at a time.