Sometimes doing a solid for the environment is much easier than planting a forest or making your own compost. Here are a few completely doable environment-friendly activities that will be just as enjoyable and good for YOU as they will be for our planet.
1. Weekend errands? Go by foot or bike!
For many of us, our office is too far to get to by walking or cycling, and some errands require trunk space, or maybe you don’t have the time to spend walking to all your chores all day long – I get it.
But try setting aside an errand or two each weekend (when you DO have ample time for a journey by foot or bike) that will allow you to ditch your car. Chances are, even if you don’t live in a super dense city neighborhood, your pharmacy might be close enough to walk to when you need to pick up a prescription, or you might be close enough to your gym, favorite breakfast joint, or your local park (picnic, anyone?) to get there on a bike. Put on some headphones and enjoy a bit of music and sunshine while you walk, then pat yourself on the back for reducing your carbon footprint just a little.
2. Try a candlelit evening.
I will probably mention candles in everything I write, just calling that out now.
But really, fake a power outage as you’re sitting down to dinner maybe once a week, shut off all the lights (or even all the electronics if you’re hardcore), and light a mess of candles. They really put off more light than you’d expect, but the dimness will also help you wind down and mellow out before bed.
As an added perk, sitting down to your evening meal sans electronics (or maybe just with some music) will encourage you to eat more mindfully. Eating more slowly and taking time without distraction to fully enjoy each bite can really help you recognize when you’re feeling full, and thus avoid the inclination to overeat.
3. Fill up those washing machines.
This one is easy if you’re as lazy as I can be, but still no less good for the environment.
Clothing and dishwashing machines are big energy guzzlers, so make sure you’re filling them to capacity (but not over-filling –– that’s bad news) before each cycle. If you’re already saving up your laundry and packing dishes in the washer like it’s a game of Tetris, then good for you, you’re already doing it right.
4. Nix the fast food trash.
Nix the fast food, period, honestly. If you need one more reason to quit eating junk (looking at you, Del Taco right across from the office), think of all the greasy trash you end up leaving behind with each meal. What sort of trash do you occasionally (or frequently, as the unfortunate case may be) see littering your community’s streets? I don’t know about you, but I notice things like discarded McDonald’s cups more than anything. Let’s not add to it.
The convenience of to-go food is undoubtedly nice, but do yourself and the environment a favor and opt to spend a bit of extra time throwing together a sandwich or wrap (or that stylish mason jar salad you saw on Pinterest) to bring for lunch — then put it in a plastic container or sandwich bag, which you will then reuse until you can’t anymore.