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My Simple Plan for Going Green 

EASY WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Article by Jennifer Dowdican

Photography by Diana Tredway

NEWSFLASH! We are in a climate crisis, so now more than ever is the perfect time to jumpstart into going green. We’ve all heard the expression “Go Green,” but what does that actually mean? Simply put, GOING GREEN means taking steps to reduce waste and conserve energy which in return, benefits our planet. Climate change is real, and even as individuals we can have an enormous impact on global warming just by implementing simple changes at home. So let’s get into it!!

Ditch the Plastic

Plastic pollution has become such a global crisis and is affecting our ocean life, wildlife as well as humans. According to Oceana, a garbage truck’s worth of plastic ends up in the ocean every minute. This info should make you sick to your stomach. Not only that, micro plastics are being found in human stool, which means we are ingesting it. Sea life are ingesting plastic from pollution and we, as humans ingest the plastic by consuming fish. These reasons alone should make you want to ditch the plastic.

Plastic-Free Recommendations:

Reusable grocery bags ~ I love these because you can wash after use.

Reusable produce bags ~ these are amazing and greatly reduce plastic use.

Reusable food storage bags ~ we haven’t used Zip-Lock bags in a very long time, and you know what? It was an easy decision!

Compostable garbage bags ~ these are amazing!! These bags break down naturally so no plastic pollution.

Plastic-Free water bottles ~ I can’t plead with you enough. Please stop buying plastic water bottles. Most water bottles have BPA and tap water in them, so it’s a waste of money and your health not to mention they are destroying our oceans.

Eliminate Toxic Chemicals

Eliminating chemicals is a game-changer. Most cleaning products on the market contain toxic ingredients. Not only that, the packaging used is, of course, plastic. Many of these chemicals include sulfates, formaldehyde, ammonia and APEs, which can disrupt the function of our body systems as well as cause cancer.

The good news is that more and more companies are creating safer products for consumers and the environment. Check out EWG-Environmental Working Group and search products for safety.

The plan is to not overwhelm yourself, so I always recommend that as you finish a product, replace it with a non-toxic one. If you choose to ditch more than one thing at a time, good for you!

Products I Love:

True Earth Laundry Strips ~ I love these! Plus, they come in a plastic-free container.

Clean Cut Dish Soap ~ I love this company, and again, this soap comes in a biodegradable box.

Supernatural ~ OK, you guys, this company has my heart! Begin with a starter kit, which includes glass bottles with ethically sourced, non-toxic ingredients from the U.S. You’re going to have fun with this one!!

Be Energy-Efficient

Believe it or not, reducing energy at home can have a positive impact on the environment. By reducing energy use, we reduce emissions from power plants. Currently, most power plants burn fossil fuels and oil, which has a direct impact on our climate crisis. So yes, even as individuals, we can do our part. Here a few ways that you can reduce energy use in your home.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs ~ as consumers, we can save upwards of $300 or more a year just by switching to energy-efficient bulbs.

Take Shorter Hot Showers ~ According to Boston University, the average person in the U.S. uses over 30,000 gallons of water per year. Shorter showers cut back on energy use, and it’s a win-win for all of us.

TURN OFF THE LIGHTS! Does anyone else follow family members around and turn off lights? Let’s make a habit of that because fewer lights on means less energy used!

Lastly, installing energy-efficient appliances in your home will have a positive impact as well.

Opt In for E-billing

Yup, let’s all opt out of snail mail billing and go with email billing. According to Javelin Strategy and Research, if every American household opted out of paper billing, it could reduce solid waste in U.S. landfills by more than 800,000 tons a year and help curb the release of greenhouse gases by 2.1 million tons. THIS IS HUGE!!

Recycle Recycle Recycle

If you’re like me, you probably receive a few boxes a week from Amazon delivery, so make sure to recycle those boxes as well as any fillers they put inside. When companies recycle, less energy is used as opposed to creating materials from scratch.

The more we collectively do our part, the more impact we will have. Honestly, it’s easy to go green. Take it one step at a time. Use up what you have, and start replacing with non-plastic, eco-friendly products. I promise you will feel absolutely amazing about what you are doing. Find out more about climate change at Climate Reality.

Cheers to a healthy life!

Jennifer

Check out more non-toxic products from Earth-conscious companies HERE.

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