30 days, 30 ways to reduce your footprint
Easy Ways to Conserve: Hit The (Reusable) Bottle
End your one-use plastic water bottle addiction by investing in a BPA-free plastic container or steel bottle. If you’re worried about your tap water, pick up a reusable bottle with a built-in filter so that you can hydrate your body without hurting the earth.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Tea For Two
If tea time is your 'me time', get more out of each comforting cup by reusing your tes bag about three times before tossing or composting it. Plus, once you’re done with your tea, you can place cool, used bags on your eyes as a soothing compress and to reduce redness and puffiness.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Host A Clothing Swap
If you’re jonesing for a wardrobe update but you want to go green (and save some green), invite your friends to bring over their unwanted items for a clothing exchange. After all, one woman’s trash is another woman’s tres chic. Turn it into a potluck by making hors d’ouevres and asking everyone to bring a dish. Donate any leftover or unwanted clothing to charity.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Send Pests Packing
Just add spice to banish bugs in your garden without dousing your produce in pesticides. Sprinkle ground pepper or red pepper flakes on damp leaves to get rid of chewing insects, or add it to the ground while planting to keep mammals away.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Wrap Right
Ripping open wrapping paper was tons of fun … when you were 8. Now, does it just make you feel guilty? Instead of tossing tons of paper, tissue and gift bags each year, get creative and try packaging gifts sin reusable time like tea towels, scarves, bandanas and more. Your packing will be just as pretty, and it will be even more thoughtful.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Unplug It
Electronic items can still consume energy when they’re turned off, so before you leave the house for the day (and especially if you’re leaving for vacation), unplug ll unused devices. Make this task easier on yourself by plugging several items into a powerstrip. Don’t forget to yank laptop and mobile phone chargers out of the wall, too.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Bulk Up
Pretty packaging might make you want to buy that new brand of cereal, but what you’re really paying for is marketing. Ditch the unnecessary boxes and bags and stock up on staples like oats, lentils, trail mix and more in the bulk foods section of your local grocery or natural foods store. Not only are bulk foods cheaper, but you’ll also be able to buy only as much you need.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Make Paperless Payments
Cut the clutter and save some trees by converting to online statements and payments for as many bills as possible. From credit cards to rent to electricity, nearly every bill can be paid electronically now, so just create email folders for statements and payment confirmations to organise and keep track of your payments. Bonus: come tax time, won’t be drowning in shoeboxes full of paper statements.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Hit The Bottle
Before recycling glass wine and sparkling water bottles, try reusing them as chic water containers for your next dinner party. Thoroughly wash the bottles to remove any remnants of the original liquids, then soak to remove paper labels. Then, just fill up with water, chill and place on your dining table for a bohemian restaurant feel.
Easy Ways to Conserve: DIY Face Mask
Rather than buying heavily packaged beauty products with unnatural ingredients, try making your own avocado face mask. Combine 1/2 a soft avocado, 1/2 a banana, and 1 egg yolk. Mash the banana and avocado, and mix all ingredients well. Massage onto your skin and leave for 10 minutes, before washing your face. Your skin will feel supple and soft.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Use Your Bike And Save
Save gas, money and maybe even a gym membership by walking or biking to work, the grocery store or even a restaurant for dinner.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Save Water When Showering
Half the time in the shower is spent avoiding the water while soaping up – so for big water and energy savings, switch off while you lather up.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Go Boho
Matching dining sets are boooring. Amp up the style factor for your next dinner party by picking up vintage plates, bowls, glasses and tea cups. Check out your local flea market or thrift store and play with colour, shapes and design.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Full Loads Use Less Water
You’ll use a lot less water if you only run your laundry or dishwasher with a full load. Running two half-loads uses twice as much water.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Black and White and Read All Over
Instead of tossing past months’ issues of home, fashion and literary magazines, put them in your gym’s magazine rack. Your fellow exercisers should tank you – new reading material can be excellent motivation to pound out another 20 minutes on the elliptical!
Easy Ways to Conserve: Work In Your PJs
If you can effectively do your job from home, talk to your boss about telecommuting a day or two each week. According to the EPA, leaving your car at home one or two days a week can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. If telecommuting isn’t an option, check out carpooling, public transportation or private ride-share commuting opportunities.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Get Washed Up
Save water by washing only full loads of laundry, and make sure to select the correct load size and use cold water as much as possible. If you’re planning to buy a new washing machine, make sure to choose a high-efficiency model.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Collect Water From Your Bath
If you’re running the bath or shower waiting for the water to heat up, put a large bucket underneath to catch the water. Use this water for plants, pets and cleaning.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Love To Lather
It’s hard to work up a good lather when water is beating down on you, and how can you tell if you’ve missed a spot shaving your legs? Invest in an inexpensive shower head with an “off” button, and get your suds on while saving gallons of water.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Buy Books With A Back Story
Wandering around in a used book store is not only a lovely way to spend an afternoon, but finding an inexpensive copy of a novel you’ve been dying to read? Well, that’s supreme satisfaction. Next time you need new reading material, root around your local used book store and prepare to come home with nearly-flawless hardcover versions for a fraction of a new paperback price.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Get High And Dry
Drying on high heat breaks down the elasticity in fabrics, so prolong the life of your clothes by hanging as many items as possible on wooden racks or drying them outside.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Don’t Lose Your List
You know exactly where your grocery list is – stuck to your desk at work. If you have a smartphone, try emailing yourself your grocery list or making a task list in your calendar. Not only will you save paper, but you’ll save cash by only buying thr items you need.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Go To The Source
Clear up any confusion about where your food is coming from by chatting with farmers at your local green market. Ask farmers about what kind of fertilizer they use, and whether they spray pesticides – you could even enquire about recipe tips! If you are what you eat, you’ll finally know what that really is.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Veg Out
Embrace the Meatless Monday movement and go vegetarian one day a week. In addition to the health benefits of adding more produce your diet, you’ll shrink your carbon footprint. If you’re a hardcore carnivore and need your fix, try meat-like proteins such as seitan or veggie burgers.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Eat Like Your Ancestors
Author Michael Pollan said you shouldn’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as good. So, rid your grocery cart of highly processed, over-packaged foods and kick your diet old school. You’ll see a difference in the way you feel and on your grocery bill.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Bag It
Paper or plastic? Try neither. Some cities are starting to charge for plastic bags, which is yet another reason to keep a few collapsible bags in your car or purse. Bonus: Fabric bags are a lot sturdier and more comfortable (not to mention more stylish) to carry than plastic.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Get Cracking
Share your breakfast with your plants by saving the eggshells from your next omlette and drying them out. Next, blend the dried eggshells in a blender and sprinkle the powdery mixture on your garden to give the soil an extra dose of calcium.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Give A Fresh Start
As your career evolves, so do your wardrobe needs. So, whether you ditched your corporate job or went from business casual to super professional, re-evaluate your work look and donate clothes and accessories you no longer need to a women’s career assistance organisation.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Lighten Your Load
Clean heavy, unused items out of your car to reduce the amount of petrol you’re using. As excited as you might be for a golf session, carting your clubs around all the time is going to cost you and the environment.
Easy Ways to Conserve: Get Creative With Collaborative Consumption
Collaborative consumption is essentially the idea that if members of the community worked together and shared their resources, then we'd all need to buy a lot less. There are numerous collaborative consumption websites that have been set up, to help people share everything from cars, to power tools, to bicycles, to gardening space. You can see 15 of the best collaborative consumption websites here.
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