By Jessica Lee
After celebrating holidays like Earth Day, we all feel the urge to be outside and take care of the earth around us. However, when we look at all of the trash littered on the highways, and all of our coworkers wasting paper on a daily basis, it becomes discouraging. It is hard to jump fully into living eco-friendly. Not all of us can afford to buy electric cars or plant a full garden in our backyards. Maybe you don't even have a backyard! Don't worry though. Here are some simple changes that you can make that will have a big impact in the long run!
Reusable Grocery Bags
For less than a dollar, you can grab a heavy duty reusable grocery bag. Many of us have them, but we forget to use them. Keep them in your trunk so that they are always with you, even if you make a spontaneous grocery store run. Whenever I run into the store for just one or two items, I make sure to tell the cashiers that I don’t need a bag. It takes decades for a plastic bag to decompose, and many animals die from trying to digest the plastic. Think of all the bags you use for your weekly grocery run. Even if you only used reusable bags half the time, the impact would be worth it!
No More Sandwich Bags
We use sandwich bags for our lunches on a daily basis and then when we’re done, we throw them away. While you could try to reuse them a few times, there are way better options than using anything plastic! There are many glass storage containers that are easy to clean and very durable! There are also metal containers, and many of them have section dividers so that you could pack your sandwich, fruit, and pretzels all in the same container! You can find containers like this in lots of different stores, as well as online on sites like Amazon. There are cloth and beeswax wraps that can be used to wrap up a sandwich as well!
Plant Some Plants
If you are lucky enough to have a yard, you have the great opportunity to plant a whole vegetable garden! If you don’t have enough room, there are many windowsill gardens that you could plant to have fresh herbs. If gardening isn’t your thing, there are many organizations that will plant a tree in your name to strengthen forests around the world.
Limit Your Gasoline Usage
With the summer coming up, let’s all try to take more walks and bike rides! If you live in the city, public transportation is a great option. If your only option is a car, try carpooling or hitting all your stops along the way so that you don’t have to drive back and forth, wasting gas. No one likes filling up their gas tank anyway so make it a challenge to use less gas this summer!
Being aware of the problems in our environment is the first step. The next step is to make small changes! Are there any other ways that you are being eco-friendly? Comment below!