8 green habits to include in your daily routine

We all know it’s important to live a more sustainable life, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start.

The first step is understanding that every choice we make in our daily routine can have an impact on the environment. However, incorporating green habits need not be overwhelming or complicated.

I’m here to guide you through eight simple green habits that you can easily include in your everyday life. These changes won’t just help the planet; they’ll also make you feel good about the choices you’re making.

So, let’s dive in, shall we? Here are eight green habits that you should start including in your daily routine.

1) Reuse, recycle, reduce

We’ve all heard the phrase before, but it’s surprising how many of us forget to incorporate it into our daily routines.

The principle of ‘Reuse, Recycle, Reduce’ is a simple yet effective way to start living green. It involves rethinking our consumption habits and making conscious choices that favor sustainability over convenience.

Did you know that by simply choosing to use a reusable water bottle instead of disposable ones, you could potentially save hundreds of plastic bottles from ending up in landfills every year? That’s the power of reusing.

Recycling, on the other hand, isn’t just about sorting your trash. It’s about engaging in a circular economy where waste becomes resources. Think about donating old clothes or repurposing glass jars.

And finally, reducing. It’s about questioning if we really need to buy something new or if we can make do with what we already have.

Remember, the goal here isn’t perfection. It’s about making small, incremental changes that accumulate over time. So why not start with this habit? You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it can make.

2) Ditch the car

I know, I know. This one can be tough, especially if you live in a place where public transportation isn’t the best. But hear me out.

A few years ago, I made a decision to start biking to work instead of driving. I was lucky enough to live only a few miles away from my office, and the city had just installed some new bike lanes.

The first few days were tough, I won’t lie. But soon, I found myself enjoying the ride. The fresh air in the morning, the exercise, and not to mention, the money I was saving on gas and parking.

Moreover, by ditching my car for most of my local commute, I was reducing my carbon footprint significantly. It felt empowering to realize that my daily choices could have such a positive impact on the environment.

Of course, biking may not be feasible for everyone. But consider carpooling or using public transport whenever possible. Even small changes can make a big difference.

3) Go digital

In the age of technology, we have the opportunity to significantly decrease our paper usage. From digital note-taking apps to online bill payments, many facets of our lives can easily transition from paper to screen.

Consider this: The average office worker in the U.S uses a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year. That’s nearly a tree’s worth of paper per person!

By opting for digital alternatives, we can drastically reduce deforestation and the energy used in the production and disposal of paper. Not only does this save trees, but it also reduces pollution and saves energy. So next time you reach for that notepad, consider if a digital alternative could work instead.

4) Plant-based meals

Switching to a plant-based diet, even just for a few meals a week, can have a huge impact on our planet.

Animal agriculture contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By choosing more plant-based meals, you’re not only promoting your own health but also contributing to a more sustainable food system.

You don’t have to become a full-fledged vegan overnight. Start small. Try incorporating “Meatless Mondays” into your weekly routine or experiment with new vegetarian recipes. You might be surprised at how tasty and satisfying plant-based meals can be. Remember, every meal counts when it comes to saving our planet.

5) Support local businesses

There’s something incredibly rewarding about supporting local businesses. Knowing you’re contributing to your local economy and helping small businesses thrive brings a warmth that’s hard to describe.

But did you know that shopping local is also a green habit?

Local businesses often have a smaller carbon footprint than large corporations. Their products travel shorter distances, reducing carbon emissions from transportation. Plus, they’re more likely to source their materials locally, further decreasing their environmental impact.

So next time you’re out shopping, consider stopping by a local store or farmer’s market. Not only will you be supporting your community, but you’ll also be making an environmentally-friendly choice. It’s a win-win situation.

6) Mindful consumption

This one hit me hard. I used to be a shopaholic, drawn to the latest fashion trends and gadget releases. The thrill of buying something new was exhilarating. But then, I stumbled upon a documentary that opened my eyes to the environmental impact of my consumption habits.

I learned about the concept of “mindful consumption” – being aware of what we’re buying and why we’re buying it. It’s about distinguishing between needs and wants, and understanding the environmental cost of our purchases.

Now, before I buy something, I ask myself a few questions: Do I really need this? Is there a more sustainable alternative? Can I borrow or buy it secondhand?

This shift in mindset hasn’t just helped me reduce waste, but it’s made me appreciate the things I own even more. And the best part? It’s made me realize that happiness doesn’t come from material possessions, but from experiences and relationships.

7) Energy efficiency

Improving energy efficiency in your home is a simple yet effective way to reduce your carbon footprint. This could be as straightforward as switching to energy-saving light bulbs or turning off electrical appliances when they’re not in use.

Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances if you’re due for an upgrade. Although they may cost more upfront, they’ll save you money in the long run through reduced energy bills.

Also, think about the ways you can harness natural energy. For example, during the summer, open your windows to cool your house instead of cranking up the air conditioning.

These small changes add up and can make a significant difference in reducing your environmental impact. Plus, they can help you save money in the process.

8) Educate yourself

Knowledge is power. The more we understand about the state of our planet and the impact of our choices, the better equipped we are to make sustainable decisions. Read books, watch documentaries, follow environmental bloggers, and stay updated with the latest news on climate change.

Remember, education is not a one-time process, but a lifelong journey. As we continue to learn, we can adjust our habits and inspire others to do the same. This is perhaps the most powerful green habit of all – becoming an informed and conscious global citizen.

Final thoughts: The ripple effect

The journey towards sustainable living is a path paved with conscious choices and subtle habits. It’s about understanding that every small action we take has a ripple effect on the world around us.

Consider the humble act of using a reusable water bottle. It may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but multiply that by millions of people and suddenly, we’re saving billions of plastic bottles from ending up in our oceans.

Or think about the decision to bike to work. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you’re also inspiring others to consider greener modes of transport.

The beauty of these green habits is that they not only help protect our planet but also enrich our lives in many ways. They make us more mindful consumers, healthier individuals, and more connected members of our community.

As we move forward, let’s remember that sustainable living isn’t about perfection. It’s about progress. It’s about making small changes, one day at a time, and knowing that these ripples we create can lead to waves of change.

So, as you go about your day, remember: every choice counts. And together, we can create a greener future for us all.

Picture of Graeme

Graeme

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