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8 Activities to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

Here are 8 easy steps you can take to green up your lifestyle.
Mikkie Mills Nov 11, 2019
It seems like everyone is going green these days. But, what is the best way to approach more eco-conscious living without sacrificing your comfort? Whether you are worried about the environment, the food you eat, or if you simply want to save on utility costs, here are eight easy steps you can take to green up your lifestyle.

Take a Walk

Chances are you don't have to drive everywhere you go. Instead of getting behind the wheel the next time you are running a simple errand, opt to lace up your shoes and hit the road on foot. For stops that are more than a mile or so away, or when you have to pick something up, you might want to try a bicycle.

Drive Electric

If walking or a bicycle are not options, what about trying an electric vehicle? Of course, this may only make sense if you drive where there are charging stations. If not, hybrid vehicles are another fuel-efficient option that can help cut down on your carbon footprint and gas bill.

Go Solar

This can be as big or as little as you want. There are lots of options of you are looking to outfit your roof with solar panels, and some utility companies offer incentives for tieing your panels into their systems. Or, if you are thinking of starting a little smaller, maybe you have an outbuilding that can be run off a small solar kit.

Plant a Garden

Food plays a large part in the green movement. Take a step toward sustainability by planting a vegetable or herb garden. Aim to grow things that you enjoy eating or cooking with to help cut down on waste. It doesn't have to be big either.
Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow several types of edibles in pots or hanging baskets by a window. Community gardens can be a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and participate in a more traditional gardening approach.

Start Composting

Compost may be one of the best things you can add to your plants for their overall health. It conditions the soil and provides nutrients such as nitrogen to encourage growth. Plus, starting a compost bin can make good use of food scraps that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
If you are going for a traditional compost bin or turner, you will likely be limited to fruits, vegetables, and yard waste. However, some specialty systems can also handle dairy and meat products too.

Try Canning

Learning a new skill like canning is a great way to improve your sustainability, not to mention preserve all those local fruits and veggies. If you aren't sure where to start, you might want to consider water bath canning first. It can be used for many fruits and high-acid vegetables like tomatoes.
Or, if you prefer, go ahead and jump right into pressure canning. Make sure you follow approved recipes and recommended procedures to ensure the finished food is safe to store.

Practice the 3 Rs

Learn and practice the three Rs of conservation: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduce your consumption of single-use items, and recycle the ones you do buy. An easy way to get started is by carrying a refillable water bottle when you go out so that you don't have to buy a bottle of water that may or may not get recycled later on.
Don't forget to reuse items you already have, pass them along to someone who could still get use out of them, and think about buying second-hand clothes, furniture, and even housewares when you shop. All of these steps can help cut down on what ends up in the landfill.

Reduce Water Use

A large portion of water use happens in the bathroom, so that is where you can start to cut back. See how long your daily shower takes, and then try to shave a minute or two off that time over the next week. You can potentially save gallons of water a day by doing this. Check for leaks, too. A dripping faucet can quickly add to your water usage.
Not all steps to a greener lifestyle require major changes. For example, you may find you enjoy having a water bottle with you every day. Not only is it good for the environment, but it also helps you stay hydrated.
Fresh fruits and vegetables can offer variety and added nutrition to your diet. These tips can help you start small and see where your new lifestyle leads you.