If you are reading this, you probably care about the environment. But even if you do make an effort to reduce your carbon footprint and live a green life, you are human and there are some not-so-green habits that are hard to change. Instead of feeling guilty, follow these tips to stop repeating the same green sins.
1. “Bottled water is so convenient!”
We all know plastic bottles are bad. They use a lot of energy when created, they fill up landfills, they take forever to break down… Plastic bottles are bad. And yet, the convenience of being able to buy a bottle of water whenever you are thirsty is hard to give up. The only way to change it is with a reusable bottle. Find one that is made out of stainless steel or BPA-free plastic. They come in many different sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs. And if you don’t like the hassle of cleaning, find one with a wide mouth, that will make clean up easier. Get in the habit of carrying your bottle around and using it instead of plastic cups.
2. “Energy-saving bulbs are so ugly”
Compact fluorescent bulbs save an incredible amount of energy. Trading some of your incandescent for fluorescent bulbs can prevent the emission of 400 pounds of greenhouse gases. That’s nothing to scoff at, and yet fluorescent light can be so depressing. The good news is that not all bulbs are created equal, so you just have to shop around to find the shape, size, color and brightness that works best for you.
3. “I know batteries are bad, but it’s so much easier to throw them out”
Recycling batteries is one of those things where we can’t compromise. They are incredibly dangerous and contaminate absolutely everything. And yet, some times we all end up hiding a couple of batteries at the bottom of our trash bags. That’s bad. The good news is that recycling batteries is getting easier by the hour. Just Google recycling places near you and you’ll see that you can take your used batteries to a lot of places, including your favorite grocery store, and they will do the recycling for you. And, of course, invest in rechargeable batteries. They are recyclable too and they last so much longer.
4. “I can never bring myself to carry around a market tote”
Plastic bags are so wasteful, and carrying a reusable cloth grocery bag will prevent a lot of waste. But it’s so hard to remember to bring it whenever you go to the market. The solution is to buy a couple of totes you like and keep them in your car. If you don’t drive, buy those totes that fold up into tiny pockets and keep them in your purse or regular backpack. You will always have them with you, and you will barely notice they are there.