Green living often comes down to the little decisions you make on a day-to-day basis. From minimizing your energy use to creating less waste, there's always room for improvement. If you're looking for ways to live in a more eco-friendly manner, avoiding these five items is a good place to start.
Item #1: Plastic shopping bags.
They end up in landfills, harm wildlife, and they're completely unnecessary thanks to the invention of reusable shopping bags! If you're still using plastic bags for your groceries and other goods, purchase a few reusable bags during your next shopping trip. Keep them in your car so you always have them when you need them.
Item #2: Clothes dryers.
You may not want to get rid of your clothes dryer entirely in case you need it to dry a last-minute item before work. But on a day-to-day basis, it really is an item to avoid using. Clothes dryers use a lot of electricity, and you can dry your clothes with no extra power at all if you hang them on a drying rack near your heating vent.
Item #3: Bottled water.
Buy yourself a couple of refillable bottles and a good water filter. There's really no need to create endless piles of waste by buying single-serve bottled water. If you like flavored water, look for a water bottle with a little infuser insert where you can put a tea bag or cut-up fruit.
Item #4: Harsh chemical cleaners.
Almost all household messes can be cleaned up with earth-friendly baking soda or vinegar. Vinegar naturally removes dirt and bacteria from hard surfaces and also makes an earth-friendly window cleaner. Baking soda is an amazing deodorizer and scrubbing agent for caked-on grime.
Item #5: Plastic food storage containers.
Plastic will never break down in a landfill, and many plastics give off compounds that may be dangerous to humans and pets. Opt for glass storage jars instead. You can even re-use old mayonnaise and jam jars to cut back on waste.
Item #5: Non-stick coated pans.
Non-stick pans may emit harmful fumes and even leech dangerous chemicals into your food. Stainless steel or cast iron pans are a greener, safer choice.
If green living is your goal, make sure your energy is coming from a green source, too. Learn more about green energy in our post "What Exactly is Green Energy: 4 Facts to Know."