Overwhelm, money, complicated and difficult are all words I commonly hear associated with going green. Here is how to go green at home with 7 simple autopilot habits.
I’m failing at going green.
Sometimes I take too long in the shower or let food go bad in the fridge, or turn the heat up too high.
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to find someone on Instagram that has perfected all things green and make you feel less than worthy or capable of going green. They’re the minimalist, composting, plastic-free, straw-free, zero-waste, self-sustaining, green thumb perfection that makes you feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start.
We envy they’re patience and diligence in finding the magic solutions to going green.
But does anyone else feel the guilt when you go through a roll of paper towel in three days because your dogs had so many accidents in the house? Or continuing to buy frozen veggies that come in plastic for the convenience of throwing together a meal during the busy week? Or forget the reusable shopping bags, again, because you didn’t put them back in the car after the last time you used them?
Talk about feeling like a failure…
I’ve been trying to give myself a break and remember I’m doing the best I can. Being more conscious of our eco-impact is a lifestyle change. It takes time for it to become natural to think about each move we make. Eventually, those changes in habit become regular and we’ve suddenly instilled some green practices in our everyday life.
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Here are 7 autopilot things you can do right now to go green
- Set your thermostat on auto. This automatically turns down your heat/ac when you’re out of the house or sleeping.
- Eat proper portion sizes. This is great for staying healthy, making food last longer aka saving money and reducing food waste.
- Get some fabric napkins and reusable paper towels. I love these go-with-everything, recycled denim & linen napkins or these gorgeous reusable paper towels by greenandhappyshop on Etsy.
- Click the “save ink” option when you print from home and use responsibly sourced paper. Better yet, start going paper-free by opting into receiving your bills by email then downloading them and having a digital electronic system.
- Get a low flow shower head and time your showers. Per this article from USGS, even showers with water-saving showerheads go through 2 gallons of water per minute. It’s so easy to stay in the warm, comfy shower but remember how valuable water is as a resource! Keep your shower time limited to 5 minutes to start, or 1-2 songs on your playlist and work down from there.
- Turn off the water in between washing dishes or brushing your teeth. In other words, don’t just let the water run unless you’re actually using it.
- Avoid warming up or cooling off your car by letting it run for 20 minutes before you get in it to reduce emissions. Bundle up and get out your scraper or open the doors for a couple of mintues.
Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson on Unsplash
Consider this: is what you’re doing a luxury or necessity?
For example, a shower is necessary for health and hygiene but using it for luxury would be spending 15 minutes in the shower, standing there with the water running because it feels good. Also when put into perspective, a basic shower is a luxury for many in the world and shouldn’t be taken advantage of.
These simple changes may not seem like much but together they make a big difference.
If every single person chose not to use a straw in one day, or a plastic bag, that is over 327 MILLION pieces of plastic saved from our oceans.
Just that one tiny decision made by each person.
It’s also so important to understand that not all of these habits can be done perfectly. We personally constantly struggle with disposable paper towels and toilet paper as we have 2 dogs that have multiple accidents in the house every day. We’re yet to find a solution that is more environmentally friendly. For you, it may be that you’re long showers are self-care or you struggle with portion control in food.
So here’s your reminder (and mine): going green is progress, not perfection. All we’re trying to do here is live our best life with less impact on Mother Earth and future generations of humans and animals. Together, our small actions create big change.
What’s been the hardest change for you going green? What’s the most intimidating? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to help you find a solution!