’Tis the season for resolution setting (and hopefully achieving) so what better way to talk about ways to decrease your carbon imprint! The world is scheduled to end in 2050 if we don’t get our acts together. While I’m trying not to have major Chicken Little moments, I AM making sure I do my part in sharing simple ways to go green and decrease your carbon imprint.
10 Eco-Friendly Resolutions
1. Change your lightbulbs to energy-efficient bulbs.
There have been a lot of advancements in energy-saving light bulbs. We used to have not many choices, but now we have a bunch to include in lighting our homes and places of business!
These bulbs have capsules inside that hold gas around the filament increasing bulb efficiency. The Halogen incandescents meet the minimum energy-efficient options AND they come in a wide range of shapes colors.
CFL stands for Compact fluorescent lamps. These are basically the curly versions of the long, tubular fluorescent lights. CFLs use less electricity than traditional incandescents using approximately 1/4 of the energy while lasting 10 times as long—cool right?
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Today, these are the most energy-efficient bulbs using about 20% of the energy while lasting 15-25 times longer than the more traditional incandescent light bulbs. LED bulbs come in 40w-75w lighting ranges as well is different colors. They’re a bit more pricey but they last so much longer you end up saving money.
2. Use timers on your electronics.
I remember watching Extreme Cheapskates and at like 7 pm, the dad would flip the breaker box off turning all the power off in the house. While I’m not that extreme, I do see the benefit of blocking the power for unused electronics. A timer is one way to do this. Whereas they used to be really confusing, circular objects, they now come in many different options—including with a remote!
3. Use bar shampoo & conditioners.
Using shampoos and conditioners that are good for the environment as well as your lovely locks is really great. But using them WHILE not contributing to the ever-growing plastic waste in landfills and oceans is even better. The favorites that I’ve tried so far have been Ethnique’s line. Both their shampoo and conditioners have left my curls feeling clean and moisturized.
4. Ask your barista for no plastic stopper in the drive-thru.
Yes, this is so small. But every little bit of plastic we can say “no” to is for the better. I remember going through the drive-thru and them asking me if I wanted a plastic stopper when I was at Starbucks. Saying “no thank you” made me feel really good about my decision to swing through and grab a coffee I probably didn’t need anyway. You have a choice—say no.
5. Travel with reusable mugs and bottles.
When the airports started having the water fountains that included bottle refills, I knew that a change was coming! I was always guilty of buying plastic water bottles at the airport because I couldn’t go through security with a full water bottle (and someone is a water snob). But since they’ve added the water fountains for the bottles, it’s that much easier to stay hydrated on the go while not adding to the waste. But it’s not just when traveling at the airport—having a reusable/travel mug in the car with you when you make those stops at Starbucks you probably don’t need is super helpful too.
6. Let go of plastic re-sealable bags.
This past year for school supplies I had to buy SO many and I felt like the universe was judging my entire life. I get it—these baggies are so helpful. You can store snacks, marbles, and more in them. But omg they are so wasteful! There are so many affordable options out there from silicone to recyclable wax baggies.
7. Go meat-free once a week.
I don’t think this is too hard, right? Last year I started out my year with the OMD 10-day challenge where for 10 days, I swapped one meal a day for something plant-based. This positively impacts our environment because eating plants has a lighter footprint. And it’s cheaper so hello extra money!
8. Support your local farmers.
Last year I lobbied in DC for the Farm Bill. This was after meeting farmers in both Wisconsin and Indiana as well as locally and seeing how they are impacted by poor enforcement of the Farm Bill. Our farmers don’t farm because they become millionaires from tilling the land. No. They farm out of a passion for food, animals and the people their farms are feeding. But Aaronica, their foods aren’t organic. Did you know that most local farms have organic practices but can’t afford to go through the tedious and expensive organic certification process? Locally grown foods not only support your local economy but they’re also good for you.
9. Replace single-use products with reusable.
A couple of years ago I shared a family that uses reusable toilet paper and my Facebook page went wild! While I’m not saying that everyone should do that, I am saying that reusable paper towels, make up removers, cotton balls, etc are worth looking into. Single-use is really wasteful and expensive. Save money and the earth.
10. Hand-down your clothes.
Next to plastic waste, textile waste is up there with negative impacts on the environment. Fast fashion is certainly a culprit but so is the need to only have new things. When clothes are made with quality, they last longer and therefore you don’t need to get rid of them as often. Slow fashion has higher quality so you can pass your hand-me-downs on happily. This is what we need to get back to.
Alright friends. I’m asking you to at least commit to one of these resolutions to help create a lasting world for our kids. Which one will you commit to?