In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d share some things I’ve been consciously doing these days to cut back on the amount of trash and waste I create.
The biggest change I’ve made this year: ditching the Keurig and replacing it with a regular coffee maker. What motivated me to do this was reading online that Keurig produces enough K-Cups to circle the earth 10.5 TIMES!!!! When I first read that statistic, I immediately said to myself, “well, I only use 1 K-Cup everyday so it’s not that bad.” But then I realized that there are probably hundreds of thousands of people out there that also just 1 K-Cup every day…. and we are all contributing to the added waste.
This is not to mention that K-cups are a lot more expensive than regular coffee anyway. It just made sense to switch.
I’m completely happy with a regular ole’ coffee maker. Mine is programmable so I set it up the night before and a pot is ready in the morning. #noregrets.
Traded in my Jeep for a Hyundai Sedan: I will admit that I primarily did this for financial reasons because it seemed wasteful to pay so much for gas. My jeep got 12 mpg in the city and ~20 mpg on the interstate. I was commuting 30 minutes to and from work everyday and having a car with such poor fuel efficiency didn’t make much sense. My Hyundai gets 35 mpg on the highway, which is primarily all of the driving I do now, and I’m extremely happy with my decision.
Use cloth napkins instead of paper: I was unsure of this one at first but I have grown to L-O-V-E cloth napkins. I only need to use 1 per meal, whereas I always used several paper napkins at once. I bought bulk packs of white and dark cloth napkins and just toss them in the wash when I’m doing laundry.
Keep a re-usable water bottle with me: If you read here then you know that I’m *obsessed* with water bottles. I have all different shapes and sizes and they each have their own use. I keep empty bottles in my desk at work so that there’s always one on hand, and I try to remember to bring one with me in the car so I’m not tempted to buy a bottle of water somewhere.
Ditched paper towels for cleaning rags: Not sure why I didn’t do this sooner but I prefer these rags over paper towels any day. They are more absorbent and easier to use. I keep basketS of them in the kitchen and by the bathroom.
Use ^ cleaning rags and spray instead of disposable wipes: Sorry, but Lysol wipes are so 2013 for me The rags do a much better job with cleaning, whereas I felt like I used a dozen lysol wipes when I was going on a cleaning spree. I purchased all white rags so that I could bleach them as needed but it’s been well over a year and so far they still look good (and have held up well!).
Process things electronically when possible: This includes using email, paying bills online, and keep electronic records instead of a paper trail.
I also wanted to mention that all of these changes have either enhanced my life or haven’t made much of a difference, which makes me feel like they have all been worthwhile considering the effects things like this can have on the Earth.
You can read more about my journey to living a less wasteful life on last year’s Earth Day post.
What do you do to try to reduce waste?
Does Earth Day inspire you to make any changes related to the environment?