It’s a New Year, so we’re all on the “I’m gonna be better” tip. I used to think resolutions were for chumps, but now I’m kind of into focusing on stopping my bad habits and working on starting good ones. That said, I’m not great at making giant changes right away and sticking to them. I prefer to make adjustments little by little. So if you’re trying to make a change in your life and you want to do it turtle-style, I’m here for you. I’ll be contributing a little series of ways to be healthier/happier/”greener” and so forth in under five minutes, so these changes won’t consume your entire life.
No one wants to see “WALL-E” become a reality, despite the cute robot love story. After starting my job at Aveda, I’ve really become concerned with the environment and what I can do to make the planet a little bit healthier.
1. Unplug your electronics when you aren’t using them. Phone chargers and laptop batteries drain a lot of energy, so unplug them when you’re finished. I know it’s annoying to reach around your bed to unplug your charger in the morning, but it’s a small gesture that can have big impact if everyone does it.
2. Cut your shower a little bit short. I know dudes masturbate in there a ton and girls are doing ten thousand things from shaving to deep conditioning masks. Cut a minute off and save some water. (This is advice I need to follow, as I am addicted to baths.)
3. Recycle your junk mail. I don’t know why I threw my flyers and menus away, but they’re definitely recyclable. Just make sure you don’t recycle any sensitive material, like bank statements.
4. Eat less meat. Factory farms aren’t super healthy for the environment and may contribute to global warming. I love meat as much as the next girl and I was raised on a farm, so I tend to scoff at things like “GMOs are bad.” But everyone could stand to eat fewer McDonald’s burgers.
5. Take reusable bags along when you shop.
6. Request paperless, online billing. Don’t kill trees to pay your Internet bill!
7. Cut back on fast fashion purchases, and instead shop at thrift stores or resale stores. The fact that we’re all hopping to Forever 21 for a dress we’ll wear once is not sustainable at all. Buy things you’ll love and wear for a long time, or don’t buy them at all. And if your fast-fashion itch must be scratched, find pieces at resale stores.
9. Quit using Clorox wipes to clean with. Repurpose an old towel or t-shirt and use that to clean your countertops. Throw it in the wash when you’re done.
10. Change your bulbs to more energy efficient ones. They might be a few dollars more expensive, but they’ll save you money in the long run.
11. Make sure your car is in working order. A car with any issues can emit more fumes, so when you’re getting your oil changed, ask them to quickly check out your car for any problems.
12. Vinegar is an excellent, non-toxic cleaner. My mom mixes hers with a little bit of Dawn dish soap for a powerful cleaner. The smell isn’t amazing, but you’re not polluting your air with bleach.
13. Turn down your heat just a teeny bit. You can survive in a few layers, I promise. If you’re going out of town for the weekend, turn it to 60.
14. Did you know you can often return plastic grocery bags to grocery stores? They can be reused or recycled. I always amass a TON of these plastic bags and if I don’t reuse them, I return them to the store.
15. Turn of ALL lights when you’re not in that room. This is basic knowledge, but so many of my friends don’t do this. Turn your lights off when you leave the house!
16. Wash your hair less and save a little water. Hey, you don’t have to tell me twice.