To celebrate Earth Day, we decided to take a look at our collective efforts to live greener, more eco-friendly lives. Below are just a few of the many ways that we at Eco18 are taking steps toward a greener future for our planet. We would love to hear how you are living an eco-friendly life as well! Please send us your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will feature our favorite right here on Eco18.
You don’t have to change your lifestyle to live a greener life, just change the way you do a daily ritual. I always have loved to read during my morning commute, and one way I live a greener life is by reading e-books on my kindle, rather then paperback books. By going digital I am not only saving trees and waste, but also money.
Reuse & Repurpose
Because I like to cook, I can always find a multitude of uses for empty jars and containers. Small jars are perfect for shaking up a salad dressing, medium ones for jams and sauces and the bigger ones for tomato sauce and even soups. The containers from the Chinese take out are great for soups and the liquid from cooking greens (I use that in soups too). Jars also make great holders for buttons–better than tins because you can see what’s in there!
Not only do I love thrift shopping, I love contributing to these glorious stores. Once every six months, I clean out my wardrobe of any clothes/shoes/accessories that I no longer wear and donate them to my local thrift shop in Brooklyn. Thrift shopping is not only eco-friendly but it’s fun and can save you a handful of money! My favorite thrift stores in Brooklyn are Beacon’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange!
In moving our office, I had the task of packing and determining what was to go or be discarded. In this age of businesses diminishing their use of paper, we were determined to do the same. And what I had discovered was that from our past years’ business activities we had accumulated reams and reams of printed paper stored in countless 3 ring binders of all sizes, from the very large to the very small. Since most of the paper no longer had relevance, I saved it to be used as recycled paper for our printers. Now I had empty binders that we no longer needed and I could not see throwing them in the dumpster. In thinking on how I could recycle them, I came up with the idea of donating them to rural schools where there budgets cannot always provide needed material for the school children and their school office. In making a few calls, I found a school in a small town in upstate New York that binders were the very things they needed because of new school regulations making them generate more extensive reports and thus were very happy in receiving the binders as a donation.
Volunteering for an organization that you are passionate about is not only a great way to make a difference, but it also can have many eco-friendly benefits. I volunteer for an organization called Unleashed, for which I foster puppies. Unleashed is a social justice program for middle school girls, empowering them to take a stand against an injustice they are passionate about–advocating for animal rights and welfare. Every couple of weeks, I foster a puppy and care for it until we are able to find it a forever home. Each time I take a puppy into my home, it is one less dog that must be housed by an animal shelter. This cuts down on cleaning supplies used to clean the shelter cages, electricity, and space. It also gives me the opportunity to show the puppy what it means to feel safe and loved (and I get puppy love right back).