The new year is all about making resolutions, cleaning up our diets and setting goals. If one of your goals is to go a little more green, here are 15 simple ways to #GoGreenIn2015.
1. Go meatless one day a week: Did you know it requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef Going meatless once a week can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fossil fuels and fresh water. The Meatless Monday website is a great resource with more benefits of going meatless for you and the environment.
2. Start meal planning: Planning your meals means less waste. Plus, you'll make fewer trips to the grocery store. Download our meal planner to help make planning a little easier.
3. The slow-cooker is your best friend. A crock-pot uses 75% less energy than an electric oven.
4. Toss your paper towels: Instead, stock up on cheap washcloths. Keep two bins under the sink—one for clean rags, one for dirty. When you need to wipe down your little one's face and hands after a meal, or clean a quick spill on the kitchen floor reach for a clean rag instead of a paper towel.
5. Use everything: And anything you can't use, compost.
6. Regrow your food scraps: Did you know that foods like green onions, celery, lettuce and more will regrow themselves? See a list here.
7. Unplug: Switch off appliances and electronics you aren't using. A powerstrip is a great way to make this easy. The blender, coffee pot, toaster all get plugged in to the power strip. With one flip of a switch you can save money and the environment.
9. Chill Out: Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot and turn the thermostat down a couple degrees. Every little bit helps.
10. Use a Shower Bucket: When you first turn on the shower, place a large bucket under the faucet while the water heats up. When the water is hot, remove the bucket and shower as usual. Use the collected water to water plants, wash the car, etc.
11. Recycle Your E-Waste: Electronic waste (or E-Waste) adds chemicals and heavy metals into the ground. Today it is so easy to recycle electronics, that this is an easy switch to make. Visit www.e-stewards.org for more information and to find a recycling center near you.
12. Recycle Ink Cartridges: Not only does this help the environment, it also helps your bottom line. Some office supply stores will even pay you to recycle your cartridges.
13. Shop local: whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers' markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in.
14. Shop the perimiter: The center aisles are where all the packaged food is. Packaged food means more waste. Stick to the outer edges of the store for the best finds for you and the environment.
15. BYOB: Bring your own bags. Where we live, they are starting to require reusable bags, but regardless, bring your own. Not only are they better for the environment, they make it easier to carry your groceries into the house.
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