The New Year is a time when many of us make resolutions. If one of your aims this year is to go green, think of us as your enabler! We’ve got lots of great ideas for small steps to help you on your journey to green living.
- Go green when you’re out and about
- Green living at home
- Make your personal routine green
- Green your cleaning
- Green living with your car
- There are even ways to green your pets!
Go Green When You’re Out & About
2. Buy a reusable coffee cup and take it with you so that you can give up takeaway coffee cups.
3. Buy a reusable drink bottle and take it with you everywhere. Invest in glass or stainless steel, rather than plastic.
4. Take your lunch to work! Not only will it save you money, but you’ll be able to cut down on plastic packaging by using a lunchbox.
5. Support green businesses! Hello Charlie is just one of many green businesses around Australia. Search them out and support them.
6. Refuse plastic bags – choose a reusable one like the Envirosax ones I’ve been using for years.
Green Living at Home
7. Buy rechargeable batteries. Find out how to recycle batteries here through your local council.
8. Opt for paperless bills and pay your bills online. This saves on transport and on paper.
10. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins at dinner.
11. Buy a pile of handkerchiefs instead of using tissues. Use, then throw straight into the washing machine.
12. Introduce your family to meatless Mondays. The meat industry generates lots of man made greenhouse gas emissions, plus it’s good for your health to cut down on your meat intake.
13. Use a delivery service for your groceries. It’s like carpooling for shopping! We love Aussie Farmers Direct.
14. Get some plants into your house to clear the air instead of using air fresheners.
15. Open a window instead of using air fresheners.
16. Go with second hand books, library books, or ebooks instead of new books.
17. Grow your own herbs and salad leaves.
18. Get a Sodastream and cut down on bottles if you’re into fizzy drinks. Plus, you can make your own cordials, which is healthier than bought ones.
19. For parties, don’t use throwaway plastic or paper plates. Ask friends to bring their own plates, or use your old ones. Use plastic cups and write kids’ names on them so that they’re not using lots of throwaway cups.
20. Get to know your local council’s options for recycling and green waste.
21. Switch to biodegradable coffee pods for your Nespresso.
22. Switch to looseleaf tea instead of teabags. Surprisingly, most tea bags aren’t compostable because they contain plastics.
23. Cancel your paper news subscription and take up an online subscription instead.
24. Support sustainable power sources through by buying green power through someone like Powershop.
Green Your Personal Routine
25. Switch to sustainable toilet paper. We love Who Gives A Crap, with bamboo and recycled paper options. And they donate 50% of their profits to building toilets for those in need. (They also do paper towels and tissues!)
26. Skip the antibacterial soaps and go with pure soaps instead.
27. Air dry your hair instead of using a blow dryer.
28. Wait an extra day before washing your hair. You’ll use less water, less product, and less energy (required to heat the water). You can use some dry shampoo to get you through an extra day. Just make sure it’s a natural one.
29. Go with biodegradable bandaids instead of plastic ones.
30. Skip the microbeads and use an exfoliating glove or natural exfoliants instead. Find Link.
31. Ditch skincare products made with petrochemicals. The production of petrochemicals is bad for the environment.
32. Switch to organic feminine products, rather than chlorine bleached ones.
Green Your Cleaning
33. Buy a couple of clothes horses and find a spot in your house where you can dry laundry rather then using the tumble dryer.
34. Do a cold wash and save the energy bills required to heat the water. Today’s laundry detergents are designed to work well in hot or cold water.
35. Go completely natural with your laundry and switch to soapberries.
36. If you’re not keen on soapberries, at least switch to a green laundry powder without optical brighteners. You’ll be making a difference to the water quality in your local environment.
37. Make the change to green cleaners. They’re affordable, they work, and they’re readily available. Plus, the chemicals they use are much better for your family’s health.
38. Skip the antibacterial disposable wipes for the kitchen. You can avoid triclosan. You can also avoid single use products if you use a cloth and a spray gun.
39. Switch to cleaning cloths that cut down on chemicals. I’ve used Enjo for years, but there’s plenty of microfibre cloths available now.
40. Choose a green cleaning service! If you have a cleaner that comes to your house, ask them to use green cleaning products. I use Earth Friendly Cleaning in Melbourne, and there are similar services around Australia.
Green Living with Your Car
41. Empty the junk out of your car to increase fuel efficiency. If your car isn’t carrying so much weight, it doesn’t use as much fuel. Which means you save money, too!
42. Remove the roof racks from your car. The drag means that your car uses more fuel.
43. Take your car to a car wash that uses recycled water.
44. Keep your tyres properly inflated, and increase fuel economy. It will also extend the life of your tyres.
45. Choose one journey a week that you’d normally drive, and walk or ride it instead. Even if it’s only a short journey, that’s 52 less car journeys a year!
Green Living Ideas for Your Pets
46. Recycle pets! Adopt your pet from a shelter rather than a puppy farm or a kitten farm.
47. Be a responsible pet owner and get your pet neutered or spayed. Don’t be responsible for kittens or puppies in already overcrowded pet shelters.
48. Keep your cat inside as much as possible to protect local wildlife.
49. Pick up your dog’s poo with a biodegradable doggie bag. We like the ones from Wotnot. Then you can put it in the green bin.
50. Use recycled newspaper cat litter like the Breeder’s Choice one. It’s better for the environment and for your cat’s health. Plus, it’s awesome at blocking smells! It’s fully biodegradable, so you can dispose of it in your green bin.
51. Make your own pet toys and treats at home.
52. Donate your old towels, blankets and other manchester to pet shelters to help out animals in needs. Pet accessories like bowls, carriers and toys are useful, too.
What are your green resolutions for the New Year? Let us know below and we’ll add them to the list!