At Modern Kids Design, we're always looking for different ways to make our lifestyle more environmentally friendly and share things we learn along the way. As we reflect on the new year, we thought we’d share some easy ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Sometimes, living in a way that is a little more green just takes a little more planning. With that in mind, we hope our 10 resolutions for the planet will help make 2020 your most earth-friendly yet...
1. Skip the bottled water
Disposable water bottles, while recyclable, often end up in the trash stream. Plus, they’re made with tons of oil. With so many beautiful water bottle alternatives, why bother buying disposable bottles at all? Consider keeping a bottle in your bag or car so you’re never without.
2. Buy more local food
We love supporting our local farmers at the farmer’s market and purchasing locally. Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing food that hasn’t traveled half the world to get to your plate, but you’re also supporting the community around you. Joining a CSA is also wonderful way to get seasonal produce.
3. Change the light bulbs
Compact fluorescent lights can reduce your household energy use—plus, they last longer. You can start off slowly by converting just one room and see how many family members it takes to screw in a light bulb. :-)
4. Avoid the plastic bags
As with disposable water bottles, plastic bags continue to be a bane on the environment. Thankfully, more grocery stores offer plastic bag recycling, however it is still more environmentally friendly to bring along your own reusable bags. Keep a couple in the trunk of your car or convenient folded ones in your bag so you’re never without.
5. Switch to natural cleaners
Many household cleaners can contain some pretty toxic ingredients. Rather than slathering them on your floor or spraying them into the air, consider green cleaning. Whether you choose to purchase natural products or make your own, your family and pets will benefit from better indoor air quality and a healthier home environment.
We live in a highly connected world and chances are you’ve got several electronics plugged into outlets right now. Unfortunately, some of those things we leave plugged in are using energy even when they aren’t powered on. To cut back on these power-suckers, make sure to unplug chargers and electronics when not in use. One way to do this easily is with a surge protector that has an on/off switch.
7. Recycle more and…well…better…
There is a lot of talk of household waste. While it’s not easy, it’s important that we take a look at our own and think through changes we might want to make. And consider this…Is your family recycling everything your city or township accepts? If not, no worries, simply think about small changes you can make. One recycling black hole tends to be the bathroom. For example, you may want to make sure empty bottles of shampoo and shaving cream find their way to a recycling can by placing a small recycling bin in the bathroom.
8. Look into green energy
If solar panels or a nifty windmill aren’t in the budget this year, consider checking whether your energy provider offers eco-friendly energy options. Many providers will allow you to power your home through their wind energy or other renewable sources—all you have to do is call.
9. If you’re not doing this already, consider cutting back on meat
Did you know you can reduce your carbon footprint by eating less meat? Because of the amount of energy it takes to raise livestock and transport meat, adding more vegetarian options to your weekly family menu will help you and your family reduce your effects on the Earth. Needless to say, there are many health benefits that come from eating a diet that is more plant-based as well (we could write a blog post on that alone). The bottom line is it’s simply good for you and for the environment.
10. Give the wheels a break
Cutting back on driving can help reduce gasoline use and emissions. You may want to consider sharing a ride or pedaling to work or the store. And if you can’t reduce your mileage, ensuring your tires are properly inflated can help make sure you get the best miles per gallon.
Of course, there are plenty of small steps we can take to live in a way that is in harmony with the environment. We're simply offering a few ideas to get started. As always, thanks for reading. We hope the New Year brings you and your family lots of love, laughter, and joy.