10 Steps to Improve Your Personal Green and Ecological Footprint

Our goal is to show how easy it is to reduce your ecological footprint and be green in every way and everyday.

It is simply changing little things in your daily routine to make a difference for yourself and for the earth. Interpreting these things into your everyday life will soon feel normal and not like a chore.

By introducing a new form of living, you will soon find your ecological footprint in a better spot and feel better being GREEN!

10 Steps to Improve Your Ecological Footprint

1. Add energy saving features to your home

Helping save the planet is something you can do right from home, and is becoming easier and easier thanks to new home-efficiency technologies that help you save money as well as the environment.

According to Project Sunroof, the average Albany resident can save an average of $8,000 over a twenty year period by using roof solar panels to provide electricity in your home.

Another great way to save money and reduce electricity is using energy efficient light bulbs and appliances. Forget to turn off the lights? App controlled home systems like Insteon help you monitor and control your home temperature and light intake while away.

2. Save water

Although water may seem abundant, it’s imperative that we understand the true consequences of overusing the earth’s most valuable resource. We can do this by reducing our use of water as well as reducing the energy it takes to heat water.

One easy, small step you can take is washing your clothes on cold when doing laundry. Along with keeping your clothes colorful and bright, this helps reduce energy.

Also, stop washing small loads! If you need just a single garment washed, try hand washing it in order to reduce water.

Another great way to save water is to conserve rain water for non-dietary uses such as watering plants and washing your car. Lastly, be aware of leaky faucets and reduce shower time.

3. Eat smart

Eating smart isn’t just about being health conscious! The food you eat has a real effect on the environment. By changing your diet, you can also improve your ecological footprint.

One dietary change you can make is eating too much fish. Seafood is often a source of overfishing, which wreaks havoc on our environment.

Being aware of where your food comes from is also important – especially coffee. Traditional coffee retailers can be the cause of deforestation, pollution, and agrochemical damage. Instead, try shade-grown coffee brands, whos harvesting practices are safer for our rainforests.

Reusing food and drink containers for everyday uses is another way to “eat smart”. You can also reuse food by enriching your soil through composting – this can be a great start to growing your own efficient at home garden.

4. Drive less

Try walking more places, carpool with people, or you can ride a bicycle to your destination instead. When vacationing, try to have it be somewhere close to home.

Another idea is to use public transportation as much as you can. Carpooling cuts down the number of cars and vehicles on the road, fewer vehicles means less carbon and other gasses polluting into the air.

Also the convenient option of carpooling is you can look for other people who have the same schedule or share the same driving route.

5. Reusable bags

When going to the grocery stores bring your own reusable bags, shopping malls bring your own bag or don’t take one from every store you purchase something in.

A plastic bag can take 15-1,000 years to break down depending on the environment and plastic bags don’t biodegrade. Also the cost, in California alone they spend more than $300 million on cleaning up coastal litter every year from using plastic bags.

6. Electric cars

Though it may be more expensive, having an electric car in place of a gas powered vehicle that can be charged.

Owners of electric vehicles have the advantage of much lower running costs, to charge an electric vehicle works out around a third as much per kilometer as buying gas for the same vehicle. It also cheaper to maintain, an EV(electric vehicle) has a lot less moving parts than a conventional gas car.

7. Go paperless

Online bills – By changing your setting for your bank and other billing accounts you have can reduce the number of trees cut down. The paper that you receive from the bills, usually go right to the trash after you open it. By going paperless you can not only help the planet, but save time.

Do not mail registry – Another way to reduce paper is to stop getting unwanted mail.

8. Take in the minimalist lifestyle:

Declutter your home by decluttering your home you are about to find things that you never used before. This also helps you not go out and purchase more or something that you already have.

Donate unneeded items to charity- As stated above that the more you clear out of your everyday life the easier it is for you to not over purchase and find things that you already had. By donating your clothes you are allowing the clothes to be reused by someone who needs it.

Buy, borrow or rent used clothing, electronics, house decorations and furniture, cars and other products whenever possible. – We all want the newer items on the market, but in reality we know that we don’t need it. We can still get the things we want by getting it already used.

9. Reusable water bottles, straws, and containers:

Minimize waste – By purchasing reusable items such as water bottles, straws, and much more you can reduce the amount of waste you produce in half. A simple change the way you drink water can help the environment tremendously.

Save money – Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll be helping your wallet as well. By purchasing a reusable bottle you will be able to get that donut or whatever food you wanted.

Better your health – By having a reusable water bottle you are more likely to be more aware of your water intake. By holding the water bottle around you and having the water accessible to you it makes it easier for you to stay hydrated.

Better your environment – As stated by Beth Asaff “Every day, consumers discard more than 60 million plastic water bottles. These bottles litter highways, clog waterways, or end up in incinerators and landfills. Plastic in landfills can take up to 700 years to decompose.”

10. Choose sustainable fashion!

What you wear can also impact the environment! The production of clothing uses energy resources which can be limited by wearing second hand clothes.

Also, avoid fads that cause you to change styles quickly! Instead, stick to staples that can be worn with multiple outfits, and make sure to buy good quality clothes that last a long time.

Finally, support fashion that is eco-friendly, such as the Conscious Collection by H&M, Eileen Fisher, and Patagonia.

Challenge Yourself by Trying Out These Steps Daily!

Although it may take time to fully adjust your life and minimize your ecological footprint, the steps will not only help you, but the earth around you! If you have started on the journey of sustainability, we’d love to hear from you! Make sure to write us or comment below the ways you like to stay energy efficient!

 

Image courtesy of ElisaRiva

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