20 Easy Ways to Go Green

Molly Haskell

We live on a miraculous, incredible planet that deserves our love, care, and attention. What are your plans to help Mother Earth?

Here are 20 easy ways to go green this year.

1. Recycle

Recycling is one of the most important (and easiest) steps to going green and reducing your carbon footprint. Check all your plastic, cardboard, and aluminum waste for the recycle symbol before you throw it away.

Extra green tip: buy products made from recycled materials. When shopping, look for “recycled” or “post-consumer” products. You can get anything from sleeping bags to glass materials made from recycled materials.

2. Use reusable bags

Get reusable items to help you through your daily routines without leaving a giant carbon footprint. Brings these everywhere you go. The most important one to use is reusable bags. Plastic bags are everywhere and harmful to our environment. Buy a reusable bag next time you’re at the grocery store and don’t forget to bring it with you in the future!

3. Shop local / support local

Many foods travel more than 1K miles before reaching your plate. By shopping locally, you help save energy and reduce the emissions released into the air during food production and transportation. Also, it will reduce the amount of plastic used to package your items.

4. Use reusable food storage containers

Stop using takeaway food containers or ziplock bags that you just easily throw away. Use reusable food storage containers to lessen your carbon footprint. Extra green tip: less bacteria grows inside glass containers and less plastic--spot the common theme.

5. Use a reusable water bottle

We all do it--buying plastic water bottles is super convenient yet especially bad for our environment. Instead of drinking bottled water, buy and use a reusable water bottle. Doing this saves both money and the planet. Extra green tip: buy a reusable water bottle made from recycled materials.

6. Save energy

Turning off your lights when you are not home or using them is another money-saving and planet-saving tip (and one that can be easily done). Be cautious about the lights you have on around you whenever you are.

7. Power down

Another energy-saving tip--unplug all electronics when you are not using them. Going out of town? Unplug those electronics that don’t need to be on that would use energy even when you are not there.

8. Think about your water usage

One that we don’t realize often--how much water we use. Take shorter showers sometimes. Use cold water to wash clothes (and it takes more energy to wash clothes with warm/hot water).

9. Hand dry your clothes

Rather than always using your clothes dryer, using a drying rack to air dry your clothes saves a ton of energy.

10. Plant a garden

Starting a garden is not only good for the earth and reducing your carbon footprint, but also a feel-good exercise. Think about going outside and seeing the fresh produce you grew and didn’t have to buy in a store.

11. Walk or bike more

If possible depending on where you live, try to walk or bike to more places instead of driving. This will significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere.

12. Use public transportation or carpool

Again instead of driving, use public transportation or carpool. This will save on the amount of omission per person. Extra green tip: take a train instead of flying. Airplanes are one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide.

13. Go paperless

All bills have the option of being paid online, so take advantage of this and opt in for paperless billing. This will not only save you time, but will also help reduce paper wastage. Go paperless = save trees.

14. Compost your food scraps

Did you know that 21% of landfill volume is food waste? Rescuing food helps the environment.

15. Buy organic

Organic agriculture aims to preserve natural resources, support animal health and welfare, and avoid most synthetic materials.

16. Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen

Paper towels are common household waste. Instead of using paper towels and napkins, use dish towels and cloth napkins. This will significantly reduce the amount of waste you use in your household.

17. Turn off air conditioning or heat

If you can manage, this will save a ton of energy.

18. Buy less or borrow

Reduce your carbon footprint by buying less of everything. Or head to a thrift store and see if you can’t find something amazing secondhand. Otherwise, the next best thing is to borrow instead of buying it yourself.

19. Use biodegradable

Help minimize waste generation. These products break down in the natural world instead of ending up in a landfill to outlast us all.

20. Offset flights

Through our research, we have learned that an international round trip flight is one of the biggest producers of carbon dioxide that a student may generate in one year and it is one of the biggest differences between an internship at home and an internship abroad.

Have you heard about our green initiative? We have and will continue to neutralize flights for all intern participants and staff by purchasing carbon credits in a variety of alternative energy, reforestation, and biodiversity projects in critical regions of the world.

We are committed to our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2025 in response to the overwhelming global climate crisis.

Practice these steps to go green by example -- and encourage others to do the same. If people ask you about your choice to combat pollution, let them know why it’s important and share these simple steps to help them make a difference, too!

Our planet depends on each and every one of us.

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