For Earth Day, Five Easy Ways to Go Green

For Earth Day, Five Easy Ways to Go Green

For Earth Day, Five Easy Ways to Go Green

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Lifestyle

By ELITE Lifestyle Contributor Kris Herndon

 Earth Day commemorates the birth of the modern environmental movement. Want to celebrate that in a big way this year? Try something simple that will make a real impact. It’s easier than you think. I spoke with Jeanine Behr Getz, Managing Partner at the Eco-Growth Group and a longtime advocate for environmental causes, to find out how.  

“I treat Earth Day like my New Year,” says Getz. Each year on April 22, she starts a new habit that benefits the environment.

Habits are the everyday behaviors that we do without thinking. The trick to changing a habit, Getz says, is to plan ahead. Do your research and lay some groundwork, just as you would with a New Year’s resolution. Each year, Getz researches a new habit that will have a positive impact, so that when Earth Day rolls around, she’s ready to make that change and make it stick.

Here are five small changes you can make this Earth Day.

Green Your Laundry Soap

This Earth Day, Getz is tackling the laundry. “I am consciously trying to switch out my washing machine detergent,” she says. Rather than buying a big plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent every month, Getz will switch to a reusable container stocked with soap nuts (also called soapberries), a type of organic berry that contains a natural cleaning agent. Soap nuts are biodegradable, and you can order them in bulk, with low-impact packaging. Getz says she’ll also replace scented dryer sheets with reusable wool balls.

Green Your Cleaning Supplies

Bring the same mindset to the rest of your cleaning supplies. “Vinegar, water, and baking soda are natural cleaners that are chemical-free and fragrance-free,” Getz says. “And then you’re not contributing to these plastic containers being manufactured and shipped all over the place.” Why not swap out a few specialized cleaning products, and see how it goes? Bonus: If you live in an apartment, reusable multipurpose cleaners are a space-saver: fewer plastic bottles, more room in your cabinets!

Green Your Mailbox

Go paperless with all your bills and bank statements. And take a few simples steps to cut down on junk mail. A quick Google search reveals that junk mail produces more greenhouse gas emissions than 9 million cars. You probably already hate junk mail, but you might think there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Well, think again! Getz provided me with three links where you can opt out of unsolicited catalogs and other mailers: Catalog Choice, the National  Not Mail List, and DMAChoice.

Green Your Closet

Avoid “fast fashion” brands that make money by churning out hundreds of styles in cheap synthetic fabric. Instead, shop your local vintage, thrift, and secondhand stores. You’ll find that clothing and shoes made before the fast-fashion era were made to last, and can even be repaired to extend their useful life. You’re offsetting the impact of their initial manufacture by using them even longer. Bonus points: You’ll save money and look fantastic.

Green Your Grocery Run

Keep a reusable cloth bag by the door, where you’ll see it when you grab your keys. Think before you buy plastic packaging. Until the food and beverage industries catch up, we sometimes can’t avoid wasteful packaging, but until that happens, we can reward environmentally friendly brands.

Of course, your grocery run is something you often do on auto-pilot. But that’s the point of treating Earth Day like New Year’s Day. Before April 22 comes around, take a look at your recycling bin. Are there plastic water bottles there? You could bring a refillable water bottle with you to work or to the gym instead. Food packaging? Some things can be bought in bulk. You don’t have to change everything at once. Just consider whether there is even one plastic package you can eliminate from your grocery run. When Earth Day rolls around, you’ve done your preparation, and you’ll be ready to re-set that habit.

Kris Herndon is a freelance writer who frequently covers fitness, health, and wellness.

To read more articles by Kris click here.