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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Joy

5 Non-Cliché Ways to Go Green

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

Call me a hippy or a tree-hugger, but I think there are two reasons why this past week has been great: Last Sunday was Earth Day, and today is Arbor Day! Practicing conservation and taking care of the earth is something I’d say I’m fairly passionate about, and I’d consider myself an advocate for the environment. Tonight, I will be participating in the Arbor Day Dash 5K Fun Run at Klehm Arboretum in Rockford, IL. It’s a combination of two of my favorite things: running and trees.

And while it’s great to think of the planet and raise awareness around the time of Arbor Day/Earth Day, it’s important to remember to take care of our environment all year long. I by no means live a total carbon-emissions-free lifestyle, but I try my best to do my part in conserving energy and preserving Earth and everything that lives on it. Here are some easy, non-cliche ideas of thing I’m constantly trying to do to help take care of our planet (after all, it’s the only one we’ve got!):

  1. Go meatless. I’m no longer a strict vegetarian, but I definitely don’t go out of my way to eat meat. You wouldn’t believe how much the meat industry contributes to global warming. If you don’t believe me, look it up! Fossil fuels used on farms, animal methane and waste, and water usage all contribute to the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions. Consuming less meat (even just one or two days per week) can reduce the demand for it - thereby reducing the environmental impact!

  2. Bring your own reusable bags when grocery shopping. This is an oldie, but a goodie. And it’s one that many people - including myself - forget about doing. Too many plastic bags find their way into soil and water-ways and slowly release toxins that are detrimental to human and animal life. Because of that, I’m trying to be better about remembering to bring my reusable bags with me wherever I go. It’s easy to remember (and fun too!) if you have cute ones like these from Amazon, The Little Market and Aldi Food Market:

  3. ...and speaking of shopping… Be a smart and informed shopper! I’m constantly researching to make sure the health and beauty products I’m buying and using come from companies that are making an effort to be environmentally friendly (and the products must be cruelty-free for me to even consider buying them!). A couple of organic, affordable, and eco-friendly brands that I love are Burt’s Bees and Eco-tools (Both can be found for cheap at Walmart or your closest drugstore!)

  4. Say “no” to plastic straws. This seems to have become a pretty popular environmental campaign lately, and I’m all aboard it! Too much plastic waste is ending up in the world’s oceans. It’s killing wildlife and it definitely can’t be good for us humans! Plastic straws are such an easy, pointless item to omit from your daily use, and the results from refusing straws could be monumental. Join me in asking your barista, bartender, server, etc. to “hold the straw, please!”

  5. Make your boyfriend go on a date that involves hiking and picking up trash you see along the trails. If you’re like me and my boyfriend, you’re constantly trying to think of fun, new date ideas. We love the outdoors and we try to be as active as possible, and this environmentally-friendly activity involves both of those things! But if cleaning up garbage doesn't seem like the most exciting way to spend quality time with your s/o, try turning it into a competition for some added fun (e.g. Who can pick up the most litter? or Who can find the strangest piece of litter?)

"Going green" can be tough work, but it's so important for us to do our part in making the world a better, healthier place for all living things! Let me know in the comments what you're doing to go green and make the Earth happy!

Thanks for reading!

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