6 Small (And Simple!) Ways You Can Reduce Your Environmental Impact
1. Ditch The Paper Towels
Rather than using a million paper towels every time you clean, try repurposing your old, stained or tattered t-shirts into cleaning cloths for the house. After you’ve thoroughly dirtied the cleaning cloths, just toss them in the wash and they’re ready to be used again.
2. Cold Wash
Washing your clothes in cold water not only reduces the risk of wrinkles, color bleeding and shrinkage, but it also helps reduce your carbon footprint! According to the EPA, hot water heating accounts for 90% of the energy your washing machine uses to wash clothes. Bonus: Opt for air drying— Hanging your clothes to dry (weather permitting) can reduce your household’s carbon footprint by up to 2,400 pounds a year!
While it might seem obvious, a great way to reduce your environmental impact is to recycle. The most important part of recycling is to make sure your waste ends up in the right place. Often waste that is recycled still ends up in landfills because items are recycled incorrectly or things that you might assume are recyclable (like paper towels) are not actually meant to be recycled. To combat your recyclable waste ending up in landfills, make sure you do your research! You can easily check packaging and labels or do a quick google search ensure your items are recyclable and that you’re prepping and disposing of them correctly.
4. Shorten Your Showers
Everyone loves a long soak in a hot shower. However, while it might feel great, it isn’t doing the environment any favors. According to Boston University, the average person in the US uses 25,300 gallons of water a year (69.3 gallons daily). The average shower uses about 5 gallons of water per minute. Additionally, the amount of energy it takes to filter and heat that water for use, greatly contributes to your overall carbon footprint. The Eco Guide suggests that by shortening your showers to around 5 minutes, every day for a whole year, you’re able to reduce your water and energy usage and save as much as 821 lbs of CO2.
5. Shop Sustainably
Invest in reusable bags and always keep a few handy in case you make an unexpected trip to the store. If you accidentally forget your reusable bags, ask for paper instead of plastic. When buying produce, try to skip individually bagging your fresh fruits and veggies, simply place them in the cart and remember to give them a good rise when you get home! Whenever possible, choose organic, locally grown/raised food that is free of chemicals and if you’re shopping for clothes —avoid fast fashion! We recommend visiting thrift stores for secondhand clothing or if you’re shopping for new items, try to buy from companies that are Fair Trade certified. Fair Trade certification indicates that the company meets ethical standards for its workers and for the environment.
6. Choose The EPA Safer Choice
Products (like Boulder Clean!) with the US EPA Safer Choice label have been carefully evaluated by EPA scientists to ensure they contain ingredients that are safer for both human and environmental health. Safer Choice labeled products are less toxic to aquatic life and they break down more quickly through natural processes, so they are less likely to become part of the food chain or damage the ecosystem!