green up your act.

It should be no secret by now that I am a strong advocate of sustainability and incorporating eco-friendly acts into my everyday life. Not only is this helpful for the environment, it’s also easy on the wallet. Here are my top 10 favorite ways to go green:

1. Shop used. Visit your local thrift stores for gently used clothes and household items. Second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean second-best. The majority of the outfits I feature on my blog are created completely from thrift store finds, many of which I found brand new or barely used. Reuse while saving money, win-win! Check out my top thrift tips here.

2. Buy local. Consider the amount of pollution created in getting food from the farm to your table (the average travel is 1,500 miles). That being said, buy from farmers’ markets or local co-ops whenever possible. This reduces the amount of fossil fuels and carbon emissions from products being flown or trucked in, plus it is a good way to support your local economy.

3. Use your reusables. I’m talking coffee mugs, water bottles and bags. This is one of the easiest ways to cut down on waste! Utilizing reusable bags and bottles is a great way to prevent plastic piling up in landfills.  Bonus – Many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring in a reusable mug, and some grocery stores even offer a discount for bringing your own bag.

4. Bank online. It is estimated that if all households in the U.S. paid their bills online and received electronic statements instead of paper, we’d save 18.5 million trees every year, 2.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide and 1.7 billion pounds of solid waste. Wow, right?!

5. Rethink transportation. Bike or walk when possible. Three bonuses here – save money on gas, reduce emissions, get exercise. If your destination is too far to walk or bike to, consider metro transit or car pooling.

6. Green your beauty bag. Buy beauty items from companies that make products free of parabens, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. Also try buying products that come in recyclable packaging or packaging made with post-consumer recycled material. I like Tarte, Aveda, Origins, Burt’s Bees and LUSH, to name a few!

7. Select sustainable materials. Aside from products made from recycled materials, think about buying items made from organic cotton, bamboo, or cork.

8. Switch your scents. Did you know that candles made with soy wax are clean burning and don’t produce the black soot like paraffin-based candles do? Reed diffusers made with essential oils are also a great alternative to standard paraffin wax candles.

9. Keep it cold. Wash your clothes in cold water. Most loads don’t need hot water, and 90% of the energy used by washing machines goes into heating. The higher the water temperature, the higher the cost to both the planet and your heating bill.

10. Use non-toxic. Household cleaners, that is! Environmentally friendly cleaning products help improve indoor air quality and reduce the health problems that traditional products can cause. You can make your own or buy one of the many eco-friendly brands available such as Mrs. Meyers.

Just think how we could really improve and sustain our planet if everyone implemented just a few of these things into their lifestyles. How do you go green?

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