Take a look at our Sustainability Living Tips, shared each week in our e-newsletter. You can find more great information in our archive of weekly newsletters.
Go outside. Stand by the water or a tree. In your backyard, in a park, or on a crowded city street. By yourself or with your family or friends. Breathe deeply and look around. As you look around, notice all the beauty. Listen for birds or laughter, the sound of water hitting the shore, the sound of wind in the trees. Look at the people, the grass, the sky, the colors, the shapes. Remind yourself this is your world to cherish and protect. Then, carry these images and feelings with you as you go about your life. - From Lori Myren-Manbeck, Author of You Can Save the World, CEO of Inclusivi-tee, and Alliance Board Member.
Learn more about the link between social and environmental justice. Specifically, we are asking you to go online and look up race and climate change. Read one of the articles. Then, spend some time thinking about why this is important and contemplating what you can do about it. For an extra challenge, post the article on our social. - Lori Myren-Manbeck, Alliance Board Member
Once you are going back to restaurants, think about carrying your own take home containers. Any container will do, but if you are looking for something that fits easily in a bag or purse, check out collapsible silicone storage containers. They cost more than regular containers but fold flat to fit in your bag. Alternately, look for compostable storage containers that can be added to your compost bin after use. - Lori Myren-Manbeck, Alliance Board Member
Start a simple gratitude practice. Every night before you go to bed, name three good things that happened during the day. This helps you feel better and reminds you that there are reasons to be thankful every day. It improves your sleep and sets you in a positive mood for the next day. - Lori Myren-Manbeck, Alliance Board Member
Animal production is a major contributor to climate change. Many people are trying Meatless Mondays, using meat alternatives or going plant-based.If you're not ready to give up meat, you can reduce your meat consumption. Try cooking meals where meat is part of the dish, rather than being the dish. Instead of just pork as the filling of your tacos, have it with black beans, sweet potato, salsa, and rice. This will also reduce your overall meal cost. - Lori Myren-Manbeck, Alliance Board Member
In honor of George Floyd, our sustainable living tip is to stop saying you are not racist. Instead, choose to be actively and consciously antiracist. Tweets Ibram X. Kendi, author of How To Be an Antiracist, “...slaveholders identified as not racist...white supremacists identify today as not racist. It seems to me, that term is more of a term of denial than a term with meaning." - Lori Myren-Manbeck, Alliance Board Member
Switch to a Battery-Powered Electric Lawn Mower: One hour of gas mowing emits the same amount of smog as driving a car 340 miles. A battery-powered electric mower has instant start, fewer emissions and one tenth the noise, while costing 14x less to operate, only $5/year vs $70. - Terry Gips, Alliance President
A bright way to save a lot of money: Switch to LED Light Bulbs. Compared to a 60W incandescent, each LED saves $102 over its 22 year life and has less than a one year payback. They use 85% less energy, reduce your air conditioning costs, eliminate 86lbs of CO2 per year (equal to not driving your car for 3 days) and save 25 bulbs from the landfill. By 2027, widespread use could save the equivalent annual electricity from 44 large electric power plants and $30 billion total savings. - Terry Gips, Alliance President
Avoid plastic water bottles and use refillable ones. Save $364 per person and up to $6,000 a year for a family by making the switch and reduce the 50 billion plastic water bottles Americans used in 2020, of which only 9% were recycled, resulting in over 40 billion water bottles landfilled annually. Source: Habits of Waste - Terry Gips, Alliance President
Use less paper and only post-consumer recycled (paper collected after consumer use): E-communications reduce paper 10-30%, duplex copying 20% and cloth napkins/towels 100% (Save $1,354/ $1,000 over 5 years each). 400 reams of PCR saves 24 trees and enough energy to power a home 6months, plus 7,000 gallons of water. - Terry Gips, Alliance President
Do Smarter Commuting: Switching to public transit or biking can save $9,343 a year and reduce household C02 emissions 10%. Compared to other household actions, public transit or biking can be 10 times greater in reducing greenhouse gases. You can save 25%or more on your fuel bill by keeping your tires properly inflated, avoiding sudden starts/stops and driving the speed limit. - Terry Gips, Alliance President
Shopping sustainably can make a difference. It is vital that as individuals we make choices in our daily lives that help bring about sustainability. As consumers, we have the power to transform our world. Every dollar that we spend and every intentional action that we take is a vote for the kind of world we want. Read more in Alliance intern Abigail Matthew's article Shopping for Sustainability Can Make a Difference. - Abigail Matthew, Alliance Intern
Plant care is a skill that requires practice and patience. Purchasing a plant may be an impulsive decision, or you may just want it for aesthetic purposes. The unfortunate truth is that you can’t expect all plant species to thrive in the environment you have to offer. Read more in Alliance intern Salvador Rodriguez's article Planning on a Houseplant? How You Can Have a Green Thumb. - Salvador Rodriguez, Alliance intern
Looking for seasonal produce offers similar green benefits to regional products. Local produce grown in-season will require even less transportation than normal to make it to your grocery store. If you consider which crops are in season, you get fresher and better-tasting produce. Read more in Alliance intern Abigail Matthew's article Opting for Seasonal, "Ugly", and Organic Produce. - Abigail Matthew, Alliance intern
Buying bulk goods is an excellent way to eliminate the amount of plastic and paper waste going into landfills. Some stores practice zero-waste selling in which their products are stored in large containers and you can then select the portions that you want by bringing your own containers. Read more in Alliance intern Abigail Matthew's article Buying Bulk Goods and Reducing Meat Consumption. - Abigail Matthew, Alliance intern
Kindness is one of the most powerful actions in the world. A kind gesture and heart provide a huge stronghold against all the woes in the world, especially in this day and age. As Princess Diana once said, “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you”. Read more in Alliance intern Abigail Matthew's article The Importance of Kindness in Our World: Defining Kindness and Reasons to Be Kind. - Abigail Matthew, Alliance intern
The best ways to reduce your carbon footprint are all related to your transportation. Walking or biking when you can, carpooling with your friends and coworkers, keeping your vehicle's cargo to a minimum, keeping your car's maintenance up to date, and driving more slowly are all great ways to reduce the carbon impact of your transportation. Source: The Green Living Guy
Many drivers are surprised to find that tire pressure can affect gas emissions, but Sustainable America reports that low tire pressure wastes over 4 million gallons of gas each year. Get more Eco-Driving Tips in the article written by our new partner, Greg Barber of Eco Friendly Printer. - Greg Barber, Eco Friendly Printing
We can thank coconuts, that sweet tropical delight, for many helpful and healthful properties that can assist in our self care, cooking and wellbeing. You've probably tried or seen different brands of coconut water, a great recovery drink and source of antioxidants that can support your immune system. Coconut butter is great for cooking, as well as coconut oil which can also be used for healing skin and reinvigorating hair growth. You can even burn the husk for a great natural mosquito repellent! Source: National Today
Not driving at all can help you reduce your carbon footprint. There are other ways that you can travel without using a personal vehicle and save money: Public transit provides an easy way to leave your car at home so you can commute with cheaper, more energy-efficient public transit. Biking: If just 20% of the world’s drivers used bikes instead of vehicles to work or around town, we could reduce total CO2 emissions by 11% by 2050, according to The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (2015). For more, read the article from Greg Barber of Eco Friendly Printing, Alliance partner organization. - Greg Barber, Eco Friendly Printing
Electric vehicles (EV's) are becoming mainstream and are more affordable and environmental. Fuel for a compact EV costs about $546/yr vs $1255 for a gas vehicle driving 15,000 miles. (AAA) EV maintenance costs $330/yr less than a gas vehicle (if maintained at auto recommendations), since they don’t need oil changes or air-filter replacements. So, the $876/yr operating savings from an EV will more than offset its $600 extra cost/yr in ownership. Read more in Greg Barber's third blog post on Electric Vehicles. - Greg Barber, Eco Friendly Printing
When clothes shopping, think how your purchases will affect the environment and clothing workers. Learn how to avoid the effects of fast fashion by buying from respectable brands at Good on You, a website that rates clothing brands based on their impact on the planet, people and animals. Source: Good on You
Get a good workout by using a rake for clearing leaves or an electric blower. Compost leaves or use compostable bags. Keep a few leaves when mowing to provide minerals for a nutrient rich, healthy lawn. Find more tips at EarthShare.
Be mindful when working by single-tasking to do quality work on the task at hand to save time and be efficient. Schedule notifications and email to be disabled for an amount of time to finish a task or take a meditation break.
As early holiday shopping deals begin, consider some tips to save money and the environment: 1) Try giving a shared experience; 2) Repurpose something you already own instead of purchasing new; 3) Consolidate orders to save on shipping and 4) Purchase products with sustainability. Read more on GreenMatch.
Take public health measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 when gathering for Thanksgiving; Consider making healthy, organic and even plant-based dishes; Use plates and silverware over single use paper and plastics; Share leftovers with family and friends; And come up with fun and creative ways to make new dishes from leftovers to help reduce food waste.
You can save money and reduce the $12.7 billion/yr Americans spend on gift wrap and the 540,000 tons Canadians landfill with olaimpact's eco ideas: cloth, reusable bags and saving/reusing gift wrap. Most gift wrap is not recyclable but non-metallic can be composted.
During this holiday season you can avoid stress from expectations about how you should act by being aware of your needs and feelings, planning ahead to avoid surprises, keeping your finances in check, and knowing the power of “No.” For more tips, see healthline’s 6 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress.
If you’re struggling to find last-minute presents or not sure what to get someone, try these zero-waste options: Online Giftcards; Homemade candles, soap, organic bread and baked goods; Thrifted or vintage jewelry; Reusable Water Bottles; e-Magazine, Newspaper or Podcast subscription; Museum or park membership. For more, see Livekindly's Zero Waste Christmas.