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10 SIMPLE Eco-Friendly Choices EVERYONE Should Be Making By Now!

eco-friendly

1. Receive And Pay Your Bills Electronically

If you haven’t already switched all your bills and banking over to online what are you waiting for?! Take advantage of the ease and convenience of being able to manage your payments at the tip of your fingers. This will not only save you tons of time, but also save you money on postage and late fees and many companies will even offer you a discount if you choose to go paperless.

eco-friendly banking

2. Down With Disposable Coffee Cups

Seriously people, disposable coffee cups are so 2001. Wait, scratch that, even the Friends cast enjoyed their daily coffee out of oversized, colorful REUSABLE ceramic mugs at ‘Central Perk’. Did you know that according to recent statistics that Americans toss 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups every year? Even if you’re super late to the sustainable party, you’ve got to know that one-use cups are an environmental enemy. They get used ONCE, are tossed out, and very slowly decompose and leach toxins into our environment.  However the good news is that it’s not too late to not only become more eco-friendly but also start saving yourself some money, by purchasing your very own reusable mug to take with you next time you stop for a coffee. Did you know that most restaurants will charge you less when you bring your own mug?!

eco-friendly mug

CleanRiver Sales Rep with reusable branded mug.

3. Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle Your Clothes

Fast fashion is having a major impact on the environment. However, we can reduce the environmental cost of the fashion industry when we shop. Think quality over quantity next time you’re out. Look for eco-friendly brands that use organic fabrics, or better yet brands that are made-out of recycled content such as Patagonia, who is an outdoor clothing brand that makes polyester fleece out of plastic bottles.

polarfleece_iconeco-friendly clothing

Reuse items you wear each day (use the sniff test 😊) by wearing them 2 or 3 times before you wash them. You can easily save water and resources plus save yourself the extra load of laundry. Host community clothing swaps with friends and neighbors. Avoid consumerism and the damage that the fashion industry has on the environment by participating in the swap for “new” clothing items. Bring any unwanted clothes, shoes or accessories to the event. All items are fair game to trade, barter and donate to those in your community, and breath new life into your closet.

4. Use Reusable Shopping Bags

eco-friendly shopping
Ok, so if disposable cups are 2001, plastic grocery bags are so 1995! Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide each year. More than one million plastic bags are used every minute. We need to put an end to this bad habit and stop using them once and for all. Luckily, many cities and countries worldwide are realizing the environmental impact the production and use of plastic bags have, and are banning the use of them. We ALL need to follow suit and opt for reusable bags instead.

5. Buy In Bulk

eco-friendly shopping
Buying food in bulk is not a new concept, but since the rise of zero-wasters and eco-conscious shopping, it’s been making a come back in a big way and here’s why:

  • It’s cheaper in most cases when comparing the price to non-bulk items of the same weight.
  • You can purchase food or items without packaging. The more packaging we can eliminate the better for our planet.
  • Stores such as Bulk Barn have started reusable container programs where you can bring in your own containers to shop for your bulk items.

6. Eat Less Meat

A vegetarian or vegan diet does wonders for your health, waistline and your wallet. But most importantly, minimizing your meat intake can help reduce greenhouse gases, the water usage and energy required for livestock, and the fuel dependence needed to produce grain for livestock. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the meat industry alone accounts for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

eco-friendly diet

Fact
“The demand for animal agricultural products fuels massive water usage. Nearly half of all water used in the United States goes towards raising animals for food. According to National Geographic, it takes nearly 2,000 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef in comparison to fewer than 200 gallons for a pound of potatoes or wheat. These large amounts of water are needed to hydrate farm animals, to clean facilities, and to dispose of animal waste.” reducetarian.org

So start simply with Meatless Mondays and soon you may find yourself removing meat from your meals on other days too.
Check out https://reducetarian.org/faq/for more information on how reducing the amount of meat in your diet can transform your health and the planet.

7. Recycle Everywhere & Anywhere  

eco-friendly recycling

CleanRiver Dome Top at Blue Mountain Ski Resort

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Recycling is SMART. So do the right thing for yourself, your business and the planet and implement an effective recycling program at home and at the office. By diverting more waste from landfill and decreasing your carbon footprint, recycling can save you money, help mitigate climate change, and inspire others to do the right thing. Regardless of what materials you are collecting for recycling or reuse, the recipe for a successful recycling program is always the same. Just follow the key steps in the CleanRiver 3C process.  For information on implementing successful recycling programs check out our blogs 8 Tips For Successful Organics Recycling, and 5 Steps to a Successful Recycling Program.

8. Stop Sucking & Get Rid Of Plastic Straws

500 million straws are used and discarded every day in the United States alone. That’s 175 Billion a year filtering into landfills (environment) and littering our waterways and oceans.

It’s simple, the one -use of plastic straws is wreaking havoc on our land and oceans.  Most of us can sip straight from the glass, bottle or can. Do us all a favor and take the pledge to STOP SUCKING!

9. COMPOST, COMPOST, COMPOST!
One of easiest eco-friendly changes you can make at home and at work if you are not doing so already is start properly collecting your organics. Compostable materials make up a large percentage of waste in landfill which decompose to produce methane gas, a leading contributor to global climate change. However, when compostable materials are captured and processed properly, they can be used to help grow crops, revive nutrient deficient land and even to produce power!

organics collection

CleanRiver TIM Organics Collection in Woodbury, MN

If your company isn’t collecting organics, talk to whoever is in charge of the office recycling program and find out if your waste hauler collects organics. Just by adding an organics stream to your recycling program, your company can start diverting up to 75% of the facility’s waste (recyclable materials and organics) from landfill. Check out Organics Collection – How Saving the Planet Can Save You Money, to convince your boss to get green.

10. Opt For Eco-Friendly Travel

Walk, bike, take public transit or carpool whenever you can. Not only will you save money on gas, repairs and parking but according to The Eco-Guide just by choosing to carpool twice a week 1,600 pounds of greenhouse gases can be kept from the air each year.

For more information about how to be more eco-friendly, check out our blogs The Dirty Dozen: 12 Items that You think ARE Recyclable but really AREN’T! and How To Avoid Buying The Wrong Kind Of Compostable Material For Your Eco-Friendly Event

Recycling Graphics Guide, Sustainability Manager, Facility Manager, recycling program, office recycling, business recycling, campus recycling

CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible and customizable recycling solutions. To determine the right solution to meet your needs, use the CleanRiver product selector.

If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-888-646-4246 or email solutions@cleanriver.com.