Easy Ways To Live A Greener Life In 2020

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions to date is to live a healthier lifestyle. Whether that means a change in diet, an increase in exercise, or the purchasing of a gym membership, so often we always set a goal to live a life that is mindful and healthy. However, when it comes to living a healthier life, what about the planet that we’re living on? Climate change is moving faster than ever and causing atmospheric conditions to worsen, forests to burn, oceans to flood and fill with plastic, and lead more and more animals to a path towards extinction. If we want to live a life that’s healthy and thriving, shouldn’t we want the same for our planet? So this year, live your best healthy life by living a greener one!

Remember, no one is expecting you to save the planet all by yourself, and we all know in order for the environment to really bounce back, actual systematic change needs to come from the people in power, however, it never hurts to reduce your own carbon footprint and do the best you can at living a more sustainable life. At least at a community level you know you’re doing your best to make a difference. 

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Single-use plastic products are one of the biggest contributors to ocean and land pollution. While the use of reusable straws may have been all the rage this year, straws only make up about .02% of ocean pollution, so buy a reusable cup, utensils, dishware, etc. to go along with your straw to really up the ante. When you’re making food to put onto all of your reusable dishware, try to use ingredients/produce that’s locally grown, as opposed to mass distributed.  

“If you are buying lettuce or another type of produce or even meat that was produced states away, then it takes gas to ship that food to where you are, to your grocery store, to your home. And in addition, it takes time so if you are buying something is locally grown, then you are getting something that is fresher. So even if you are spending a couple of bucks more, you are actually doing something that is better for the environment, and it is going to last longer in your fridge,” said Jen Ashley, an editor with a local South Carolina daily newsletter.

Ashley also suggests trading out the light bulbs in your house for LED bulbs. These are typically more expensive upfront, however, in the long run they use much less energy than standard bulbs, which means a cheaper light bill for you monthly. Additionally, these bulbs are more sustainable, and will last way longer than a regular bulb. 

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An amazing thing that you can do that will not only help the planet, but contribute to your healthy lifestyle new years resolution, is to walk or take a bike ride as opposed to driving to places that are a short distance away. Reducing your personal carbon footprint is one of the best ways you can help the planet, besides recycling. So instead of driving a few blocks to Starbucks for your afternoon pick-me-up, go for a nice walk there instead. Since it is winter, the weather can sometimes make going for a walk or bike ride a lot less desirable, so instead ask around and try to carpool to where you need to go. While this isn’t nearly as sustainable as just walking, it’s better to have three people share a ride to the same place instead of taking three separate vehicles there.

“It’s all about baby steps, and so you don’t have to save the world today. You don’t have to put on a cape and think that you are going to reverse the effects of climate change or lower the sea levels, all you have to do are little things” said Ashley

When in doubt, look around your home and find all the plastic products that you own, and recycle anything that you deem as unnecessary and a waste to the environment. Replace the things that are most manageable. Buy a reusable water bottle, tote bags for shopping, and look into sustainable brands with recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Like Ashley said, no one is expecting you to save the planet by yourself, but doing your part will not only help the planet, but lead you into a healthier and more mindful life for the new year.