With Earth Day approaching (April 22nd), we talked to some of our younger generation experts to see what habits they have created in their lives to support the earth. They said they are happier when they make conscious decisions that help the planet. Concepts they talked about highlighted the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – and also focusing on cutting down what you throw away.
Here are some of their top habits:
- Reuse & Reduce
- Use reusable containers instead of zip lock bags and baggies for lunches or leftovers.
- Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.
- Use reusable mesh bags for fruit and vegetables: “I bring my own mesh bags to the grocery store for produce. They are lightweight, but if you’re concerned you will be charged more when you weigh it in the bag, then take it out of the mesh bag before weighing,” suggested Morgan.
- Reusable Grocery Bags: Many stores encourage or reward customers who bring their own reusable bags. In some states, like parts of Virginia and Maryland, there is a charge if you use one of their plastic bags. If you put the reusable grocery bags in your car, you’re less likely to forget them. The reusable bags often carry more, and it’s easier to carry these on your shoulder rather than holding the plastic bags in your hands.
- Use European Towels instead of paper towels: These are cloths that are firm and strong when dry but that become soft and pliable when wet. You can use them for cleaning the kitchen, countertops, sinks, etc., or use instead of a sponge which goes bad after a while and is harder to sterilize. You can clean the cloths with soap and water or put them in the microwave or even in the top rack of the dishwasher.
- Use microfiber cloths for windows, computer screens. They are reusable and work great.
- Help eliminate single-use plastic: Purchase from companies that use recyclable containers or materials for food – whether it’s for carry out or to purchase in stores. Choose the paper or cardboard version of products when possible.
- “I buy the cream cheese in the cardboard container, rather than the plastic container. Then when I get it home, I put it into my own leftover container. And it’s cheaper by a few bucks,” said Morgan.
- “We always select the eggs in the cardboard containers, and we buy butter sticks, rather than buying a plastic tub of butter,” added Kevin.
2. Use Bamboo Toilet Paper and Paper Towels
- Bamboo is an ecofriendly alternative to traditional toilet paper. One of fastest growing plants on Earth, bamboo matures in just 3 to 5 years instead of the 20 needed for some trees, uses only about one-third the amount of water necessary for a tree, and requires fewer harmful chemicals to grow and process.1
- One of our self-made Earth Day advocates, Morgan, explained, “I have used the bamboo toilet paper for a long time. It is soft but not plush and is as durable as regular toilet paper.” Kevin noted, “The bamboo paper towels have improved in absorbency over the years.”
3. Recycling Made Easier & Apps
- Are there ways to make it easier to recycle? Many companies now offer recycling bins and trash cans for compost in addition to standard trash cans. In the Washington, D.C. Metro area, newer condos and apartments offer residents free trash cans and recycle bins, which, when full, can be placed in the hallway for the management company to collect.
- Recycling Apps That Make a Difference: Many areas have innovative apps and other online “recyclopedia” resources available that can help you find out how and what you can recycle and what locations to go to. Take a look and see what you find.
4. Moving or Doing Spring Cleaning – Consider Donating
- Donate unwanted items in good condition to a charity or other organization instead of throwing them out. Many will pick up your items at your door and give you a receipt for your taxes.
- Eight Charities That Offer Free Donation Pick up: https://www.moving.com/tips/charities-free-donation-pickup/
Are there additional things you or your company do that help contribute to sustaining the health and beauty of our planet Earth?
Christine J. Lachance
Client Relations & Human Resource Specialist, TRANSFORM, INC.
Special thanks and best wishes to Kevin and Morgan who shared their good ideas and are getting married this weekend on Earth Day.
1 Minimalist Vegan, Is Bamboo Eco-Friendly or a Greenwashing Ploy? By Michael Ofei, Updated: January 26, 2023