By Shannon Spence Every year, for Earth Day, I try to adopt one new habit that will help reduce my footprint on this planet. Ideally, this new practice is something that I will carry forward with me throughout my life, not just a one-time action. Over the years, I’ve found some new habits don’t stick as well as others. For instance, one year, I decided to solely purchase second-hand (or “vintage”) apparel or clothing made from organic cotton made in the USA. This worked for about a couple of months, or until I found myself at the mall drooling over a cute new dress or pair of shoes, and did not have the self-discipline to say “no”. However, there has been several, more successful energy-saving, eco-friendly habits that I would like to share with you.
- If you live in Indianapolis, sign up for IPL’s 100% Green Power Option. You can opt to receive 100% of your home or business electricity to be sourced from renewable energy. If you don’t live in Indy, ask your electric company to provide this service. If you ask for it, companies will listen.
- If you’re addicted to coffee (like I am), commit to only using reusable coffee mugs. You’ll save a gazillion disposable cups over your lifetime.
- Whether at work or at home, always print your documents double-sided. The paper has two sides for a reason. If you want to one-up yourself, be sure to purchase paper with a high recycled content.
- Try to have a paperless home (notice I said “try”). This means using cloth towels instead of paper towels, cloth napkins instead of paper napkins, and purchasing recycled content paper goods, like toilet paper. I know I’ll never be able to achieve 100% paperless with two dogs and a cat at home, but I try my hardest!
If some of these items are a no-brainer for you, I’d love to hear some of the practices you’ve adopted as well. Please feel free to share any ideas or habits that you’ve found helpful in becoming a better steward of our environment!