Green background with drawing of recycle symbol

Beginner’s Steps to Going Green

by Andrea Mau
Web Content Contributor 

Every day we are producing more trash than we can dispose of. We mitigate this environmental crisis with recycling, but the truth is much more should and can be done to repair the planet or at least preserve it.

However, going waste-free is a large lifestyle change that takes time and planning to implement into one’s day-to-day. The following are easy steps to start one off on their green journey.

Green background with drawings of bars of soap, water bottle, and bag
Andrea Mau via Canva

Green substitutes

Small and easy things to replace with more environmentally conscious products are also the most basic. Replace any soap containers with bars of soap. Not only do soap bars leave behind no waste when purchased without packaging, but they also come in much more unique styles and colors.

This goes for cups and bottles too. Purchasing a designated coffee cup for coffee purchased outside the home and a water bottle for when you’re on-the-go is essential, but also allows you to personally style your drinking containers.

Ziplock baggies can go out the door too. Purchasing permanent Tupperware will reduce plastic trash while not reducing any practicality of storing or packing food. Packing materials such as saran wrap are also easily substituted with reusable beeswax coverings available online.

Bags for carrying groceries or other items is another easily accessible change that makes the biggest difference. Get your own three to four carry bags that can be kept in the car or any other convenient place.

Just converting these basics will reduce our environmental footprint and make the globe a cleaner place. However, there is still much more one can do.

Green background with drawings of pants, turtle neck, boots, and dress
Andrea Mau via Canva

Clean out your wardrobe

There is an excessive amount of clothing in the majority of American closets. This can be attributed to a market that is continually producing new products to keep ahead of evolving fashion standards.

However, some basics staples within every wardrobe can stand the test of time. Staple clothing items include three to four pairs of jeans, shorts, T-shirts, and bras and underwear. Then one sweater, turtle neck, dress, jacket, and pair of black boots and white sneakers.

Finding high quality of these (up to 30) obligatory items is important because of the longevity of their use. These basics are common, so finding them in a thrift store is both environmentally friendly and easy. However, to ensure quality, consider purchasing from green-conscious companies such as Afends, People Tree, or Alternative Apparel.

After cleaning out the closet and establishing a unified wardrobe, consider donating any other fabrics to local thrift stores, Goodwill, or any other various charitable organizations.

After cleaning out the closet and establishing a unified wardrobe, consider donating any other fabrics to local thrift stores, Goodwill, or any other various charitable organizations.

Andrea mau via Canva

Go vegetarian and shop local

Going vegetarian is by far the hardest step to take on this list, but it is a major one. The environmental cost of all the resources used in animal product manufacturing is substantial. Gradual steps are the key to making this large lifestyle change.

Make goals for yourself such as only eating meat on the weekends, or every other day, to ease into this new diet. It isn’t easy to switch from a normal pattern in one’s life, but it is necessary to take the steps before the global warming crisis becomes worse.

For those who can’t refrain from meat, consider buying from local farmers through the Central Texas Farmers Co-Op. This service provides ethically produced meat and vegetables from Texas farms. It not only helps local farms but the environment too due to lower import and transportation costs.

This goes for any other products as well. Buying locally will support communities and eventually the whole planet. In our own San Marcos community there is the Farmers’ Market every Saturday on the square.

Take the extra step to care for our environment and implement these steps into your daily routine.

Featured Image by Andrea Mau

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