Many people believe that it’s difficult or expensive to maintain an environmentally-friendly lifestyle. However, living sustainably might be easier than you think. There are small, simple actions you can take every day to reduce your impact on the environment and benefit the planet for years to come. If you’re looking for ways to start living more sustainably, try some of these steps:
Reduce household energy use
A great place to start living more sustainably is to conserve energy in your home. For example, turn off appliances or lights when you’re using them. Install energy-efficient light bulbs. Wash your clothes in cold water instead of hot water. Instead of turning on air conditioning, open a window. Even making slight changes can have a significant impact on reducing the amount of energy you use in your household!
Plant your own garden
Another easy way to live sustainably is by eating locally. Shop at local farmer’s markets, or consider planting your own backyard garden with fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, and herbs. Gardening is a relaxing activity that the whole family can enjoy, plus you might save a little money by growing your own food.
Carpool or take your bike to work
Do you have a coworker who lives near you? Consider sharing rides to work! You’ll both save money on gas and reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which contributes to less air pollution—and less traffic! If carpooling isn’t an option, try riding your bike or taking public transportation instead of driving your car whenever possible.
Dispose of disposable products
Single-use items like paper towels, plastic utensils and straws, and water bottles may be convenient, but they are also harmful to the environment. Try swapping out disposable products for reusable ones when you can. For example, use a reusable water bottle or a thermos instead of plastic bottles or disposable coffee cups. Carry a metal straw or bamboo utensils in your bag. Opt for cloth towels or napkins instead of paper ones. These simple swaps are often relatively inexpensive and easy to implement.
Give a new life to gently-used items
When cleaning and decluttering your home, ditch the dumpster and donate any unwanted clothing and household items to Goodwill. Instead of sitting in a landfill where they may take months to fully breakdown, items donated to Goodwill are processed and resold in our retail stores, where they’ll be given a new life and a new purpose. Buying secondhand goods from Goodwill benefits the planet, too. By choosing to purchase something used instead of a brand new product, Goodwill shoppers extend that item’s life cycle and reduce excess waste, making a significant difference in the environment.
At Ohio Valley Goodwill, environmental stewardship and sustainability are fundamental to our mission and values. We are committed to diverting recyclable and reusable items from local landfills, keeping our communities clean and beautiful. Last year alone, Ohio Valley Goodwill recycled more than 55 million pounds of donated materials. But the benefits of donating to Goodwill don’t stop there! The sale of donated goods in Ohio Valley Goodwill’s retail stores helps to fund our job training programs and employment services for individuals with disabilities and homeless veterans, helping them go to work in their communities.
Become a job creator by donating to Goodwill! Find your nearest donation location and view our list of items we can and cannot accept for more information. As always, thank you for your support!