What Eco-Friendly Changes Have You Made in Your Life?
Real Simple readers share their green tips.
Pedal Off the Metal
I used to drive 50 miles back and forth every day to work using an SUV. Now I take a commuter bus to the office. It’s cost-effective
I was in the habit of driving my two small boys across town to the mall for amusement. As the price of gas has skyrocketed, we spend a lot more time discovering the parks and nature paths in our own neighborhood instead of driving all around the city.
My husband and I decided to switch to cloth diapers instead of disposables for our toddler. Cloth is not only easier on the
earth ― it’s cuter on baby’s butt!
Wall Township, New Jersey
I love shopping for recycled (secondhand) clothes. With a little patience, you can find some really great stuff and save cash.
Cloth napkins. We save stress, and even takeout feels glamorous.
Miami Beach, Florida
When my daughter hands me notes from school that are on printable paper and blank on the opposite side, we use that paper
for our home printer. I’ve extended this practice to mail we receive and any other printable paper with a blank side. We’re
allowed to use good printing paper only on final copies of homework and other important documents.
I bring my own mug to my favorite coffee shop. For those of us who stop in every day on our way to work, that’s more than 250 paper mugs, plastic tops, and cardboard sleeves every year that won’t make it to the landfills.
Farmington Hills, Michigan
Walking the Walk
Why do we rip off paper towels by the dozen to wipe up a little spill and start a new bottle of lotion just because the old
one doesn’t pump anymore? I believe the little things matter. We could learn from the homesteaders of the 1800s; they reduced,
reused, and recycled. I’ve stopped wasting what I have. It’s amazing how far things will stretch, not to mention how much
money you can save, if you simply use wisely.
Aside from our new Prius? Persuading my SUV-driving, conservative, old-school Texas husband to become a recycling, water- and electricity-saving, locally sustainable practitioner. (At least most of the time.) The power of love! One down, 6 billion to go.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Recycling wire hangers from the dry cleaner. I have found that most recycling centers will take them, and it clears up valuable closet space.