The New Year is all about new beginnings – and there's no better way to go green in 2020 than with environmentally friendly food, home goods, and... even sustainable search engines.
If you think it's hard to go green, think again. Simple lifestyle changes are some of the most impactful things you can do to promote a healthier environment and elevate your life.
Here are 7 unique and effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint in 2020 and make this your greenest year yet!
Receive & Pay Bills Online
Take a moment and think: how many bills do you get in the mail? It's probably a lot, isn't it? Each year, that's quite a bit of paper coming to your house that, frankly, most people don't even want.
Luckily, most companies offer digital bills that you can be emailed to you and can be paid online. Additionally, the majority of credit card companies and banks offer paperless, digital statements that you can view anytime.
Going digital with your bills will make paying them much more simple and convenient while also protecting the environment. If you're still receiving paper bills or statements in the mail, make a stack. Then spend an afternoon calling your financial institutions and service providers to cut the paper and go green.
Composting is an excellent way to make use of any leftover produce or food scraps that you have while also reusing those bits for future growth.
When you compost, you are allowing foods to decompose naturally so that their nutrients can be reused. Compost can easily be mixed into soil to make it more nutrient-rich and plant-friendly, while also keeping all the insects and soil critters happy.
If you're a gardener of any kind, this is great because it means you don't have to spend money on expensive fertilizer. Startup a community compost and invite your friends and neighbors to drop their veggie scraps, coffee grounds, and even eggshells inside to reduce waste and turn up the volume on your soil's nutrient density.
Use More Bamboo
Bamboo is the newest, cutting-edge sustainable material. Of course, bamboo has been around for a long time, but it wasn't until recently that it began to get famous for its eco-friendly features.
Bamboo is a versatile material that can be used to produce products ranging from building materials to cooking gadgets to clothes and home decor. It can be used to create sturdy kitchen utensils, breathable bed sheets, or even soft and absorbent toilet paper.
The biggest advantage of bamboo is that it grows at an extraordinary rate – more than 25 feet in just about 3 weeks! This means that bamboo can be regrown quickly after it is used.
Bamboo also absorbs greenhouse gases and creates little-to-no waste. These are just a few of many reasons why we love bamboo here at Reel Paper. By developing low-impact, quality bamboo toilet paper, we've created a sustainable alternative to a modern staple. Using Reel Paper is one more way to save the environment – all while being kind to your rear end.
Turn Off Electronics You're Not Using
Right now, it's likely that there are several unused electronics in your house that are still drawing power. Shutting off electronics that aren't in use is an easy and effective way to reduce the amount of energy you use – thereby reducing the load on energy generation plants.
When you turn off unused electronics, you're also lowering your energy bill and saving some green for yourself.
Switch to Reusable Bottles & Mugs
Reusable straws are all the rage right now, but how often do you bring a reusable mug to your local coffee shop?
Each year, an estimated 25 billion – yes, with a 'b'! – coffee cups are thrown away in the U.S. alone. And here's the kicker: the vast majority of them are not recyclable.
When you buy and use a reusable cup, just think about how many disposable coffee cups you won't use each month. As an added incentive, Starbucks offers a $0.10 discount on any drink, any size, any day when you bring a reusable mug!
Eating in-season is probably one of the most beneficial things that you can do for the environment. When you eat foods in-season, you are eating foods that have a low "food mileage."
In other words, these are foods that have not had to travel long distances to get to you. As a result, they require fewer preservatives, carbon emissions, and capital to get from the farm to your table.
Additionally, when you eat with the seasons you are likely getting your food locally. Not only is local food fresher and retains more of its nutritional value, but also eating in-season supports local farmers. Keeping it in-season helps farmers maximize their productivity and remain profitable so that they can continue to provide fresh, healthy produce to your local community.
Reconsider Your Search Engine
The internet is a vast and far-reaching virtual environment, but it's not all virtual. Massive servers and data centers are necessary for the internet to function, but they emit tons of heat and carbon dioxide.
A 2015 study found that these servers and data centers account for around 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions – an amount equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of air travel that same year.
As a result, things we often take for granted like reading the news online, streaming a movie, or even a simple Google search indirectly affect the environment.
One company taking steps to cut back on this harmful contribution is Ecosia, a revolutionary search engine designed to promote the welfare of the environment.
Ecosia's servers are run entirely on clean, renewable energy. Plus, with each Ecosia search, a tree gets planted in a place where it can help the environment and the local community. So switch to Ecosia in 2020 and surf the web without guilt.
How Will You Go Green in 2020?
While these are all excellent ideas for making 2020 a greener, more sustainable year, this list is by no means complete. The ways by which you can create a better world to live in are endless.
Whether you make one of these changes, all of them, or find your own creative ways to go green, the most important thing is that you are creating a better, more livable world for generations to come. Let us know in the comments how you plan to go green in 2020!