Sustainable living can seem daunting. Things like changing habits, finding new brands you like and trust, and building a new eco-friendly routine can either be overwhelming... or a whole lot of fun! It all depends on how you choose to look at it.
Here at Reel Paper, we like to think of sustainable living as an ongoing challenge. How green can we go? How little impact can we have on our planet? Or, even better, how can we have a negative carbon footprint?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions out there that are causing people to hesitate before jumping on the green bandwagon with us.
We're here to correct those myths once and for all.
Myth #1: Sustainable Living Is Just Too Expensive
You hear this one the most, right?
It makes sense given that switching your lifestyle up may make you think you'll need to buy all sorts of new eco-friendly gizmos and gadgets, but that's not the case. In fact, there are several ways to go green that will actually save you money.
Your Electric Footprint
Simply programming your thermostat and turning off the lights at home when you aren’t using them are two of the easiest money-saving actions you can take to start living an eco-friendly life.
According to Mr. Electric, one incandescent bulb costs $6.60 and lasts over 1,000 hours (41 days). The longer you can stretch out that 1,000 hours, the more you'll save.
Say hello to a smaller electric bill and a bigger bank account.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, the average home uses up to 25 gallons of toxic chemicals every year, many of which are store-bought cleaners.
Trading in some of these harmful products for green alternatives is easier than you might think. Rather than buying expensive brand-name disinfectants with nasty chemicals, use natural alternatives like vinegar and lemons for cleaning.
One of the main objections people get caught up on is how pricey eco-friendly appliances are. Yes, it’s true that they’re often more expensive upfront than their wasteful counterparts, but the long-term savings are way better for your bank account.
The savings you’ll reap down the road are worth the investment, plus you'll be doing a big part to help save the planet. Your future self will thank you (for a bigger wallet and a better environment!).
Myth #2: It Takes Too Much Time & Effort
Some people have it stuck in their minds that sustainable living is synonymous with inconvenience. Not so!
You can live a green life even when it feels like you're always strapped for time.
The best thing you can do is start small. Pick one thing that you can do to help the environment and do it consistently for a month before adding anything new.
That one thing doesn’t have to take a ton of time or cost a lot of money or drain your energy to make an impact. You can contribute in a big way by making little changes.
You could choose to brew coffee at home, use a reusable mug instead of buying a plastic cup every day on the way to work, keep a reusable straw in your car or office desk, or use reusable flatware to eat your lunch rather than grabbing a plastic disposable set.
As often as you can, choose the reusable option rather than buying something you'll have to toss out later. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also be saving money.
Another easy way to go green is to use a couple of reusable cloth bags for groceries. Keep your reusable bags on your coat hanger so you remember to grab it on the way out the door before you go or keep a stash in your car.
You’ll never have to worry about wasting grocery bags again. As an added bonus, reusable bags are much stronger than plastic so you'll never have to worry about your eggs or other valuable groceries falling through the bottom of the bag.
Trade-in Your Paper Products
According to the University of Indiana, "Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S." Luckily, there are many alternatives to paper products that are easy to swap out.
Thanks to modern technology, you can easily trade-in paper notepads and journals for typing out your notes and thoughts onto your computer’s word processor or smartphone’s notepad. If you like to keep notepaper around the house, reuse any sheets that still have a blank side. Cut them into quarters for smaller scratch pads, if needed.
Rather than using paper towels to clean your home, switch to reusable microfiber cloths. They're soft and won't leave harmful scratches on your surfaces, and they can be easily cleaned with your regular laundry again and again.
When you do have to use paper products – whether for work or school supplies, cleaning, or hygiene – make sure to choose sustainable, recyclable, compostable materials. Bonus points if you then toss those paper goods into your own composter!
Sustainable Hygiene Products
Another easy eco-friendly win is to use bamboo toilet paper rather than regular toilet paper made of virgin wood pulp.
Reel Paper delivers eco-friendly TP automatically to your door, making it easy for you to be a hero to the environment while saving you time and effort.
Myth #3: I Won’t Make a Difference
One of the biggest misconceptions people face when thinking about going green is… "I'm just one person. How can I possibly make a difference?"
Many people believe the problems facing the environment are just too big to fix on the individual level.
You have the power to create change. What our planet really needs is for each individual person to commit to making a difference. Only then will we start to see real, lasting change. And it all starts with you.
The biggest difference you can make is doing your part with the little things. Eventually, small, seemingly insignificant actions create a ripple effect which can lead to massive change.
It starts with buying eco-friendly products, reducing your electrical footprint, and choosing a reusable container rather than a paper cup. These small actions turn into habits. Habits turn into a lifestyle. And your lifestyle impacts and inspires the people around you.
Before you know it, by making the little choices every day that help the environment, you'll become an eco-hero.
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