There are many ways to go about being environmentally friendly. Some focus on the big picture, like choosing where to invest your retirement funds or where you shop. Others are smaller, of the everyday variety. We’ve pulled together a list of easy ways to live a little more eco-friendly each day.

Swap Out Plastic Bags

Some cities are switching from plastic bags at stores, but that can be just the beginning. Think about all the places you use plastic bags. Do you store leftovers in a single-use zip bag? Reusable versions are getting cheaper and easier to get a hold of each year.


There are about a thousand benefits to composting food waste over tossing it into a regular trash bin. Plus, you can get indoor containers that keep the smell at bay.

Skip Meat One Day a Week

Meatless Mondays have become pretty popular, and for good reason. Beef is one of the worst offenders, so avoiding it more often than not will be a step in the right direction.

Switch to Electronic Versions

Many of your utilities will allow you to switch to a paperless bill to help save the trees. Expand that to other areas of your life, too. And when you do use paper, make sure you’re recycling it.

Replace Single Use Items with Reusable Ones

Like plastic bags, you can substitute reusable versions of items all over your home. Paper towels can be swapped for kitchen towels. Paper napkins for cloth ones. If you’re feeling up to it, cloth diapers do indeed still exist out there!

Get a Water Bottle You Actually Like

Plastic water bottles are pretty awful for the environment, but it’s tough to give them up if you don’t have a good substitute. Spend some time searching for one that you’ll really use.

Check Insulation

If you’re spending a ton on a heating or cooling bill, that might be a sign that your home isn’t well-insulated. Improving insulation means you’re not using up energy with unnecessary temperature control.

Use the Delay Cycle

Your city produces energy based on the needs of the people who live there hour by hour. If you’re running laundry loads and the dishwasher in the middle of the day, you’re adding to the load on the grid. However, running those appliances at night can help balance out energy usage.

Buy Second Hand

From clothing to cars, buying second hand extends the life cycle of items and prevents them from ending up in a landfill.

Borrow from a Friend

Like buying second hand, borrowing an item you only need a few times helps prevent you from accumulating things that you’ll simply throw away later.