Easy Ways to be More Eco-Friendly In Your Everyday Life

In honor of Earth Day

Tomorrow is Earth Day, so we figured there was no better time to chat with Tovah Barocas, president of Earth Rangers – a charity that empowers kids and families to have a real and positive impact on the environment through learning and action – about little things we can do to be more eco-friendly in our everyday lives.

In the last few years I’ve implemented small tweaks that benefit both my wallet, my body and the planet… and they’re all easy! Among them there’s bringing my own glass containers when I go food shopping (plastic is a major hormone disruptor and I personally believe the reason I needed IVF for my pregnancies), I exclusively drink out of stainless steel bottles like S’well, I post in Whatsapp groups (building, neighborhood, friends etc.) when I’m cleaning out my closet and whatever I can’t give away I put in a pile till there’s enough to fill a big bag and I donate it.  Lastly, I shop “ugly” produce via services like Imperfect Foods or Misfits Market.

Keep reading for more ways to be eco in your everyday life according to environmentalist and expert, Tovah Barocas.

Easy Ways to be More Eco-Friendly In Your Everyday Life
Image: Iryna Khabliuk / EyeEm for Getty

Repair, don’t replace

“I’m always amazed at how quick people can be to throw things away because of one tear or when they’ve gained or lost a few pounds. With some very basic sewing skills or a quick trip to a tailor, that shirt with the underarm hole or pants that are sliding down when you walk can be fixed with no one the wiser.”

Host a clothing swap

“Rather than throwing out clothes or buying brand-new ones, invite some friends over for a clothing swap. I like to do these when the season is about to change – you can get a whole new wardrobe without stepping foot in a store. Clothing swaps are also great for kids– especially items they might only wear once before growing out of them, like Halloween costumes or that fancy holiday dress.  You can also donate your clothes or if they aren’t in good enough condition to donate, recycle them properly – never put clothing in the garbage.”

Spread the word

“Don’t underestimate your influence on those around you, especially children.  If our kids see us treating our clothes and belongings as disposable, they will too.  It’s important to instill environmental values early on, so that rather than having to break bad habits later, our children will grow up with the benefit of learning from some of our former mistakes.  Plus, maybe they’ll spill less… we can always dream!”

Easy Ways to be More Eco-Friendly In Your Everyday Life
Image: Johner Images for Getty

Choose plants that help pollinators

“Many pollinator species are increasingly threatened as their habitats disappear to make room for more development. By choosing the right plants for your garden or balcony, you can help the pollinators, like bees and butterflies, that live in your area. Planting and decorating flower pots is also a great activity to do with kids. If you want to take it one step further, you can even build a bee condo to provide a safe place for bees that don’t live in hives to lay their eggs.”

Reorganize your fridge

“It’s estimated that almost half of all the food in the United States is wasted each year – a shocking amount! One way I reduce food waste at home is by ensuring that the food I’ve had the longest is at the front of my fridge, so I don’t forget about it. Improvised tacos, omelets and smoothies are also a great way to use up leftovers- like that sad-looking green onion, half a bell pepper or the bottom of a yogurt or sour cream container.”

DIY holidays and birthdays

“There’s nothing my daughter loves more than arts and crafts. So rather than buying things like holiday/birthday cards, wrapping paper and ribbon, we make it using stuff like junk mail, old newspapers and even natural materials like dried leaves and flowers. Not only is this more sustainable, but I’ve also found that people really appreciate receiving something that’s been made with love for them and the planet.”

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