1. Eliminate disposables: ok, that’s a hard one but you can go pretty far into being an example green citizen. Start in your kitchen by replacing paper towels with reusable rags, pack to-go meals with reusable sandwich bags. Always use your own reusable shopping bags (or bags to carry your lunch), change packaged soap with natural bulk soap. When shopping in the supermarket look for bulk goods instead of packaged ones. Toss those apples straight into your shopping bag instead of putting them into one of those plastic bags. (weigh them upfront and stick the barcode on one of the apples. If their weighed at the checkout counter that’s even better because you then don’t have to worry about them at all)
2. Shop Second Hand: carbon trust estimates that CO2 emissions associated with clothing account for three percent of global emissions. Shopping second hand saves good clothing from a landfill and reduces the overall demand for clothing production. Also look for premium quality, clothing that stands the test of time, even when passing several times in the washer.
3. Take the bicycle to the office: ok, not everybody lives around the corner of the company where he or she is working, but you can change your habits. Take your bicycle to commute between your home and the railway station for example.
4. Enjoy your homemade lunch at the office: according to RecycleWorks.org, disposable lunches (to-go packaging, plastic utensils, etc) generate 100 pounds of trash per person annually. Solution: take your reusable lunch gear with you.
5. Go Digital: replace all those paper copies by digital ones. Take notes on your laptop and communicate with your colleague’s via e-mail rather than using paper. Ask the utility company to send you digital invoices instead of paper ones.
6. Aim for the eco cubicle: recycle your water/soda bottle at the office. Clean it out every day and you will be astonished how long a PET bottle will stay in your life. Install a recycle bin for those that don’t have the courage to recycle their water/soda bottles but still want to contribute or for yourself when you want to change your old PET bottle for a new one.
7. Replace chemical cleaning products by natural alternatives: your new cleaning products in the bathroom (and beyond): vinegar and baking soda. They’re versatile and effective. Keep them in glass containers.
8. Make your own cosmetics: Check out blogs (such as Free People) for instructions on how to make your own natural cheek and lip stains, perfume, shampoo, make-up remover and more.