Going green at home is easy, but when you’re constantly on the go – driving the kids back and forth to school, attending sporting events and running errands, not to mention getting yourself to work and back again – living green presents a bit of a challenge. What’s an environmentally conscious family to do when the realities of everyday life get in the way of a green lifestyle?
Follow these simple tips to lower your family’s carbon footprint, even when you’re on the go.
Green Your Commute
The average American commutes 16 miles each way between work and home daily, using about seven gallons of gas per week – and that’s not even counting all of the other places you need to go on a regular basis!
All that driving contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Carpooling, taking public transportation or even walking or biking to work or school just once or twice a week can make a big difference, both in decreasing pollution and to your pocketbook!
If it’s just not feasible to take the bus, take steps to decrease your car’s emissions. Check your tire pressure frequently: Tires that are inflated to their recommended level decrease gas consumption by up to five percent. Regular mechanic visits keep your car running efficiency, too, so keep up with those scheduled tune-ups and oil and air filter changes.
Some of the easiest ways for busy families to go green are right inside your grocery store. Invest in reusable cloth bags and bring them along when you shop. While plastic grocery bags may be handy, they take hundreds of years to degrade. That means that many bags end up lingering in landfills or, even worse, polluting our oceans.
While you’re at the store, check out the bulk bins. Bulk purchases create less packaging waste and, as an added bonus, they tend to cost less as well. Create even less environmental impact by bringing your own containers from home when purchasing bulk goods.
You can even reduce your footprint when you’re eating out. Bring your own reusable containers for leftovers and take-out, and avoid those non-biodegradable Styrofoam to-go boxes that many restaurants favor. You can also take your own mug along to your favorite coffee shop, and keep a BPA-free reusable water bottle on hand for fast-food meals. Whenever you can, choose eateries that feature locally sourced or organically produced ingredients.
These simple actions reduce the waste your family creates when you’re out and about, ensuring your entire family lives the green life.