Many of us feel pressed for time thanks to fast-paced lifestyles. It’s that feeling that can lead us to make poor decisions for the environment, even without meaning to do so. Here are some options for common daily tasks that are better for the planet.
Going out for drive-through coffee
Your alarm goes off for the third time and so you jump out of bed to rush through your morning. In a fog, you know you don’t have time to wait for your coffeemaker to fire up, so you head to your local drive-through coffee shop. Here’s why this isn’t a green decision: you’ll burn gas going out of your way to the shop, you’ll burn gas waiting in line, and lastly you’ll end up using a disposable coffee cup. Even if you recycle the cup, you can’t reclaim the energy it took to create and ship it.
Instead, take some simple steps towards ensuring you make your coffee at home. Buy a programmable coffee maker so that its up and working before you are. If that’s not in the budget, set up your traditional coffee maker with water and grounds the night before. While you’re at it, use a reusable metal mesh filter instead of disposable paper filters and look for ethically harvested coffee grounds. You could even go the extra mile by composting your used coffee grounds.
Paper or Plastic at the Grocery Store
It’s late after a long day at work and you have to get groceries for the week. While at the check out, you’re asked: paper or plastic? While paper might be responsibly harvested, you can recycle the plastic bag. It’s unclear which of those two is the better choice for the environment. Instead, take reusable shopping bags to the store because it means you are eliminating the need to ship single-use bags. That alone makes it worth it. Worried you’ll forget to take them with you? Buy extras and leave them in your car, so they’re ready at a moment’s notice.
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