“But I don’t have time to take care of the planet!”
I sometimes hear this refrain when I talk about living green.
Yes you do.
The majority of the things I do to live a green life don’t take any extra time at all. Some actually save time, while others enable me to tackle two tasks at once.
Run Your Errands by Biking or Walking
When I ride my bike to our food co-op or walk to an appointment, I accomplish an important task while also getting in my daily dose of cardio.
If you don’t live in a rideable or walkable community, then do what you can like taking the stairs vs. the elevator, or, if you are in one of those big open air shopping malls, walk from store to store instead of hopping in your car.
Adopt a Spot and Pick Up Trash
I’ve adopted a spot in my city where I pick up trash. It’s about 1 1/2 miles round trip and takes me anywhere from 1 to 1 1/2 hours to pick up trash. It’s an amazing workout! All that bending down while carrying a bag that gets heavier and heavier really gets my heart rate up!
Even if you just have 20 minutes, you can still get a workout picking up trash!
Wash Clothing Only When It Is Truly Dirty and/or Stinky
By only washing my clothes when they smell or have visible dirt, I save time and money on water, electricity, and cleaning products. Furthermore, my clothes last longer which in turn saves me time on shopping for new clothes.
I always decline the bag — the shopping bag, the to-go bag, the gift bag. Basically, I just refuse stuff. So when I’m at a trade show or a festival, I decline the free tchotchke and the flyer. By bringing less stuff into my house, I have less clutter which helps me think more clearly, which makes me feel better. As a result of refusing, I save time because I have less stuff to take care of. I also save time because I don’t spend time getting rid of all the stuff I no longer need!
Eat a Plant-Based Diet
I gotta eat. We all gotta eat, but what we eat has a huge impact on the planet. By following a plant-based or vegan diet, I am eating the best diet for the health of the planet and it doesn’t require any extra time.
Why is it the best diet for the planet? It requires significantly less land and water use than a diet requiring animal agriculture which uses lots and lots of land and water to grow the food to feed the animals — land and water that could be used to just grow food for humans! So make the switch (if you haven’t already).
Hold the Plastic Straw
When I order a drink, I say, “Hold the straw please!” 500 million plastic straws are used and discarded in the United States daily. Plastic waste is wreaking havoc on our planet and holding the straw doesn’t require any extra time.
So, you really do have time to take care of the planet!
What do you do to take care of the planet that doesn’t take extra time? Please share in the comments section below!