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Easy Ways to Pack and Plan for Eco-Friendly Days

by Angelique Platas

Sep 5, 2019

Alla Simacheva | Dreamstime.com

Budget

Going green and reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be the life overhaul it sounds like — families included. Whether you’re packing the kids up for back to school or yourself off to work, you can still be conscious of your impact on the environment in the rush of the morning commute.

 

Reduce your carbon footprint in your day-to-day home and work life, with these easy, introductory eco-friendly swaps.

 

Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

Cut down on plastic waste and save some cash by filling up reusable water bottles for the day. This is something you can do the night before, so you and the kids can just grab and go in the morning. Chances are, you’ll find water refilling stations in public spaces like airports, school hallways, in the office and shopping centers. If you’re out and about all day, you can fill-up in local coffee shops and restaurants. Not only will your family reduce plastic waste, you’ll also be saving money. Win, win!

 

Invest in a Coffee Tumbler

Ditch the Keurig. Making your own pot of coffee at home and filling up a to-go mug, and encouraging your coffee-drinking kids to do the same, will waste less water, electricity and harmful pods. Skipping the pods at home and at work will save on the unnecessary waste, but if a pod-based machine is your only choice, opt for the eco-friendly brands, reusable pods or cut the tops off and empty the grounds before recycling. Invest in a thermos that can keep your coffee hot throughout the day and you can fill up at local coffee shops, sometimes at a discount for going green!

 

Meatless Mondays

Skip the red meat and fill up on plants while dining out or at a family dinner. Mass meat production facilities cause more pollution and damage to the environment than all public transportation combined. This might seem like a difficult swap, especially weaning the kids off comfort foods, but beginning slow with meatless Mondays can help ease meat eaters into a red-less diet.

 

Shop Smarter

Speaking of diets, walking into the grocery store armed with a list of only the necessities can really help reduce food waste. Plan your family’s meals for the week ahead of the shopping trip. Now that everyone is back to routine, meal planning and prepping can help save money, food and stress for the whole crew. As boring as it may seem, having the same thing for breakfast and lunch for five days a week can make your weekly shop easier and eco- and budget-friendly.

 

Take the Road Less Driven

Walk or bike when and wherever possible. As easy and readily available as ride shares and cabs may be for the kids and your own nights out, skipping the ride and opting to walk and bike is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint and save a little cash at the same time.

 

Shop Second-Hand

Not only is shopping vintage and thrift really trendy, but it’s an affordable way to go green. Skip the department stores and go for used. You can even clean out some of your own family’s used clothing for cash or credit with companies like ThredUp.

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