Last year, I took a hard look at my personal core values and being an environmentally friendly person was (is!) one of them. This didn't mean that I had to change everything in my life and completely live like a pioneer, but there are some pretty easy and simple things that I've done that I think do make a difference.
Here are my favourite changes I've made to be more environmentally friendly:
1. No more dryer. I simply stopped using the dryer. It's a huge energy drain and the biggest culprit for increasing the electricity bill, so I stopped using it. Plus it will help make my clothes last longer.
2. Water bottles. I bought a 40 ounce stainless steel water bottle that I use every day, around my house and when I'm driving. This also helps me make sure I'm getting enough water each day. I've found that living at elevation requires more water intake, so I'm much more aware of how much I'm drinking now. I still use plastic bottles for training, but reusable ones.
3. Food prep containers. I make a lot of food in batches, normally a couple of times per week. They go into silicone containers, rather than on plates or in bowls with plastic wrap or tinfoil. Plus...these ones fold down to become smaller as you eat the food inside, which is awesome for taking up less space in the fridge and for storing them.
4. Silicon baking sheets. No more parchment or tinfoil! I simply use the silicon baking sheets on the baking tray whenever I'm roasting veggies or baking pancakes. Love, love, love that I no longer have to buy (or store!) so many different rolls of one-time use foil and paper.
5. Silicon covers. These things are awesome...they go right over bowls or plates or fruit. Again, no more plastic wrap!
6. Reusable shopping bags. This one is probably pretty basic, and it's now not even a thought when I go shopping. Everything I buy goes in a fabric bag instead of plastic ones.
7. And my most favourite thing...reusable mesh produce bags for buying fruits and veggies at the grocery store. I buy a lot of fruits and vegetables (like...a lot!) and I hated always having to use the plastic bags supplied by the stores. I have mesh bags in all different sizes and I keep them in my reusable shopping bags in the car. I ALWAYS get compliments and asked about these bags. The cashiers love them!
I don't have garbage/recycling pick up where I live so I take everything to the local transfer station. I can literally see that I've decreased my environmental impact because the amount of garbage I create has gone down. Silicon baking sheets and mesh produce bags have had the most impact in my life and now I could never go back! Both these things are awesome gifts too :)