By changing up just a few of our morning habits to environmentally friendly alternatives we can, collectively, make a difference for our planet. We have taken an honest look at some of our morning habits and found 15 relatively painless ways to adopt greener habits that you can implement today and reduce your ecological footprint before lunchtime.
- Wake up with a bright new start
Start your morning greener by checking the light bulbs in your kitchen and bathroom. Consider changing any old bulbs for energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs. They are brighter, last longer and use much less energy.
- Stem the water waste
With the convenience of running water the norm in our societies, we forget that there are many around the world struggling to quench their thirst with a cup of clean water. To reduce the amount of clean water going down the drain think about taking a shorter shower this morning. This small habit change uses less water as well as less energy for heating.
- Eat Breakfast and change the world
Get in the habit of having a good breakfast each morning, rather than rushing out the door and grabbing something on the way to work. Eating breakfast at home reduces the amount of wasteful food wrappings you will be adding to the trash each day.
- Get Fruity and Veggie
For an even better start to your day, add some local fruit or vegetables to your breakfast. By eating locally produced food we can reduce the number of miles the food has had to travel to get to your plate. Not only will it be fresher and last longer, it has used far less energy to get to you.
- Plan A Change
While you are in the kitchen, why not plan a meat-free meal for dinner tonight. One pound of beef requires hundreds of gallons of water to produce. So, by eating a vegetarian meal at least once a week you will be greatly reducing your environmental impact.
- Switch up your Java.
If you are using the single-serving coffee pods for your morning coffee fix, consider switching to refillable pods or good old-fashioned brewed coffee. The pods are simply not recyclable and only add to the pile of trash we all produce daily.
- Pack a lunch.
Take lunch from home each day. You can wrap your lunch in reusable waxed cotton wraps or sandwich bags. Thus again reducing the number of wasteful food wrappers we throw away when buying lunch on the run. Bonus points if you also make lunch for your kids!
- Take your favourite cup to work
Bring your own coffee cup to work instead of using disposable cups. If you buy takeaway coffee also take your own cup. Many coffee shops will even give you a small discount for using your own cup.
- Save while you brush
Turn off the tap when brushing teeth. Simply by turning the tap off while we are brushing our teeth, we can all save around 20 litres of water per person per day.
- Skip the hot wash
Put your clothes on a cold wash cycle. Not only is washing your clothes with cold water good for preserving the quality of delicate fabrics and colours, it also saves energy!
- Hang them out to dry
When the washing is done, hang it all out to dry while you are at work. By drying your clothes naturally rather than in a spin drier your can save a lot of wasteful energy and reduce your energy bill as well.
- Don’t forget the trash
Before you head out the door for work, take out the trash but don’t forget to separate out any glass, plastic, electronics, clothing or paper. These can all go to be recycled. Make a point of finding out which days of the week recycled goods are collected or where the local drop-off points are.
- Bring your own bag everywhere
As you grab your bag to head out the door, also grab a reusable bag in case you drop by the supermarket on your way home. By bringing your own bag, you can avoid using single-use plastic shopping bags that are notorious for clogging our oceans and landfills.
- Lights are out when no one is home
Make sure you turn off all lights and electrical equipment when you leave the house. This includes any devices that might be on sleep mode – your computer, your TV and anything sitting on a charger. Put your home heating on a timer to only heat when you are at home. By turning everything off you can dramatically reduce the energy use of your home during the day.
- Energy saving commute
Last but not least, don’t overlook the opportunity to switch your daily commute to a greener alternative. Consider biking to work, car-pooling with others or taking public transport. All ways we can reduce the number of single occupant cars guzzling energy and clogging our highways every morning and evening.
The best thing about greening our morning routines is that we can begin each day in a more positive way for our planet! What a great incentive to get out of bed, so why not start this morning?