Many times when we talk about energy conservation or being more environmentally conscious, our thoughts turn first to how we drive a car, or if our attic is insulated enough. It’s no surprise that the big-swing items come to mind first, but often the little things we change about our everyday life end up doing just as much if not more for the world around us. Here are some green tips you can use in your everyday life to increase the green impact you have.

1. Do Your Homework

With the abundance of products of all shapes, sizes and types that promise they are economically friendly, it can at first seem simply buying different is the easiest of the green tips. However, companies know that living an environmentally conscious lifestyle is “in” right now, and some are just seeking to capitalize. If you want to really know your choices are making a difference and you aren’t just falling victim to “greenwashing“, look beyond the flashy ads and hyped-up promises.

It may seem that paper towels made from recycled material would be among the good “green tips” to observe, but the simple fact is that using paper products at all can be unnecessary and wasteful. Clean up those messes with cloth towels. Just make sure those towels are made of organic cotton. While any cotton towel would seem like a good choice over paper, if it’s not organic cotton, you will be using the products of one of the most chemically sprayed crops in the world.

Green tips

2. Coming Clean

You might not initially connect keeping a clean house with harming the environment, but have you every stopped to consider what happens to all those chemicals you are spraying around your home? While all these modern cleaners certainly make it much easier to tidy up than it used to, the impact they have on the world around us cannot be denied. While the amount you use in your home may not seem enough to hurt the environment, it is the accumulated use by everyone that can be harmful. Some chemicals may not biologically break down immediately, leading to contaminated ground and water, even making their way into the food we eat.

Take away the harmful chemicals inside, and you still have packaging. Aerosol cans use a propellant gas which is often harmful, and plastics used to contain the cleaners take a long time to break down in landfills.

To make sure you are cleaning green, read the label first before taking any manufacturer’s word for it. Avoid cleaners that use phosphates, chlorine, or volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Instead, look for those that use plant-derived substances, such as d-limonene, lauramine oxide or TEA lauryl sulfate.

3. Do the Loco-motion

One of the most delicious green tips you can heed is becoming what is known as a locavore. You don’t even necessarily need to change your eating habits to become one. Locavores are those who consume only food grown within 100 miles of where they live.

How does that help live a greener life? Consuming only foods produced within 100 miles of where you live reduces the effect transporting food a long distance has on our environment.

Local markets are a good idea to change your habits and become locavore.

The advantages are so much more than just ecological, as well. Eating locavore strengthens local food markets, has a positive impact on your local economy and can even lead to more healthy eating. If the local supplier you source your food from uses sustainable practices, well that’s even better.

For almost every facet of our lives, there are green tips to be followed that make the world around us a better place. Making good on our promise to live better, more environmentally conscious lives is as easy as doing your own research and finding greener ways to live.