educe, reuse, recycle. Turn the lights off when you leave the room. Take shorter showers. Until recently, I thought I was doing my part for the planet by just doing the minimum. It’s fine to use disposable cups because they can just be recycled, right? Maybe not. It turns out that we all have dozens of opportunities each day to make sustainable and responsible choices to save our planet.
Set yourself up for a minimal waste day by prepping an eco-friendly “go bag” that you can easily grab as you head out the door.
A Mason jar can be a cup for cold drinks or a sustainable replacement for to-go boxes when eating out. A travel mug is good for hot drinks or soup. The majority of plastic isn’t recycled each year, so cut down on the amount of plastic that goes to landfills by bringing your own silverware. You can opt for bamboo or metal, and if you want to save a few dollars, buy a mismatched set secondhand. A handkerchief can be used as a napkin, tissue or even a pouch. Store all of this in a reusable tote bag and try not to use any plastic bags throughout the day.
When it comes to longer distances, buses and trains are the most sustainable option. If you must fly, consider offsetting your carbon emissions by using an online calculator to estimate your footprint and then donating the equivalent of that amount to projects that support clean energy.
For example, a roundtrip flight between Pittsburgh and New York City generates a suggested offset donation of just 98 cents, according to carbonfund.org.