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Eight Ways to Be a More Sustainable Citizen

Check out these easy ideas that will help you become a bit kinder to our dear friend Earth.

From the desk of a CPS Blogger

Whether you've gone partially vegan or have begun to sip from gentle, paper straws, so many of us are trying to minimize our stomping prints on the planet. Here are some easy ideas to help you become a bit kinder to our dear friend Earth.

  1. As You Cleanse:

True story: When my daughter was 8, she protested from the shower in my parent's home when I told her to use the bar of soap. With water running over blinking eyes, she held a green block of Irish Springs and shouted that she "didn't know what to do with this thing!" (!)

Now that I reflect on all those unnecessarily purchased thick, plastic bottles of liquid body wash sitting next to all those other unnecessarily purchased thick containers trying to decompose on fake mountain garbage dumps and precious coral reefs, I shudder. And so, advice to environmentally conscious you, buy and fill your bathroom with shampoo bars, and body soaps that will easily disintegrate.

Ah, and you know those cute hotel soap and lotion bottles you think you are not stealing as you load up your toiletry case (and then your pocketbook) (and then your spouse's suitcase panels,) well, how about you resist your need to "help yourself" and help the planet instead by leaving some of the tiny toiletries untouched for the next guests.

  1. As You Cleanse; Part II:

Let's discuss towels. Bath towels are used to dry immaculate bodies that have just been exposed to gallons of deliciously hot (clean) water. If left to air dry, isn't it logical to say that once 24 hours have passed, the terry will be humidity-free and ready to remove moisture from your body the next morning with no washer/dryer and Tide pods involved? I think yes. But what - you say - if you use that same large towel to remove your makeup or wipe down your sink as part of your routine? To that, I say, "Don't."  Go buy some tiny washcloths to use for those needs. According to The American Hotel and Lodging Association, when hotel guests reuse linens, it reduces water, sewer, energy and labor costs by 17% and increases the lifespan of the fabric. So why not apply this environmentally friendly policy to your home and save yourself time, labor, and money.

  1. When You're Thirsty:

When you're in a supermarket or even by your fridge, take a look at the cap, yes, just the cap, of one of the super, duper heavy plastic containers that hold your favorite almond milk or juice. Then imagine thousands of them (we're still just discussing the caps) sitting on a mound of earth with other the sprinkles of dirt saying to each other, "Hey, we can never tackle these things! Too hard to chew through all that!" And if you think those thick babies are safely headed to recycling plants, know this, they're not all making it. And so, write letters to those beverage companies and ask them to stop using such packaging. And after you send those emails, make a conscious effort to purchase paper containers or heck, you can even get yourself some real oranges, and squeeze your own juice (which can be easily strained for the pulp haters in your home.)

  1. When You're Thirsty; Part II

The next time you're parched, think about how you'll be delivering the liquid to your lips. Are you reaching for the tower of styrofoam cups at the office because that's what's available? Are you grabbing a disposable at home to save yourself the washing step? If so, pack up a ceramic mug to use and reuse at work. And when in your nest, you know what - rinse your glass. It's not that hard. And it's cheaper!

  1. The Non-Lazy Ziplock Policy:

Buy a paper towel stand that you can keep hidden from view (or not) and then rinse the slightly used zip-lock bag and pop it over the stand to dry. Multiply each reader of this paragraph reusing just one bag and that's a hell of a lot of conservation!

  1. Plan Your Errands:

With a bit of premeditated thought, you can reduce fumes plus the amount of time in the car, (and $ for gas!) Going to the tailor, shoe-maker, carwash, and buying groceries and flowers, can often be done on the same day. When possible, choose vendors that are located near each other and chart which you will visit first, second and third, reducing your laps around and down unnecessary corners and blocks.

  1. Be a Smart Smartphone Recycler:

Refurbished phones are better for the environment. Period. Although there are efforts to recycle electronics, logic has it that many end up in landfills and can cause environmental damage. So before you toss your cracked and crackling Samsung or iPhone, think about selling or it on some secondary market to some other good-willed environmentalist. Yep, yep, think vintage.

  1. Wear Hemp:

Ah, there is so much great news about hemp! Get ready, earth-friendly you. First of all, hemp is a weed (yep, that's why marijuana is called that) and it literally grows wildly, naturally reducing the need to keep pests at bay, which means there's no need to use harsh herbicides! 60-70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil! Ready for more plusses? It also uses less land than cotton to cultivate and uses 50% less water as well! (I know there's a lot of exclamation points in this section, but like, I'm really excited about this one!)

We all know that what goes around, comes around. And so, from buying bars of shampoo to reusing plastic bags to choosing hemp over cotton and BYOC (bringing your own cup) to work, employing these green ideas can be small ways in which you increase the health and longevity of the home we share. Cheers to the future!

Consumer Priority Service is a warranty company located in Brooklyn, NY.