Keep It Green: 8 Good Green Habits

GeeseIf you haven’t already noticed, the earth is trying to cope with the result of bad habits and practices of our ancestors. It could be the bad of habits of thousands and millions of individuals and families. Or, it could be the bad habits of big businesses and companies. Maybe it is a combination of both. Yet, that was then and this is now. You are not a lone bird anymore. Together, we can fix this. We all need to step up and do what we can for our planet. We need to keep it green!

You may think you’re already doing everything you can to help the environment. However, there’s usually an eco-friendly practice or green habit that you haven’t thought of that can help big time.

You may find it a no brainer to change up your habits or you may find it challenging, but whatever the case, each thing you do can make the world a better place for you right now and for everybody else in the future.

8 Ways To Keep It Green

      1. Flex your buying power. Purchase products with less packaging, buy organic products and produce and seek out and support local companies.
      2. Collect water to hydrate your plants. There are several ways to do this. For example, place a container outdoors and collect water when it rains. Or, keep a bucket or pitcher in the bathroom and collect water in it as you wait for water to heat before you take a shower or wash your face.
      3. Pay Bills Online or Call to Pay. There’s no need to pay for stamps or slaughter a tree to make sure your bills are paid on time. These days, it’s just as easy to pay your bills online or by phone. Online accounts usually also allow you to track your account’s activity!
      4. Get Informed. Read books or watch movies that document the food industry and environment. Movies that focus on food and our planet are Amazing Planet, Discovery Atlas, Food Inc. and Food Matters.
      5. Eat Vegan Several Times a Week. Going vegan doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition. Almost everybody who cares about the planet knows about Meatless Monday. If you’ve tried it, you’ve probably noticed that it’s incredibly easy. One day a week, make your spaghetti with vegetables, soy meatballs or scrambled vegetables and tofu—instead of meat. If like most of us, you’ve probably found that it’s easy peasy to eat vegan just one day a week.  So, we suggest that you step up your game to include Meatless Thursday. If you’re looking for recipes, search Google for “meatless main dishes” or something similar.
      6. Take A Cup to Starbucks. Carry a reusable coffee cup in your car for trips to Starbucks or your local coffee shop. The planet and the coffee shop will thank you for it. You’ll save trees for the planet, money for the coffee shop, and your coffee will taste better, be easier to carry and will stay hot longer. It’s a win-win for all.
      7. Votes Count. Vote for politicians that care about the planet and give your support to those who want to help keep it green!
      8. Go solar. If you can afford to install a solar system in your home, well, more power to you! If you’re unable to make that sometimes expensive financial commitment, you can start smaller and cheaper. For example, single solar lights are really quite affordable these days and the new designs are fashionable and affordable. You can buy them at hardware stores, grocery stores and online.

Make a Good Green Habit Stick

Create a New Habit!

The power of habit cannot be underestimated. Creating and maintaining good habits (especially good green habits!) can add satisfaction, joy, consistency and discipline to your daily life.  And, an established habit can have the power to help you reach short and long-term goals ─ whether they are green goals or whether they are personal, professional, or financial goals.

Here are steps that can help you develop good green habits and habits of any other color!

How to Make a Habit Stick

The Power of Habit

  • Target a habit.  Make a conscious decision to create a habit that will make you, your home, your community and the world a better place.
  • All sizes welcome.  It’s okay to target small habits and goals.  Small changes can lead to big results!
  • Put it on paper. Seeing your goal on paper makes it real.
  • Find a trigger. A trigger is something that makes you remember to do something, such as a particular time (say, every day at 8 a.m.), an activity (right after you put on your shoes, recycle your paper) or a place (the area next to the kitchen sink for a compost bowl) or a thing (the compost bowl).
  • Commit to 30 days. Research shows it only takes about 4 weeks to establish a good habit, so it’s wise to start with a 30 day commitment.  However, some habits stick in two weeks and others can take 60 days or more.
  • Use affirmations.  Create a simple list of positive affirmations and chant them to yourself or say them aloud or make an audio recording. Practice your affirmations first thing in the morning or last thing at night.
  • Practice each day. Routine is important to make a habit become stick. The more often you do your habit, the more likely you are to succeed.
  • Allow for failure. If you happen to miss a day, forgive yourself and don’t give up. Keep going!  
  • Use cues. Place reminder notes or meaningful photos on your refrigerator, light switches, bathroom mirror, computer screen and other places throughout your home or business–yellow stickers work great and so do phone alarm apps and email calendar reminders!
  • Practice early or late.  It’s easier to practice a new habit in the morning (before the day gets hopping) or late in the day (when the dust has settled) because mid day is oftentimes busier.
  • Visualize success. Close your eyes and imagine yourself performing your new habit over and over until it seems natural and normal.
  • Keep a journal. Chronicle your success each day by placing an X on your calendar or filling a page or even just a line in a notebook.  
  • Pat on the back. When you reach your goal, choose a positive, healthy reward that makes you happy.  The reward could be anything from marking an X on your calendar (see Keep a Journal above), saving money, or toast with a long, tall glass of ice water.

Most people find that it takes about 30 days to make a habit stick.  However, some habits can take only a few days to establish, while other habits can take quite a bit longer longer, sometimes up to 45 to 60 days. You know your habit is established when it has become a normal part of your everyday routine.

Do you have any tricks or tools that have the power to make a habit stick?