Morning routines are powerful tools. They can help you wake up, get motivated, and start your day on the right foot. However, the effectiveness of a productive morning routine doesn’t mean it’s naturally a sustainable activity. On the contrary, there are many aspects of a morning ritual that can be harmful to the environment.
Here are a few suggestions for ways to improve your morning routine so that it’s as effective as possible for both you and the Earth.
Start with a Basic Review
Before you make any major changes, it’s worth taking some time to review your current situation. Do you have a morning routine already in place? Has it been updated recently? Do you need to set one up from scratch? As you consider your morning routine status, ask yourself these questions:
Which activities are essential to your day? This can include things like brushing teeth and getting dressed. These are items that you can’t cut out, which means you can only change how you do them if you want to be more sustainable.
Which parts of your routine are preferences? This refers to things like meditation or exercising. These are activities that can be adjusted, but they can also be straight up removed if they’re too wasteful.
What are you doing in a manner that is wasteful or inconsiderate of its effect on your surroundings? This question should be applied to essential and nonessential activities alike.
As you answer these questions, look for areas that may be leading to waste. Remember, the goal here is to become more sustainable in your activities. That doesn’t just mean choosing the “green option” and then doing everything exactly the same. You can use a low-flow showerhead for your faucet, but if you still take 25-minute showers, your activity isn’t sustainable.
Sustainability requires a commitment to setting up a routine that is based on solid, long-term activities that are good for both yourself and the environment. So look over your current routine and do your best to identify where you can make improvements.
Make Major Adjustments First
The first stage in creating a more sustainable morning routine is making major adjustments. This can vary from larger home remodeling projects to simply upgrading equipment. A few suggestions include:
Installing low-flow faucets and showerheads to reduce your water usage each morning.
Replacing lightbulbs with LED alternatives to keep your energy consumption low as you turn on the lights to start your day.
Salvaging and reusing equipment, such as getting a used gym or exercise bike.
By making major adjustments beforehand, you set yourself up for a sustainable morning routine without the need to actively think about the changes each time you take a shower or work out.
Set the Stage the Night Before
Next, consider adding a “night prep” stage to your morning routine. You may already do this, but either way, it can be a good opportunity to add some sustainability into the mix.
For instance, setting the stage for your routine the night before often includes cleaning up. This can be anything from a quick neaten to a more serious spring cleaning effort. Regardless of the intensity of the activity, cleaning can ensure that you don’t trip on things or wander around aimlessly in confusion each morning.
As you do this, you should also work basic sustainable activities into your mindset. If you’re cleaning and you see that a heating or cooling vent blocked by your kid’s toys, unblock it. Make sure all of your lights are turned off before you go to bed. Adjust the thermostat so that your furnace or AC isn’t working as hard while you’re in bed.
Purchase the Right Products
When it comes to your actual morning activities, there are obvious things that you can address for sustainability. Some are action-oriented, such as keeping your showers short. However, other changes can be made by swapping out the kinds of products that you use to start your day.
For example, if you work out in the morning, try to buy your gear second-hand or from an eco-friendly retailer that takes the time to sustainably source its material. The beauty industry is another area that can be hit or miss when it comes to promoting sustainability. Try to find hygiene and beauty products that are made with eco-friendly manufacturing, recycled packaging, and non-toxic ingredients.
By choosing the right products, you naturally infuse your morning routine with a more sustainable flare.
Upgrading Your Morning Routine in a Sustainable Manner
It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or a senior, you live in the city or the country, you work in an office or care for children at home all day. Everyone can benefit from a good morning routine.
However, it’s important to review that routine from time to time. This is especially true as everyone is struggling to maintain their priorities and routines amidst lockdowns and quarantines.
If you find that your morning routine either isn’t working in your current situation or hasn’t been reviewed in a while, it may be time to give it a good once over. Along with looking for areas of personal improvement, use the opportunity to consider how you can make your routine more sustainable.
This is a great way to continue to cultivate a positive long-term impact on the environment from the moment you wake up each morning.
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