These days, it’s not enough to just green your home. As work and other obligations seemingly dictate our lives, there’s no reason why you can’t work your green lifestyle into your busy schedule. As a city dweller, I am always on the go. While purchasing coffee and ordering lunch at the office was once the most coveted part of my work day, it also had become a serious drain on my bank account. Instead, I realized that with a few simple changes in my lifestyle, I could save money and be more environmentally efficient. It’s all about reusing. And to reuse, you’ll have to pick up some one-time purchase necessities and follow some basic parameters.
Get yourself a travel coffee mug.
Hundreds of millions of paper cups are used each day, but with your very own mug, you will no long be using paper cups and plastic lids that can go unrecycled. Many coffee shops will even fill your travel mug with coffee instead of handing over paper cups. And let’s face it, the coffee tastes way better and stays warmer longer in an aluminum mug rather than a soggy paper cup. If you are taking the subway or bus daily, being jostled and jolted around, a secure travel mug is the only way to ride.
Pick up an inexpensive set of reusable containers.
Ideal for sandwiches, cereal, fruit, chips, yogurt, cookies, cheese, and basically anything you can think of, reusable containers are perfect for toting your goods. These containers can be found in multiple shapes, sizes, and colors. I like Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid Storage Sets, which includes a variety of sizes, all for under $20. Bonus: These are coded plastic #5’s, which means BPA or phthalate-free! Not only will you save money and waste by ditching the sandwich bags and plastic wrap (the latter of which is not even eligible for recycling!), but your food will be better protected from squishing and spilling.
Avoid pre-measured, individual snack packs.
While very convenient, these are typically more expensive and loaded with lots of extra packaging that will be immediately tossed aside. Remember those reusable containers you just bought? Go for the full size bag of chips and separate it out yourself, and ultimately save money by purchasing a larger quantity.
If you choose to use, then reuse!
If plastic containers just aren’t your thing and you choose to go the sandwich/snack bag route, you can reuse them for dry items. Refill them with dry items, like cereal or almonds. Even if you reuse each bag once or twice before tossing it, you are saving some from becoming eternal waste, and saving yourself from constantly buying new bags.
There’s no reason why you can’t be green on the go, all it takes are a few small changes. Before you know it, you’ll be green and saving money without even trying!