Taking the time to green up your morning routine might seem time-consuming as you rush around to get ready for school or work and get out the door. And, with gas prices rising and traffic becoming more congested, the morning commute may be even more stressful – and unfortunately, more harmful for the planet.
Fortunately, there are several small things you can do right now to increase sustainability in your morning routine and commute. Check them out below.
Turn Off Your Faucets
Many of us forget this simple tip while brushing our teeth or taking a shower: Turn off the faucet. Wet your toothbrush, then turn off the water in between brushing and rinsing. The same goes for the shower. Turn off the water while you soap up and then back on to rinse. Doing this cuts water usage and reduces your water bill.
Most of us charge our phones or tablets overnight. Be sure to unplug chargers for all your devices before heading out the door. This includes the coffeemaker, toaster, hair dryer, laptop, and any other small appliances. This is another small gesture that will conserve power and help you cut down on your electric bill.
Open the Windows or Blinds
New Yorkers are used to cold winters and hot summers. You can reduce heating usage by opening the blinds in cooler weather to let sunlight heat a space. Similarly, you can open the window to cool down a room before powering up the air conditioner. Once again, using less power will help lower your utility bill.
Put Morning Beverages in a Reusable Container
Whether you drink java, juice, or water in the morning, take your on-the-go beverage of choice in a reusable mug or tumbler. Single-use water bottles pile up and many people pitch them instead of recycling them.
Plus, certain takeout coffee cups are non-recyclable and will also contribute to the over-filled landfills. Drinking from a reusable container curbs these problems – and using a metal straw instead of a plastic one is even better.
Sadly, many sea creatures have died from ingesting all the plastic waste filling our oceans. Making this small switch will also help save their lives.
Walk or Bike to Work
Many big-city dwellers are used to walking to work. If you live close enough, join your fellow walkers or bike to work. This will help reduce your carbon footprint and is also a healthy option. The physical benefits are numerous – from burning calories and building muscle to basking in natural vitamin D from the sunlight. Plus, physical activity boosts endorphins which just might help you beat those Monday morning blues!
Carpool or Use Public Transit
If you live too far from work or school, walking there or biking may not be a viable option. In that case, consider carpooling or taking public transit like a bus or subway. Carpooling puts one car on the road for multiple passengers, instead of each person driving a separate vehicle to work. This helps reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and traffic congestion. Using the subway or taking a bus are also eco-friendly alternatives.