5 Super Easy Habits That Help The Environment

Protect your mother. There will be no change until collective action is taken. Holding yourself and others accountable and being aware of how your daily actions can affect the environment can go a long way. Being environmentally conscious should be a light-hearted task that helps a super serious, important issue. Let’s all do our part. Here are five extremely simple and quick habits you should have in your life that you can easily incorporate to start or add to your green journey:


1. MYTH: Recycle plastic bottles; trash the caps.

This has been a controversial statement over the years, but as of late, word on the street is that those plastic bottle caps should stay on. For those who have tried to be environmentally friendly for a while, it’s all about breaking the bad habit.

2. Cut off the strings of disposable face masks before throwing them away.

Staying safe during this pandemic has unfortunately created more waste. Reusable masks are great, but since disposable medical masks have been shown to filter more successfully, I’m not going to be the one to tell you to switch to cloth masks. However, if your trash becomes misplaced (or dumped in the ocean), you don’t want an animal to get tangled in your mask. Cut off those ear loops! It takes two seconds. 

3. Donate old mascara wands.

Mascara users, unite! Your old mascara wands can be repurposed to help wildlife. The soft and closely placed bristles are perfect to help clean the wounds of injured animals, and specifically help avoid further harming small, squirming babies. Wands for Wildlife is a nonprofit organization that collects wands and works with global partners that bring the supplies to wildlife rehabilitators for use. Currently, wand collection has been paused due to the pandemic, but you can be on the lookout by signing up for updates on their website.

4. Use reusable bags when shopping.

In Oregon (the home state of yours truly), we have had a ban on single-use plastic bags since the start of 2020. Retailers and restaurants are still able to provide them, but only with a minimum of a 5 cent fee. This fee is to go towards the business to purchase paper bags, which cost more than plastic. As someone who shops enough to know that money adds up, you can imagine how quickly I picked up the habit of hoarding reusable bags in my car whenever I go shopping. This easily cuts down the amount of waste one produces. Now in Massachusetts, I still try to at least repurpose any plastic bags as trash bags. Psst, college students. Puke. Bags.

5. Write on both sides of every paper you use.

You might already do this, but for the longest time, I didn’t. I know I should entirely stop my use of paper notebooks, but I really just don’t do well in school if all my work is done electronically, especially math. If you’re like me and feel extremely guilty by this as well, the least we can do is to use both sides of every paper. My brain gets crazily annoyed whenever I do this, so I usually use all the front sides of the pages and then go back and use the other backsides as scrap paper. Easy fix that also saves money! Bonus: You always have something to write on.