3 Small, Affordable, and Organic Changes To Live An Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

In today’s world, living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle is at the forefront of everything; from the public policy initiatives we study in class, to the advertising campaigns in our favorite magazines. But what exactly does it mean to “go green?”  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the official definition of going green is “practicing an environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible lifestyle as well as making decisions to help protect the environment and sustain natural resources.” Because of the growing green sentiment and demand for more natural, eco-friendly products, making greener choices are now more affordable than ever; it is so affordable that even a student living on a classic college budget can afford to make a few new environmentally conscious decisions.

1. Household Cleaning Products

When deciding to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle it is important to not only pay attention to the things we put inside our bodies, but the products we use on the outside as well. Brands such as the Honest Company, Seventh Generation, and Mrs. Meyers are product lines that emphasize creating products that are made without harmful chemicals and synthetic materials that may cause damage to the skin, your home’s surfaces, and the environment. These product lines, which can all be found at Target, are easy to incorporate into your regular cleaning routines.

2. Cosmetics

Many popular cosmetic lines feature classic products made with more natural ingredients like water, olive oil, cocoa butter, argan oil, fruits, and vegetables. On the more inexpensive side, adding products such as Yes To, Burt’s Bees, Shea Moisture, and Alba are all-natural product lines featuring skin and hair care products, as well as make-up that are full of essential nutrients and ingredients. Even better, these eco-friendly products can be found conveniently at Target, Walmart, Ulta or your local drugstore. For those ladies who do not mind splurging on beauty goodies, try  Lush Cosmetics. Found locally in Macy’s at Lenox Mall, Lush is the ultimate collection of natural soaps, cleansers, hair care products and moisturizers. Its products are made from ingredients such as coconut, peppermint, honey, lemon, and sea salt. These products are very fresh and does  come with expiration dates.  However, it should not be a problem because you’ll love the products so much that you will definitely use them long before they perish. In addition to being all natural, Lush products are cruelty-free, meaning they are not tested on animals, but on voluntary human subjects.

3. Eating Habits

The easiest eco-friendly change to make is the way you eat. No matter if you shop at a grocery store or farmer’s market, organic produce, snacks, and dietary supplements are abundant, especially in Atlanta. Making regular trips to Whole Foods and switching from traditional processed food lines to specialized store brands like Publix’s Greenwise foods, or Target’s Simply Balanced line, are quick changes that can add more green products to your regular grocery routine. For those of you who don’t mind going the extra mile, look for locally grown and produced food, or try restaurants that feature entrees with locally sourced or organic ingredients. On your next grocery visit, pay close attention to where your packaged and fresh foods have originated from, and set a goal to purchase one Atlanta or Georgia grown product to try. Also, try a restaurant like Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand, Yeah Burger, or even a farm to table restaurant like Star Provisions.

Going green can be an abstract and multifaceted lifestyle change that can be overwhelming at first, but starting with a few  small changes and making it a point to be more conscious of the things we use on and put into our bodies will make leading a more eco-friendly life much easier.