Living an eco-friendly lifestyle can seem intimidating, with a lot of the recommendations being big grand efforts. But the fact of the matter is- you don’t have to give up meat entirely or exclusively ride a bike. There are plenty of small ways you can make a positive impact on the environment- and here are just 8 of those ways you can do this Earth Month!

Eliminate single use plastics

Single use plastics have one life –from you to the trash can. A straw with your iced coffee, a plastic water bottle, a plastic bag with your groceries, they all seem harmless on their own. But plastics like these are intended to be disposed of right after one use- often in minutes. The best way to easily replace these plastics is by using recyclable items like glass, plastic, and aluminum that are recyclable. Oftentimes single use plastics (bags, specifically) will make their way into landfills and drift off, polluting the ocean or harming marine life.

  • Swap the plastic bottle or cup for a reusable water bottle or coffee mug.
  • Bring reusable shopping bags with you when you shop (If you have a collection of plastic grocery store bags, visit the front of your local grocery store. Most will have recycling bins specifically for these bags!)
  • Pack in Tupperware instead of plastic baggies
  • Ditch the plastic utensils and carry washable utensils with you
  • Use bars of soap instead of body wash or liquid hand soap

Try a meatless Monday

To help the environment you don’t have to give up meat entirely, you could just give it up for one day. For every pound of beef, it takes around 2,500 gallons of water to produce it!

Use energy efficient lightbulbs

Making the switch from standard light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs is an easy way to make a difference. LED bulbs can reduce the amount of energy used by up to 80 percent. If we have yet to convert you to team LED, you also can save money by switching to LED bulbs. If you’re looking to switch over to LEDs, check out this link. This change isn’t just good for your environment, but also your energy bill!

Turn off lights when you leave a room

This one is easy. Leave a room, turn off the lights! The environment and your electricity bill will thank you!

Unplug appliances when you’re not using them

You may not think twice about leaving a room and keeping your toaster or phone charger plugged in. However, even when they are turned off, they are still drawing power (This is called vampire energy!). To avoid this, before you leave a room take a look around and see what you can unplug – TV, hair straighteners, lamps, computer chargers, blenders – you name it, you should unplug it!

Now we know it is unreasonable to expect people to inspect every room of their home and unplug all items that are not being used but remaining conscious and aware is a simple step in the right direction. Another way you can help with unplugging devices is plugging into an outlet strip and turning off the one strip when you leave the room. Life hack!

Pay your bills online to eliminate paper bills

Ditch the paper bill and switch over to digital. Think of all the bills you get in the mail, and then think about how many people are getting this amount (if not more!). You can get the same experience online and know you’re doing your part! You can start the process right here with PECO, learn how to pay your bills online here.

Plant a vegetable garden or trees

Plants absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful pollutants and chemicals that are in the air, all while releasing oxygen for us to breathe. Did you know that one large tree can produce a day’s worth of oxygen for four people! With so many trees and plants being torn down these days, you can give back by growing our environment back up in your own yard. Just remember that before you go to dig a hole to plant something, you call 811.

Do a community (or solo) cleanup!

We have all been on a walk or driving and have seen the mass amounts of trash on the side of the roads or parks. You can organize a group of friends or go on your own to help clean it up. Grab some gloves, a few trash bags, and some fresh air!