10 Eco ideas you're not already doing!

Reusable water bottle—check. Organic produce—check. There are lots of small things that many of us do each day in order to up our eco-friendly status. And if you’re like us, you probably consider yourself to lead a pretty eco-friendly lifestyle. But caring for the environment is one of those things that you really can’t overdo. So with Earth Day coming up on Friday, we wanted to share 10 green lifestyle habits that you might not already be doing. These 10 habits will take your eco-friendly lifestyle to the next level, which is always a good thing. Check them out below…

1. Green Your Beauty Routine

Even if you’re someone who buys all organic produce and non-toxic cleaning products, it can be hard to let go of the conventional beauty products in your makeup bag. We’re girls; we get it—once you find a concealer that works or a lipstick you love, it takes a lot to convince you to make the switch. But green beauty brands aren’t as hard to come by as they used to be. From the 10 companies in this post to the new Honest Beauty collection, eco-chic gals have plenty of great options these days.

2. Eat Less Meat 

Animal products have a much larger carbon footprint than fruits, veggies, grains, and other crops. For example, it takes approximately 1,850 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef, and only 39 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables [source]. Whether it means going vegetarian once a week or making a concerted effort to eat less meat throughout the week, cutting down on animal products is a great thing for our planet.

3. Drop in Some Dryer Balls 

Along with opting for an Energy Star appliance, there are some things you can do to make sure your dryer is running more efficiently. We had never heard of dryer balls until a couple years ago, and now we swear by them. Whereas dryer sheets create waste and are often laden with chemicals, wool dryer balls (like these ones from Babyganics) reduce static and drying time by up to 25 percent while softening clothes naturally. Of course if you want to take things another step further, you could string up a clothesline and skip the dryer altogether.

4. Ban All Types of Plastic Bags

Even if you carry a reusable shopping tote with you at all times, you might still be using plastic produce and sandwich bags. But there are some great eco-friendly alternatives for those kinds of plastic baggies, too. For sandwich bags, we love Blue Avocado’s (re)zips, which you can wash and reuse, time and time again. For produce bags, these mesh baggies or these muslin baggies work just as well as the plastic bags in the produce aisle, and both are machine washable.

5. Let It Mellow

If it’s yellow, let it mellow. Yes, we are aware that this might not be the most glamorous subject to discuss in a blog post. But especially in California where we are experiencing a major drought right now, any way you can save water counts. So when you’re at home in your own private powder room, save a flush whenever you can.

6. Take the Stairs 

You’ve probably already heard us tout the benefits of taking the stairs as a way to stay active throughout the workday. But forgoing an elevator ride also has a major benefit to our planet. Especially if the building is not busy and you’re the only one waiting for the elevator, it’s a very inefficient use of electricity. So why not make a commitment to log in those extra steps with the environment mind?

7. Invest in a Set of Cloth Napkins

It’s easy to go through a ton of paper towels and napkins without even thinking about it. Between mealtime and cleaning up spills, that’s a lot of paper going to waste. So if you consider yourself to be a true environmentalist, make a serious effort to limit the amount of paper towels you use. Investing in a set of cloth napkins (like these ones from The Little Market) will not only help our planet, it will look classier at the dinner table. And for wiping up spills in the kitchen, we swear by the super absorbent Skoy cleaning cloths.

8. Swap Out Your Light Bulbs and Batteries 

Are all of your light bulbs energy-efficient and all of your batteries rechargeable? Using the right kind of light bulb can mean using 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. And since over time, both energy-efficient light bulbs and rechargeable batteries will save you money, there’s really no excuse not to use them.

9. Cook With Cast Iron

Non-stick skillets are the norm in so many households, but what you may not know is that they are coated with toxic chemicals to create the slick, easy-to-clean surface. So instead, use a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, which is naturally nonstick and will last you a lifetime.

10. Grow a Drought Tolerant Garden

When it comes to the wellbeing of our planet, the more greenery the better, right? That’s not always the case. Before you plant your yard, take time to research which plants are best suited for your specific climate. If you don’t get a lot of rain where you live, opt for plants that don’t require a lot of water. That could also mean considering swapping your lawn for faux grass. We know the Astroturf of the ‘80s gets a bad wrap, but you might be surprised at how realistic artificial turf can look nowadays.

How many of these 10 eco-friendly initiatives are you already doing?

And which one is next on your list?

Happy early Earth Day, everyone!

XO Team LC

Photos: @LaurenConrad via Instagram