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A Smaller Eco-Footprint in 7 Simple Steps

Kor180 has 7 korValues and this month we are focused on finding ways to #bSustainable. Americans have the largest ecological footprint. On average each American needs 9.5 Hectares to support their lifestyle. Finding ways to reduce that footprint doesn't have to be difficult. Here are 7 ways to leave a smaller footprint.

1. Recycle your old mobile device and computers. Who needs 5 old mobile devices sitting at home? If your mobile device is still functional, donate it to a cause like Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPS). This non-profit provides cost-free communication services for active-duty military members and veterans. CPS spends 85.5 cents of every dollar donated to support our troops while 14.5 cents goes to administration and fund raising costs.

2. Make your own home cleaners out of Castile soap. Fill a spray bottle with the following ingredients to create an incredible all-purpose cleaner. I’ve been making this cleaner for the past two years and not only do I help the earth by it costs 40 cents per bottle to make!

All Purpose Home Cleaner. Fill a 20oz spray bottle with the following items:

  • Fill ¼ of bottle with vinegar
  • 2 capfuls of rubbing alcohol
  • 3-5 pumps of peppermint castile soap
  • 5-10 drops lavender oil
  • 5-10 drops tea tree oil
  • Finish off with water and shake to mix ingredients

3. Carry a reusable stainless steel, glass or ceramic coffee mug versus buying a paper cup and plastic cover. Many businesses will offer you a discount if you bring your own mug! Did you know that the US uses 16 billion paper coffee cups a year?!

4. Ditch plastic water bottles. There is just no point in using these items! In addition to plastic bottle tops not being recyclable, plastic bottles contain BPA and phthalates, which negatively impact human health. BPAs and phthalates are toxic chemicals that increase our risk for cancer.

5. Have a baby or thinking about getting pregnant? Use cloth diapers instead of disposable. Cloth diapers are softer on your babies skin, free of chemicals and can save a family $1,000-$2,000 a year depending on the cloth diaper.

6. Start smart-meal planning and shop for veggies at your local farmers market. My sister has perfected the art of meal planning by designing a spreadsheet for weekly meals and creating a grocery-shopping list that categorizes the grocery store based on the food groups. As a result, she’s created an easy way to sustain healthy eating patterns. People who meal-plan also benefit by saving money and not wasting food. Buying food from local farmers markets decreases your carbon footprint too. Regular shipping of food takes energy in the form of fossil fuels and food can travel over 1,000 and sometimes 10,000 miles versus only 50 miles through local farmers markets. Here’s a list of all of the local farmers markets in Austin.

7. Transform your business green. Who knew that the City of Austin had an Office of Sustainability? Business owners can access resources and tools to improve their business, and become more environmentally conscious. Some of the ideas include improved light sources, recycling programs and renewable energy. It’s an easy way for your business to turn green and be recognized!

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