How to Be Green in the City

Here are some steps to help you be green while living in a city.


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    Bring your own bag to the market, convenience store, hardware store, everywhere. Get ones reusable bags that fold up easily into a pouch so you can throw it in your purse or backpack and always have one with you.
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    Bring your own cup. Use that mug as much as you can. Fast food places like McDonald’s might not be as open but Subway usually is fine with it. They’re usually open to it if it’s a place where you fill your own drink. Know how many ounces your cup holds and make the effort. People usually don’t care. It costs them less to not give you a cup, lid and straw.
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    Turn the water off when you’re brushing your teeth Even a little bathroom faucet pumps out 2.5 gallons (9.5 L) of water a minute. It takes a lot of energy and resources to get the water from the treatment plant all the way to your faucet. Be conscious of how much water you’re using and try to shut it off when you don’t need it.
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    Modify your toilet by either displacing some of the water in the tank with a brick or some other weight (A plastic soda bottle filled with water or sand work well). This will mean that your toilet is using less water to do its work.
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    Unplug chargers and other small (or big) appliances when they aren’t in use.
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    Buy local, seasonal food.
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    Be conscious of where you’re spending your money. Let your money be your voice. Do some research on companies that you are buying from. Find out what their environmental policies are. Are they taking steps to help the earth? Where do they get their materials from? Where is the product you’re buying manufactured? This can be really time-consuming and overwhelming but you can save yourself some time by finding a couple good store or online retailers that try to carry eco-conscious goods.
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    Stop using toxic cleaners in your house Especially for those with small children, pets or people with asthma or other respiratory issues be aware that there are a lot of companies making non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products these days. Read the labels. Go for perfume and dye free laundry soap and skip the dryer sheets.
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    Pick your battles. Don’t try to do everything at once. It’s great to want to be an eco superhero but you have to be sure to keep things in perspective and not to beat yourself up too badly when you accidentally throw that glass bottle away. Every little bit helps and it takes a while to replace the old habits with new ones.


  • Be an informed consumer by reading labels.
  • Every little bit helps.
  • Join a group like - it's a great way to give life to things you no longer have use for and to find some new stuff too. One man's trash is another man's treasure.


  • Just because it says organic doesn't mean it's the best. Some small farms practice organic and sustainable farming practices but aren't certified by the government. It's expensive to be certified organic.
  • Be wary of "green washing". So many companies are jumping on the green bandwagon these days and use it as an excuse or tactic to get you to buy their products. Read your labels and do your research.

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Categories: Home Organization & Recycling | Sustainable Living